By Brendan Bergh
Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
LIMA, Peru – In the wake of public outcry the Interior Ministry of Peru has decided to enact new legislation and standards to combat the corruption that has so completely permeated the national police force.
Police corruption is nothing new. But the levels in Peru have run to such levels that reports from the US Department of State and Us Bureau of Diplomatic Security indicate that “corruption and impunity remained problems,” as noted that “Police have been known to solicit bribes in order to supplement their salaries or may readily accept bribes when offered.” The problem is so rampant that in 2007 the Policia Nacionel del Peru noted “Continuity of corruption cases… damage the image of the PNP.”
The levels of police corruption radiate throughout. From local police officers who readily accept bribes for traffic violations or drug enforcement operations. Earlier this year in San Ignacio, a group of police officers captured drug traffickers attempting to illegally ship cocaine paste, however the 200 kilos of cocaine where never entered into evidence as the eight arresting officers took the drugs for their own personal use. Prosecutors met harsh resistance from officers claiming no illegal activity.
To combat this, the Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza Sierra announced that they will set in place a new system of investigation action in the National Police of Peru (PNP) to increase disciplinary actions and end the clout of impunity that has protected police officers in the South American country.
This new system is intended to increase punishments for the corrupt, and reduce the time frame in which the accused will be prosecuted. This system will take case against policemen away from police courts and grant jurisdiction to civil and criminal courts with jurors. This will take the power away from the police and give it to the people. In the past it was widely believed that
This is the latest in Peruvian president Ollanta Humala’s attempt to clean up the police within the country. Last year in his capacity as newly elected President, Humala replaced and fired two-thirds of the country’s senior police officers. Thirty of Peru’s police generals were forced into retirement, even a few without evidentiary links to corruption and drug trafficking.
This reform legislation is intended to clean up the image of the police force. The Minister stressed their intention to fight policemen who have lost sight of their main creed “to provide safety and care for the citizenry.”
For further information, please see:
Andina, Agencia Peruana De Noticias – New System Of Investigation And Disciplinary Action Will Be In The PNP – 1 December 2012
RPP Noticias – Interior Minister Announces New Penalty System For Bad Cops – 1 December 2012
Peruvian Times – Prosecutor Investigates Police Over Drug Arrest In Puno – 24 May, 2012
BBC – Humala Sacks Peru Police Commanders In Corruption Purge – 10 October 2011
How To Peru – Police In Peru – October 5, 2011