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Peru Investigates Suspected Death Squad in Police Force

Lima, August 2 (RHC)-- Authorities in Lima have launched an investigation into allegations that Peru’s police command operated a death squad that is responsible for the extrajudicial killings of more than two dozen civilians since 2011, a revelation that is reminiscent of the country’s brutal dirty war under its former dictator.

A total of 96 members of various divisions of Peru’s national police force — including 16 high-ranking officials — are suspected of carrying out the murders of 27 Peruvian civilians between 2011 and 2015 in the cities of Lima, Ica, and Chiclayo, according to Peru’s La República.

The Inspector General’s office will spearhead the probe with a specially-formed commission and present a preliminary report after 10 days.

Minister of Interior Carlos Basombrio, newly-appointed under President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, inaugurated last week, said during an announcement of the investigation that authorities are treating the case with utmost seriousness and will have zero tolerance for the police abuses that have been called extrajudicial killings.

Prensa Latina reports that an internal police investigation — in which the Investigator General recently intervened — has already found evidence that police agents infiltrated gangs and criminal organizations to carry out kidnappings with the goal of killing the captives.

Popular protests under the banner “Fujimori Never Again” repeatedly filled the streets of Lima with thousands of people highlighting the brutal human rights abuses of the Fujimori dictatorship, including death squad killings, forced sterilization of nearly 300,000 mostly Indigenous women, and widespread oppression of civil and political rights.

 

Edited by Lena Valverde Jordi
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