In Peru, a debate has been sparked regarding the connections between the police and criminal gangs following a documentary by Spanish public television that revealed cases of officers renting out their weapons to criminal groups.
The report by RTVE interviewed two individuals belonging to an illegal organization who claimed that they don’t buy weapons but instead, “the police themselves” rent them out, as reported by local media. According to their statements, illegal logging is the main business in the region, achieved through “bribing authorities and also paying off high-ranking officials.”
They pointed out that illegal logging allows for financing drug trafficking, which is “as common as hot bread here.” “We’re talking about tons of cocaine, base, paste, stones, champagne, whiskey, and wine. There are Bolivian and Peruvian cartels, but those who are bribed, first and foremost, are the police. They later sell it and resell it,” they affirmed.
On Thursday, the Prime Minister, Alberto Otárola, stated that President Dina Boluarte had instructed an investigation to be conducted to determine “those responsible for these acts of corruption that affect the honorability and the very vertical hierarchical structure of the National Police.”
“One of the emblematic public policies of the president is the fight against all acts of corruption, regardless of their source, and we will have no hesitation in sanctioning those responsible, if they exist, after the investigations,” said Otárola.
Meanwhile, the General Commander of the Peruvian National Police, Jorge Angulo, admitted that some officers rent out weapons to drug traffickers.
Angulo acknowledges that “the issue of some police officers being involved in providing weapons is not a recent matter,” and he adds, “Yes, there are some police officers involved in the reported incidents.”
“The responsibility is individual.” Commenting on the accusation, the Minister of the Interior, Vicente Romero, stated on Friday that the responsibility should be “individual.” “For any crime committed by any member of the National Police, the police force cleans up its own ranks,” he declared.
“For those who commit any crime, the responsibility is individual, so we have to be firm on that,” he affirmed, adding that “there are acts of corruption in all institutions, and in this government, we emphasize zero tolerance for corruption. At least, I can assure you of that.”
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