Perú to add prosecutors to fight human trafficking

Perú to add prosecutors to fight human trafficking

By Dialogo
November 07, 2014




The government of Perú plans to hire four special prosecutors to investigate human trafficking in regions with high levels of gold mining and tourism – two areas where the crime is most prevalent.

Attorney General Carlos Ramos Heredia’s department included funding for the prosecutors in its 2015 budget request. They will be based in the regions most affected by trafficking: Lima, the city of Iquitos, the city of Piura, and the city of Tacna, and those offices will function as hubs for the detection and monitoring of human trafficking crimes in their respective areas. They’ll also coordinate their efforts with other regional governments.

“We have already had the first meeting with the representatives of Chile and Ecuador, and we are in the fight to make the necessary arrangements with their attorneys general,” he said.

The Peruvian government also announced that it is joining the United Nations’ Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking, an international effort to support anti-trafficking programs. Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are also participants in the UN’s international campaign.

Peru prosecutes hundreds of human trafficking cases


The new prosecutors haven’t been hired yet, but Peruvian law enforcement officials have already brought hundreds of human traffickers to justice.

From 2007 to 2013, prosecutors filed more than 1,500 human trafficking cases. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 were the most vulnerable population, accounting for 55 percent of all reported cases. And 85 percent of the victims were females. Of that number, slightly more than half were lured into into involuntary servitude by false offers of legitimate jobs.

The problem is particularly prevalent in mining and tourism areas, according to a U.S. government report issued in 2014. For example, in La Riconada -- a mining town in the Andes Mountains near the Bolivian border -- more than 4,500 Peruvian and Bolivian girls were entrapped or forced into prostitution, according to Peruvian police estimates.

In addition to sex trafficking, organized crime groups exploit some Peruvian men, women, and children by forcing them to work in gold mining operations, logging, domestic service and other industries. In most cases the victims were lured by promises of good-paying jobs and then forced into labor for little or no pay to work off alleged debts or through fear of physical violence. Forced child labor includes begging, street vending, and cocaine production and transportation.

Such exploitation forms the basis for an extraordinarily profitable criminal business. Human trafficking ranks only behind drug sales and drug trafficking as the most profitable criminal enterprise in Perú.

Additional prosecutors an ‘important measure’: Peruvian Bar Association


In 2013, prosecutors in Perú obtained 41 convictions for human trafficking. Under Peruvian law, such convictions can result in a prison sentence of eight to 25 years.

Hiring additional prosecutors will help Peruvian law enforcement authorities bring even more perpetrators of this crime to justice.

“The appointment of (additional) prosecutors to investigate human trafficking is one of the most important measures to investigate this crime,” said José Luis García, a spokesman for the Bar Association of Lima. “These prosecutors will be able to dedicate themselves exclusively to investigating and preventing human trafficking. It is an important step in Perú’s judicial system to the benefit of its citizens.”

Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article.




The government of Perú plans to hire four special prosecutors to investigate human trafficking in regions with high levels of gold mining and tourism – two areas where the crime is most prevalent.

Attorney General Carlos Ramos Heredia’s department included funding for the prosecutors in its 2015 budget request. They will be based in the regions most affected by trafficking: Lima, the city of Iquitos, the city of Piura, and the city of Tacna, and those offices will function as hubs for the detection and monitoring of human trafficking crimes in their respective areas. They’ll also coordinate their efforts with other regional governments.

“We have already had the first meeting with the representatives of Chile and Ecuador, and we are in the fight to make the necessary arrangements with their attorneys general,” he said.

The Peruvian government also announced that it is joining the United Nations’ Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking, an international effort to support anti-trafficking programs. Brazil, Colombia and Mexico are also participants in the UN’s international campaign.

Peru prosecutes hundreds of human trafficking cases


The new prosecutors haven’t been hired yet, but Peruvian law enforcement officials have already brought hundreds of human traffickers to justice.

From 2007 to 2013, prosecutors filed more than 1,500 human trafficking cases. Teenagers between the ages of 13 and 17 were the most vulnerable population, accounting for 55 percent of all reported cases. And 85 percent of the victims were females. Of that number, slightly more than half were lured into into involuntary servitude by false offers of legitimate jobs.

The problem is particularly prevalent in mining and tourism areas, according to a U.S. government report issued in 2014. For example, in La Riconada -- a mining town in the Andes Mountains near the Bolivian border -- more than 4,500 Peruvian and Bolivian girls were entrapped or forced into prostitution, according to Peruvian police estimates.

In addition to sex trafficking, organized crime groups exploit some Peruvian men, women, and children by forcing them to work in gold mining operations, logging, domestic service and other industries. In most cases the victims were lured by promises of good-paying jobs and then forced into labor for little or no pay to work off alleged debts or through fear of physical violence. Forced child labor includes begging, street vending, and cocaine production and transportation.

Such exploitation forms the basis for an extraordinarily profitable criminal business. Human trafficking ranks only behind drug sales and drug trafficking as the most profitable criminal enterprise in Perú.

Additional prosecutors an ‘important measure’: Peruvian Bar Association


In 2013, prosecutors in Perú obtained 41 convictions for human trafficking. Under Peruvian law, such convictions can result in a prison sentence of eight to 25 years.

Hiring additional prosecutors will help Peruvian law enforcement authorities bring even more perpetrators of this crime to justice.

“The appointment of (additional) prosecutors to investigate human trafficking is one of the most important measures to investigate this crime,” said José Luis García, a spokesman for the Bar Association of Lima. “These prosecutors will be able to dedicate themselves exclusively to investigating and preventing human trafficking. It is an important step in Perú’s judicial system to the benefit of its citizens.”

Julieta Pelcastre contributed to this article.

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