Peru Slashes Police Leadership to Streamline Force

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President Ollanta Humala’s government continues its purge of Peru’s police force, annoucing that some 3,500 officers will be removed over the next two years.

Security Minister Oscar Valdes set up a committee to examine the records of all officers and decide who would be dismissed, reports La Republica. The newspaper’s sources say that this committee has received some 2,500 reports of misconduct, with accusations including fuel trafficking, drug trafficking, and kidnapping.

The dismissals are focused on high-ranking officials, as demonstrated by a set of graphs drawn up by La Republica (see below). Some 68 percent of all colonels are set to be dismissed, and 60 percent of majors.

The announcement follows recent news of a major shake-up in the highest level of the force, with the removal of the chief of police and 29 other generals, out of a total 45.

The government has pointed out that many of those being removed are not facing accusations of misconduct, but were chosen because they were older, or had failed to achieve promotion. Valdes told RPP Noticias that the idea of the reforms is to slim down the police command, creating a pyramid structure with fewer people at the top, in order to create a more effective force.

Humala took office in July, and has since then signalled his willingness to reform policy on crime and drugs by carrying out large-scale personnel changes.

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