Peru Attorney General’s office begins probe of torture allegations in coca growing region

Peru’s Attorney General’s office has begun investigating allegations by residents in Huánuco region of torture by police officers, the Coordinadora Nacional de Radio reported on Thursday.

Pier Paolo Marzo, a member of Peru’s Defensoría del Pueblo in Huánuco, said that provincial prosecutor Ricardo Aguero received a request to investigate alleged police abuses by three residents in the region.

According to CNR, the residents have said that members of Peru’s national police approached them following an April 27 attack reportedly by remnants of the Shining Path insurgents in the employ of drug traffickers that killed one officer and two members of Corah, a project to eradicate coca, the raw material used to make cocaine.

They allege the officers set fire to 11 houses and arrested three people, two of whom were later tortured.

Interior Minister Octavio Salazar previously denied any knowledge of the incident.

“I don’t have information [on that],” CNR reported Salazar as saying. “What I do have is information, which is very real, that we have two members from Corah who have been vilely murdered, as well as one police officer. The information that we have is that.”

Huánuco is home to the Upper Huallaga Valley, the country’s top coca producing region.

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