• Connect with us on Linkedin

Police Corruption Fuels Rise of Extortion in Peru

Construction sites are increasingly extorted in Peru Construction sites are increasingly extorted in Peru

Extortion by criminal groups is now an accepted cost of doing business for small businesses and construction companies in Peru, according to experts. The practice is facilitated by corrupt police forces that charge money for protection and collaborate with criminal groups.

Linkedin
Google +

Juan Chavez, president of the Peruvian Chamber of Construction (Capeco) in the town of Piura, told El Comercio that 100 percent of businesses in the region of La Libertad and Piura are extorted. Other business owners said, "At any moment we might receive a letter with a bullet or explosives, or worse still, a visit from an armed group."

Juan Carrasco, an anti-extortion lawyer in Chiclayo, told El Comercio that extortion cases have risen by 50 percent, even though only 3 percent of businesses report being extorted.

Extortionists can charge upwards of $175,000 for the "security" of a construction site, or $18,000 per month. In some cases, extortionists demand construction companies pay the $175 weekly salaries of fake workers. These costs can add up to almost 3 percent of the value of the company's contracts.

Many cases of extortion go unreported due to police corruption and collusion with criminals. Some owners of construction companies say when they ask for police intervention they are charged $70 per day for the police to guard their construction site, or a daily $70 per agent if they want the police to "clean the area" of criminals.

Sometimes, however, paying the police achieves little because the extortionists pay them more -- between $1,000 and $1,800 -- to stay away, according to El Comercio.

InSight Crime Analysis

As InSight Crime has recently reported, the rise of extortions is a serious concern for Peru. Construction is not the only economic sector affected, with other businesses such as transportation companies also suffering.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

What is perhaps most concerning about the rise of extortion in Peru is police complicity with criminals of the type highlighted by El Comercio. However, such corruption is not only present among low level police but also commanding officers; this past December a Peruvian police chief was arrested on charges he was working with the Nuevo Clan del Norte extortion gang after seven of his deputies reported being ordered to work on their behalf. While this corruption continues unchecked, extortion is likely to continue to rise in Peru.

Linkedin
Google +

---

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We also encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, provided that it is attributed to InSight Crime in the byline, with a link 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.

InSight Crime Search

The Complete Organized Crime Database on the Americas

InSight Crime Social

facebooktwittergooglelinkedin

InSight Crime Special Series

The Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

Los Zetas in Nuevo Laredo

After the capture of Zetas boss "Z40," Nuevo Laredo is bracing itself for the worst. This investigation breaks down what makes the city such an important trafficking corridor, and what it will take for the Zetas to maintain their grip on the city.

See entire series »

 

Uruguay's Marijuana Bill

Uruguay: Marijuana, Organized Crime and the Politics of Drugs

Uruguay is poised to become the first country on the planet to regulate the production, sale, and distribution of the drug.

See entire series »

El Salvador's Gang Truce

El Salvador's Gang Truce

The truce between El Salvador's two largest gangs -- the MS-13 and the Barrio 18 -- opens up new possibilities in how to deal with

See entire series »

Juarez After The War

Juarez After The War

As a bitter war between rival cartels grinds to an end, Ciudad Juarez has lost the title of world murder capital, and is moving towards something more like normality.

See entire series »

The Zetas And The Battle For Monterrey

The Zetas and the Battle for Monterrey

InSight Crime delves into the Zetas' battle for Mexico’s industrial capital, Monterrey, getting to the essence of a criminal gang that defies easy definition.

See entire series »

Slavery in Latin America

Slavery in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into modern slavery, looking at how Latin America’s criminal groups traffic human beings and force them to work as slaves.

See entire series »

FARC, Peace and Criminalization

FARC, Peace and Possible Criminalization

The possibility of ending nearly 50 years of civil conflict is being dangled before Colombia. While the vast majority of the Colombian public want to see peace, the enemies of the negotiations appear to be strong, and the risks inherent in the process are high.

See entire series »

Displacement in Latin America

Displacement in Latin America

InSight Crime coordinated an investigation into the new face of displacement in Latin America, where organized criminal groups are expanding and forcing people to flee.

See entire series »

Target: Migrants

Target: Migrants

The growth of organized crime in Mexico and Central America has led to an increase in violence and insecurity across the region, posing challenges to citizens, public security forces, and travelers.

See entire series »

Zetas in Guatemala

The Zetas in Guatemala

Mexico's Zetas have taken Guatemala by storm, and they are testing this country and the rest of the region: fail this test, and Central America sinks deeper into the abyss.

See entire series »

Most Read

Guatemala Citizens Fight Back Against Expanding Extortion Tactics

Guatemala Citizens Fight Back Against Expanding Extortion Tactics

Authorities in Guatemala have highlighted the range of tactics used by criminals to extort money from businesses, a crime that has become so devastating that locals in one city have organized to put a stop...

Read more

'El Mayo' Rises to Lead a Sinaloa Cartel whose Future Is Uncertain

'El Mayo' Rises to Lead a Sinaloa Cartel whose Future Is Uncertain

The upcoming trial in California of a high-ranking operative from Mexico's Sinaloa Cartel raises questions about the state of the vaunted drug trafficking organization, and whether the one remaining capo can maintain the criminal organization's...

Read more

Mexico Prisoner Origins Insufficient Basis for Anti-Violence Program Placement

Mexico Prisoner Origins Insufficient Basis for Anti-Violence Program Placement

Mexico's Interior Ministry has identified the neighborhoods where most of the country's criminals originate, a strategy aimed at determining where to allocate government anti-violence funding, but one that has some inherent flaws. 

Read more

IDRC9-01