Peru Creates Task Force to Curb Rise in Venezuelan Migrant Crime

By Jason Peña on January 27, 2020

Peruvian Minister of the Interior Carlos Moran announced the formation of a new law enforcement taskforce to address the growing number of crimes committed by foreign nationals – primarily by Venezuelan migrants.

The specialized unit will focus solely on offenses perpetrated by foreigners. Authorities are expected to prioritize felonies such as homicide, robbery, kidnapping, gang activity, and the promotion of prostitution.

Also, the unit is expected to coordinate crime suppression efforts with Peru's General Intelligence Directorate and National Prosecutor's Office. Along with the new personnel, additional barriers on Peru's borders were implemented with biometric cameras to counter illegal migration.

The Minister of the Interior stated the impetus for the taskforce: "Thousands of Venezuelan migrants have arrived in the country in hopes of a better future, but criminals have also arrived. To the foreigners from Venezuela who entered Peru to commit crime, you have two choices: leave the country or jail."

Moran emphasized that, since 2016, the mass emigration of Venezuelans to Peru has brought alien criminals into its borders.

The National Penitentiary Institute reported that as of May 2019, about 335 Venezuelan migrants were in a Peruvian incarceration facility. The prior year, only 54 Venezuelan nationals were jailed.

The enforcement measures came shortly after the arrests of 144 Venezuelans for alleged involvement in an organized crime syndicate in Punta Negra, Peru. Long-range firearms, large quantities of narcotics, and vehicles were seized in the operation.