The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores.

Challenges

According to the latest U.S. government figures, Peru is the second largest producer of cocaine and cultivator of coca in the world, with an estimated 49,800 hectares (ha) of coca under cultivation in 2017. The majority of cocaine produced in Peru is transported to South American countries for domestic consumption, or for onward shipment to Europe, the United States, East Asia, and Mexico. Peruvians view security and corruption as the country’s most pressing problems and often list the Judiciary, Congress, and the Peruvian National Police (PNP) as the country’s most corrupt institutions. Corruption scandals have ensnarled many of Peru’s political figures, including former Presidents, members of Congress, regional governors, ministry officials, and judges.

Goals

INL partners with the Government of Peru to help build expertise on counternarcotics and law enforcement and to reduce the production and trafficking of cocaine from Peru. Additionally, INL seek to mitigate the impact of transnational crime and increase citizen security through the strengthening of Peru’s criminal justice system and the rule of law. The United States and Peru are strong bilateral partners, and the United States actively supports the Government of Peru’s comprehensive five-year counternarcotics strategy to aggressively eradicate illicit coca, implement alternative development programs, interdict illicit narcotics, and reduce domestic drug abuse.

Accomplishments

Together, the United States and Peru are producing results:

  • Eradication and aviation assistance enabled the Government of Peru to remove an estimated 194 metric tons (MT) of export quality cocaine from global supply in 2018 via eradication (25,106 ha eradicated).
  • U.S.-supported Peruvian security forces exceeded the Peruvian interdiction goal of 50 MT in 2018, seizing 55.6 MT of narcotics, including 14.1 MT of cocaine base, 19.5 MT of cocaine hydrochloride, and 21.9 MT of marijuana. These units also destroyed 351 cocaine laboratories, seized 25.9 MT of coca leaf, and destroyed 65 clandestine airstrips. These units reported an increase in seizures of precursor chemicals – from 7,826 MT in 2017 to 8,679 MT in 2018.
  • The United States-supported Model Police Station Project in Callao now covers five precincts and promotes rule of law and citizen security in critical, high-crime, urban areas. Data for the neighborhoods that house the five stations shows a 39 percent reduction in crime since 2015.
  • U.S. assistance helped Peruvian Customs launch a Tactical Command Center and Immigration Intelligence Unit at Lima’s Jorge Chavez International Airport in 2017 to modernize customs and immigration practices. The program implemented the Automated Targeting System-Global, began the Biometrics Identification Transnational Migration Alert Program (BITMAP), and funded multiple trainings on narcotics concealment methods, impostor detection, fraudulent documents, cybercrimes, and passenger risk analysis.
  • U.S.-supported Police and Customs officials at Lima’s International Airport and the Port of Callao seized 7.9 MT of cocaine and arrested 262 smugglers in 2018. These officials also seized 41 fraudulent passports at ports of entry and registered 6,585 individuals in BITMAP.
  • In May 2018, U.S.-supported Police counternarcotics units executed “Operation Empresario,” which resulted in the seizure of 1.3 MT of cocaine and the arrest of 13 members of a Peruvian-Colombian drug trafficking organization that was shipping cocaine from the Port of Paita in Peru’s north.
  • The United States is supporting Peru’s transition to a new Criminal Procedures Code, as well as efforts to improve the investigation and prosecution of money laundering and financial crimes, and to strengthen the implementation of new asset forfeiture legislation.
  • Peru published the 2018-2021 Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing National Plan in March 2018, which includes prevention, detection, and sanctioning activities based on identified sectoral vulnerabilities. With INL-provided technical assistance, Peru passed legislation creating a civil asset forfeiture regime in August 2018.
  • The United States provided assistance to the Public Ministry’s specialized unit on environmental crimes to strengthen their investigations into transnational criminal organizations’ involvement in illegal mining and illegal logging.
  • U.S.-supported units conducting money laundering investigations seized approximately $38.7 million in financial assets in 2018. In one case, the police seized $15 million worth of properties from a money laundering organization tied to corruption and drug trafficking. In another case, the police seized $3.6 million worth of gold bullion that was destined to Swiss company Metalor from the Puno-based Minerales Del Sur company, which had prior links to laundering drug trafficking proceeds.
  • Peru approved the 2018-2021 National Plan on Integrity and Combating Corruption in April 2018, which calls for the development of OECD-recommended activities to address public corruption. President Vizcarra approved measures to strengthen integrity and combat corruption, including the creation of the Public Integrity Secretariat, the implementation of centers to report corruption, and a requirement of high-level officials to issue sworn statements on conflicts of interest. In July 2018, the Peruvian government passed a legislative decree barring public officials from holding government positions when they have committed certain crimes.

U.S. Department of State

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