Congress approves modified version of law to fight organized crime

Congress approved a modified version of legislative decree 992, or the Lost Domain Law, yesterday that will allow authorities to seize the goods of people who are accused of crimes related to drug trafficking, kidnapping, extorsion and money laundering, among others.

The legislation was approved with 74 votes in favor, five against and 16 absent daily, El Comercio reported.

The head of Peru’s anti-drug agency Devida, Rómulo Pizarro, applauded the legislation, saying it will be an important tool against the country’s growing drug trade.

“They have taken a firm step in the fight against drug trafficking, and they have demonstrated Peru’s commitment to combat this misery,” Agencia Andina reported Pizarro saying. “It is an instrument that will allow us to begin seizing illicit goods that are acquired by drug traffickers.”

However lawmaker Nancy Obregón of the opposition Nationalist Party contended the legislation is unconstitutional. Obregón is a leader of Peru’s coca growers federation and a staunch opponent of the government’s policy of eradication of the leaf, the primary ingredient used to produce cocaine. She told Agencia Andina the law legalizes the confiscation of goods and violates the constitutional right to property.

Justice Minister Rosario Fernández defended the legislation, saying “the lost domain law is not perfect, but in no way is it unconstitutional.”

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