Peru Will Have a Strictly Female Peace-Keeping Unit
By Dialogo February 22, 2011
The Peruvian Armed Forces Joint Command will have its first female contingent ready to participate in any peace-keeping mission in the world starting in the first half of 2011, the head of the Peru Company, Lt. Col. Dante Gallegos Rengifo, announced, highlighting the facts that this first group of twenty-three female officers comes from the Air Force and has received special training to work in war zones and areas struck by natural disasters.
As he explained, the United Nations (UN) is expected to request the participation of the female contingent, whose work will be oriented more toward observation and social assistance than toward strictly military tasks. For example, he mentioned that the contingent will work in the areas of border monitoring, monitoring drug trafficking and child trafficking, smuggling, or direct monitoring of the civilian population. “In the second half of the year, we’ll have other female contingents that are being trained by the Army and Navy,” the officer in charge of the unit announced.
He added that the deployment period of each contingent is six months, according to Peru’s agreement with the United Nations and in conformity with its institutional norms. Indeed, the Peru Company that he headed in Haiti spent half a year on the Caribbean island, with its members distributed in three bases along the border with the Dominican Republic. “We also had responsibilities in a camp for displaced persons, people who lost their homes in the January 2010 earthquake, with six thousand residents,” he specified.
Gallegos Rengifo acknowledged, nonetheless, that the most difficult period was the one that coincided with November’s presidential election. “The stability in the country is not good; hence, the participation of the United Nations contingent, including the contingent from the Peru Company, has been very important, because it has guaranteed the smooth unfolding of the electoral process,” he noted.