Humala Appoints New Police Chief in Major Shake-Up

President Ollanta Humala has appointed a new police chief and sent 30 police generals into early retirement, in a bid to curtail police corruption and restructure the force to make it more effective and efficient.

The new director of Peru’s National Police, Raul Salazar, said that he will take “drastic” measures to end corruption.

“I have instructions to eradicate corruption,” Salazar said during a ceremony accompanied by Humala and Interior Minister Oscar Valdes.

“From the smallest to the most important, it doesn’t matter,” he added. “A crime iscommitted all the same for one or more soles. And here I will be drastic, because I have permanent orders from the central government, from the Interior sector to eradicate corruption in the police force.”

Salazar said he will continue to face drug trafficking head on and increase security for the population. He said the police will cooperate with the Armed Forces in the coca-growing Apurimac and Ene river valleys, or VRAE, while also increasing training for police officers.

Salazar replaces Raul Becerra, in a major shake-up of the police that saw two-thirds of Peru’s 45 police generals forced into retirement.   Police with the rank of colonel have replaced the generals as heads of division.

The shake-up was said to be an effort to eradicate corruption in the police force. Critics have said that the government retired the generals without providing an opportunity to defend themselves. The government’s plan, however, was to reduce the excessive number of high-ranking officers in a police force that is not only considered corrupt in opinion polls but that is also inefficient. 

“We have begun a reengineering process” in the police force, Interior minister Oscar Valdes said today. “This is a planned process. It is not possible that the police force have 55 generals, 900 colonels and more than 2000 commanders and that we continue with that status quo,” he said, adding that the State had to make the decision to change the situation.

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One Comment

  1. Maria R. Temoche says:

    This is so obviously a political move on the part of the current administration. Many of these officers are reputable Peruvian citizens who have complied with the law all their lives. It is unfair to throw everyone on the same pot and stir it as a political tool, this is exactly what this government is doing. Replacing some of these law abiding officers with their own people in key spots so they can advance their own Chavista/Kirchnerista plan. Perú is going in the wrong direction. This government has not been in office 100 days yet it is already plagued with scandals from left to right. Starting with Humala’s cover up of events in Madre Mia as related by his own attorney in paying off and buying witnesses in order to shut them so we would avoid being processed for his abuses to human rights. His travelling to the U.S. on the government’s plan, along with his family and friends on the Peruvian people’s money, holding Congressional hearings in various parts of Perú, unnecessarily increasing spending and miss using taxpayer money. Conducting meetings in secret and behind the backs of the people who elected him to office, lacking total transparency in his actions. Persecuting a man who has so far been the best president Perú ever had with threats of investigation and acts of misinformation. You need to be in Perú to see these things going on.

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