HomeNewsBriefPolice Drug Links Continue in Peru Airport Despite Recent Purge
BRIEF

Police Drug Links Continue in Peru Airport Despite Recent Purge

PERU / 5 JUN 2014 BY MARGUERITE CAWLEY EN

Authorities in Peru are investigating three police agents thought to have facilitated cocaine trafficking through the country's principal airport, showing drug ties persist among airport officials despite a recent purge. 

According to Peru 21, a police commander and two deputy officials are under investigation for allegedly delivering a suitcase with 7.8 kilos of cocaine inside to a Portuguese national at Lima's Jorge Chavez international airport on May 28. An additional 40 airport police were relieved of their duties for suspected involvement in the case, reported El Comercio.

Anti-narcotics agents told El Comercio there were at least five "mafias" with ties to Mexican cartels competing for control of cocaine trafficking through the airport and that the groups pay police up to $20,000 to facilitate shipments by getting cocaine-filled suitcases into the hands of drug "mules" -- the couriers. The payments to mules, meanwhile, may range from around $5,000 to $15,000, according to El Comercio.

The three police agents in the current case could face charges of disobedience and failure to fulfill their duties and, if found guilty, could face up to six years in prison.

InSight Crime Analysis

The current case comes just over a month after Peruvian authorities fired an entire customs police team at Jorge Chavez over a similar scandal in which three officers were found to be moving drugs for Mexican traffickers. A year earlier, 10 airport police were accused of running a Mexico City-bound cocaine trafficking scheme. The fact that arrests continue suggests the authorities' actions have done little to deter airport police from cashing in on the lucrative trade. 

The Jorge Chavez airport -- where Peru installed a pilot anti-drug task force last year -- is an important departure point for drug shipments from Peru, with 131 drug mules detected there in the first eight months of 2013. In the first four months of 2014, officials seized 236 kilos of cocaine there and detained 65 mules of various nationalities. 

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

However, as these cases highlight, this method is not generally used to move major loads. Much of the cocaine produced in Peru is transported first to Bolivia or Ecuador before leaving the continent, while large transcontinental shipments leaving directly from Peru are commonly shipped out from Pacific ports.

Instead, the networks running trafficking through the airport likely divide small shipments among numerous couriers. Despite the risks of detection, the method is relatively cheap and secure, since the drugs pass through few hands and are moved directly to their final destination. By corrupting police officers, the groups further improve their odds. 

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.

Tags

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

ARGENTINA / 29 JAN 2021

While unrest gripped much of Latin America in 2019, it was the coronavirus that took center stage and ripped through…

ENVIRONMENTAL CRIME / 2 JUN 2022

While there are some efforts to build resilience, including the passing of new legislative frameworks and some other signs of…

COCA / 11 JUL 2022

Following multiple killings, Indigenous leaders in the Peruvian Amazon are again facing threats of violence after coca eradication operations in…

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…