HomeNewsBriefPhone Recordings Link Peru Police to Drug Clan
BRIEF

Phone Recordings Link Peru Police to Drug Clan

PERU / 11 SEP 2014 BY DAVID GAGNE EN

Authorities in Peru have dismissed nearly two dozen police officials in the northern coastal city of Chiclayo for ties to drug trafficking, highlighting widespread official corruption in the country.

In early September, Peru's Inspector General for the National Police expelled 21 members from various national police units in the city after phone recordings linked them to convicted drug trafficker Haydee Leyva Caycay, alias "Tia Vicky," reported La Republica. The accused officials include one colonel, two majors, two captains, and 16 lower-ranking officers. The former head of the police's anti-drug division in Chiclayo has also been accused of working with Caycay, reported Correo.

Following an initial investigation in which the colonel was absolved and other police received just minor sanctions, a second investigation was launched that took into account 154 phone conversations intercepted by anti-drug police. The conversations involved Chiclayo police and Caycay or her associate Santiago Soto Melendez, alias "Pechereque."

According to the Inspector General, the police officials provided Caycay with the dates and times of upcoming drug busts, and also informed her of the identities of undercover policemen operating within her criminal group. 

In 2013, Caycay -- considered at the time to be the main drug distributor in the city -- and other members of her criminal group were sentenced to 25 years in prison for money laundering. 

InSight Crime Analysis

According to La Republica, the Caycay clan trafficked drugs and laundered money in Chiclayo province from 1995 until the group was disbanded in 2013. Although the Caycay group reportedly operated in a relatively small section of the country, the fact that they were able to rely on high-level police connections suggests at least some degree of sophistication.  

The dismissal of 21 police officers for ties to drug trafficking is yet another sign of how deep-rooted official corruption is in Peru. Corrupt police forces have also been accused of facilitating extortion in northern Peru, and last year the police chief in the northern city of Lambayeque -- near Chiclayo -- was arrested for allegedly working with the Nuevo Clan del Norte extortion gang. 

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

Numerous Peruvian politicians and political candidates have also been accused of corruption and participating in criminal activity. Authorities have already banned over 300 candidates from running for office in upcoming October elections because of criminal convictions, and in August Interior Minister Daniel Urresti identified 115 political candidates who allegedly have ties to drug trafficking.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HAITI / 26 MAR 2021

Officials in Haiti are calling on authorities to break up a group of disaffected, violent police officers that has in…

BOLIVIA / 11 JAN 2017

Latin America witnessed a criminal boom in illegal mining in 2016, and a rise of complementary illicit activities, as organized…

HONDURAS / 20 DEC 2013

Honduras' lame duck president has announced the removal of controversial national police commander Juan Carlos "El Tigre" Bonilla, raising the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Gender and Investigative Techniques Focus of Workshops

26 NOV 2021

On November 23-24, InSight Crime conducted a workshop called “How to Cover Organized Crime: Investigation Techniques and A Focus on Gender.” The session convened reporters and investigators from a dozen…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Names Two New Board Members

19 NOV 2021

In recent weeks, InSight Crime added two new members to its board. Joy Olson is the former executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America…

THE ORGANIZATION

Senate Commission in Paraguay Cites InSight Crime

12 NOV 2021

InSight Crime’s reporting and investigations often reach the desks of diplomats, security officials and politicians. The latest example occurred in late October during a commission of Paraguay's Senate that tackled…

THE ORGANIZATION

Backing Investigative Journalism Around the Globe

5 NOV 2021

InSight Crime was a proud supporter of this year's Global Investigative Journalism Conference, which took place November 1 through November 5 and convened nearly 2,000 journalists…

THE ORGANIZATION

Tracking Dirty Money and Tren de Aragua

29 OCT 2021

InSight Crime was delighted to support investigative reporting in the Americas through a workshop with our friends at Connectas, a non-profit journalism initiative that facilitates collaboration…