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Peru Background

Since 2012, ABA ROLI has worked in Peru supporting the country's criminal justice sector transition from an inquisitorial system to an adversarial accusatory system; as well as strengthening regional capacity to combat human and wildlife trafficking.

ABA ROLI, funded by the U.S. Department of State, supports Peru’s transition to an accusatorial criminal justice system and its implementation of a new Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) a process which began in 2006 and has yet to be wholly and consistently implemented, while transnational criminal organizations that operate in Peru continue to evolve and adapt. ABA ROLI works in coordination with the Peruvian government to strengthen justice sector operators’ capacity to effectively process cases under the accusatorial system, as well as to mobilize support for criminal justice reforms among the justice sector, civil society and the general public.

Peru is a central link to organized criminal organizations in the region, and related criminal activities, including human trafficking. Illicit gold mining is an increasingly prevalent crime in the country. It not only destroys and devastates Amazonian communities and their ecosystems but fosters human trafficking though forced labor and sexual exploitation in mining camps, especially in the Peruvian regions of Madre de Dios and Puno. Victims including men, women, children, and adolescents, are trapped by the remoteness of the locations and have limited-to-no access to justice, including protection from and the prosecution of those individuals engaged in human trafficking.

In 2020, ABA ROLI began implementing the four-year Combatting Human Trafficking in Peru program to strengthen the capacity of justice sector officials to effectively investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate human trafficking cases in Madre de Dios and Puno. This program is funded by the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

Peru is a central link in the regional illegal wildlife supply chain. Organized criminal groups already engaging in drug trafficking or other organized criminal activity harness the power of their existing networks to diversify revenue and launder money through wildlife trafficking (WT). These criminal industries thrive in Peru, a primary producer of the world’s cocaine supply, and operate near rare and exotic species that are sold in wealthy markets overseas. Not only does WT have a detrimental effect on the natural environments where trafficking syndicates operate, it also impacts the government institutions responsible for environmental law enforcement. It follows closely behind trafficking in drugs, guns, and people as one of the most lucrative forms of income for organized criminal groups.

In 2020, ABA began implementing the three-year Combating Wildlife Trafficking in Peru program to increase Peru’s ability to effectively combat wildlife trafficking. In early 2023, the Combatting Wildlife program concluded, but efforts to combat wildlife trafficking will continue through regional efforts in the tri-border area. The program was funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs.