Country Listing

Peru Table of Contents


Security Police

Although renamed in the police reorganization begun in 1986, the Security Police (PS), formerly the Republican Guard, continued to have responsibility for border control, custody of the prisons, and guarding significant government buildings. The PS grew the most rapidly of all the police forces in the 1980s; from 6,450 in 1980 to 21,484 in 1986. Some 20 percent of the force was detailed to prison duty, with a large portion of the rest distributed among public buildings and 177 border stations. Another sixty-one border stations were to have been added or reactivated by 1990, thirty-two of them staffed jointly with the army, but budget difficulties may well have delayed these. There was also a small parachute squadron, formed in 1963. Until the early 1970s, this police subgroup recruited its personnel directly from the army and had no training establishment of its own. In 1973 the minister of interior opened an advanced training school for upper-level career officers, with a comprehensive training center for all ranks expected to follow at the end of the decade. In the early 1990s, it was still unclear how the integrated police services officer school, which began operating in the late 1980s, would ultimately affect the PS's own training establishments.

The growing drug-trafficking problem across Peru's borders, particularly with Colombia and Brazil, provided the PS with additional challenges. The additional border posts were envisioned as one way to respond, because most were proposed for areas where the drug trafficking was believed to be concentrated. However, the growing prison population during the 1980s posed more difficulties for the PS; many had to do with the prisoners accused and/or convicted of terrorism.

In December 1989, two police officers were found guilty of abuses in the prison massacre by a Court of Military Justice and were sentenced to prison terms. The other sixty-nine police members and six army officers accused were acquitted, but in June 1990 the not-guilty verdicts of eight of the police officers were overturned in a Military Appeals Court. One officer was sentenced to one month in jail, the other seven to six months.

Data as of September 1992