Peru’s New Budget Bolsters Attack on Organized Crime

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The police unit responsible for investigating organized crime in Peru is set to see its budget triple next year, a sign the country is bolstering efforts against organized crime to accompany harsh new penalties introduced earlier this year.

The Executive Directorate for Criminal Investigations and Judicial Support (DIRINCRI) will receive $15 million in funding for 2014, compared to $5 million this year, with the extra funding facilitating the creation of a new Crime Observatory, reported Infosur Hoy.

The news comes within months of Peru enacting a new Organized Crime Law, which imposes harsh sentences on anyone convicted of involvement with organized crime. Where previously six year sentences were handed down for organized crime offences, punishments now range from 15 to life in prison, with no possibility of parole, according to Infosur Hoy.

The law also provides for new criminal investigation techniques, including embedding undercover agents in organized criminal groups — a previously illegal practice — and allows for the confiscation of assets from anyone involved in organized crime, even if those assets were not directly acquired with illicit funds.

InSight Crime Analysis

The new law and significant increase in funding for the DIRINCRI suggest Peru is taking serious measures to get tough on organized crime. As Colombian cocaine production has fallen in recent years, Peru has risen to become the world’s leading producer nation, with a recent IDL Reporteros investigation suggesting up to 20 tons leaves the country by air each month.

SEE ALSO: Peru News and Profiles

In the face of Peru’s growing significance to the drug trade, reports of a foreign organized crime presence in the country have also increasingly emerged, as groups seek to secure their drug supply at the source; something the government may seek to address through this funding.

Compared to other countries in the region, Peru is a relatively rich nation, with consistent economic growth, strong commerce and significant revenues from mining, so it is generally not viewed by the international community as a country in need of financial support. However, one thing it does require as it seeks to develop effective institutions to combat organized crime is technical support; something which may be increasingly forthcoming given the resources soon to be available.

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