HomeNewsBriefRetired Military Investigated for Cocaine Trafficking in Peru
BRIEF

Retired Military Investigated for Cocaine Trafficking in Peru

COCAINE / 17 FEB 2017 BY TRISTAN CLAVEL EN

Peru's authorities are investigating former members of the armed forces for using military property as the base for a cocaine trafficking ring, a striking display of corruption within an institution that has been put in charge of leading the fight against drug trafficking. 

Authorities have accused one retired army captain and a former cadet of using the Jésus María hotel in the district of Lima to store illicit drugs for the smuggling ring they ran, reported Perú21. The hotel is a space reserved for former and active military personnel.

The investigation into the trafficking ring was reportedly launched in June 2016, after a suspect who was arrested with nearly 40 kilos of cocaine admitted that the drugs came from the facility.

The Attorney General's Office say that the owner of the drug shipment was retired Army Captain Paul Alexander Bobadilla Retamal, according to America TV. The former captain would allegedly rent a room in order to store the drugs there. 

Of the seven total suspects, five have so far been arrested. Bobadilla, the alleged leader of the trafficking ring, was apprehended at El Dorado airport in Bogotá, Colombia while attempting to flee. He is expected to be extradited back to Peru, according to El Comercio.

InSight Crime Analysis

Although the dismantled network appears to have only moved small quantities of cocaine, the arrests are significant because of what they potentially say about a culture of corruption within the Peruvian military. If a former high-ranking officer felt comfortable storing cocaine on military property, it would not be a stretch to think that active personnel might be involved in more serious corruption schemes while in the field. 

Indeed, a 2015 report by the Associated Press found that every day an average of four drug flights leave Peru's principal coca-producing region, known as the VRAEM, which is supposedly being monitored by the military. Both US and Peruvian authorities pointed to corruption as a principal cause for the seemingly unchecked drug trafficking operations in the region. Having the military in control of the region's drug interdiction efforts is "like putting four street dogs to guard a plate of beefsteak," one retired army general told the AP. 

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profile

Peru temporarily lifted a long-standing state of emergency in the VRAEM in 2015, but re-implemented it in October 2016. This measure once again placed the military at the helm of the fight against drug trafficking in the region. 

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

COCAINE / 26 MAR 2021

Authorities in Europe -- already overwhelmed by a flood of cocaine arriving in cargo ships -- now must face another…

ELITES AND CRIME / 16 NOV 2014

One of Peru's most-wanted men has been captured in Colombia and deported marking a leap forward in a high profile case…

ELITES AND CRIME / 2 APR 2014

A court in Peru has annulled reports from a parliamentary commission calling for the indictment of ex-President Alan Garcia over…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Who Are Memo Fantasma and Sergio Roberto de Carvalho?

24 JUN 2022

Inside the criminal career of Memo Fantasma  In March 2020, InSight Crime revealed the identity and whereabouts of Memo Fantasma, a paramilitary commander and drug trafficker living in…

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…