Country Listing

Peru Table of Contents



Armed Forces: In 1992 included army (75,000), navy (22,000), and air force (15,000), with total strength of 112,000. Conscripts (69,000) made up 62 percent of armed forces (army, 69 percent; navy, 45 percent; air force, 47 percent). Creation of Ministry of Defense in 1986 unified armed forces under one ministry, eliminating separate service ministries. Defense expenditures in 1991 totaled US$750 million. Defense budget in 1992 totaled US$656.8 million. A total of 18.5 percent of 1992 national budget earmarked for national security. Services traditionally provided excellent officer education and training, but Peru's deep financial crisis of the 1980s and 1990s affected program adversely.

Military Units: Army organized into twelve divisions (each consisting of four infantry battalions and artillery group), including one jungle operations, one cavalry, one special forces, one airborne, six motorized infantry, and two armored divisions. Army infantry, armored, and engineers forces organized into thirty-six battalions and nineteen groups. Army deployed into five military regions. Navy organized into Pacific Naval Force and Amazon River Force. Air force organized into some nine groups and twenty-two squadrons across country's three air defense zones.

Equipment: Soviet equipment predominated in army in 1990-92. Ground forces had significant armored capability, with Soviet T-54, T-55, and T-62 tanks, as well as French AMX-13 light tanks. Latin America's third-largest navy by late 1980s; navy's Pacific force had two cruisers, six destroyers, four missile frigates, nine submarines (plus one training submarine), and six missile attack craft. Latin America's third-largest air force by late 1980s; air force had advanced (mostly Soviet) equipment. Inventory included Sukhoi Su-22 and Canberra bombers, Mirage fighters, and Mi-24 attack helicopters.

Police: National Police, with 84,000 personnel in 1992, consisted of military-like General Police (at least 42,500); Technical Police, a plainclothes investigative and forensic group (at least 13,000); and Security Police, border guard and penitentiary force (at least 21,500)--all under Ministry of Interior. General Police organized into fifty-nine commands across five police regions--same regions as army's.

Antinarcotics Forces: National Police had primary responsibility for antinarcotics efforts, but army has been called on to drive insurgents out of coca-growing Upper Huallaga Valley. Police emphasized interdiction of cocaine and cocaine paste rather than eradication of coca plants. At end of July 1991, Peru signed two antidrug accords with United States linking drug fight with counterinsurgency. National Police in early 1990s had serious problems with corruption, repression, and hostile relations with army.

Paramilitary Forces: In response to insurgency challenge, central government encouraged creation of local community self-defense forces in rural areas, beginning in mid1980s . Known as Peasant Patrols (rondas campesinas), these forces began receiving light arms from the army in 1991. Rightwing paramilitary squads included the Rodrigo Franco Command, formed in 1988 and linked to the Aprista minister of interior and APRA during the García government.

Insurgents: Two significant guerrilla organizations contested government authority in various parts of country. Shining Path (Sendero Luminoso), radical Maoist group that began operations in 1980, had an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 armed cadre in mid-1992. The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru), which began activity in 1985, had between 750 and 1,000 under arms in 1992. Both groups suffered serious reverses in last quarter of 1992.

Data as of September 1992