Report   DETAILS


Peru 2012 Crime and Safety Report

Western Hemisphere > Peru > Lima

Overall Crime and Safety Situation

Crime Threats

The U.S. Department of State rates Peru CRITICAL for crime due in part to the country having one of the highest reported crime rates in Latin America. Crime is a constant problem in Lima and most other parts of Peru. Pickpocketing, purse snatching, “smash and grab” robberies, the theft of items from unoccupied vehicles, and the theft of vehicle parts (mirrors, lights, etc.) are common crimes. Electronics (especially cameras, laptops, GPSs, smart phones, I-Pods, etc) rank high on the list of items that criminals target. Armed robberies, assaults, express kidnappings, carjackings, burglaries, and petty theft are a daily fact of life. Street crime is prevalent in most urban areas, especially in Lima. While gratuitous violence committed against foreigners is infrequent, according to Peruvian National Police (PNP) statistics, assaults and robberies involving violence have been on the rise over the last four years. According to U.N. figures, Peru registers at least five murders per 100,000 residents per year. All U.S. and foreign visitors are vulnerable to crime, as they are often perceived to be wealthier than the local populace and more likely to be carrying greater amounts of cash and other valuables. While U.S. Embassy personnel and foreign residents normally reside in affluent areas where private security and local police are more effective, they can still find themselves victims of crime. Residential burglaries, mostly of single-family homes, occur on a regular basis. Residential burglaries are most common during the day, on weekends, or during holidays when houses are left vacant. Thieves often gain entry by exploiting unsecured entryways, tricking domestic employees, or forcing access to perimeter doors when the home is vacant (or appears vacant). Vehicle theft (including carjacking) and theft of parts from parked vehicles occur frequently. Sport utility vehicles and sedans with expensive upgrades are the most common types of vehicles targeted by carjackers.

At least 19 assaults on rivers in the Amazon jungle have been reported since 2009. In July 2009, a group of bandits assaulted 24 tourists, including six U.S. citizens, on a luxury vessel. The thieves reportedly boarded the vessel and stole cash and valuables. River pirates continue to operate on tributaries of the Amazon and the Ucayali rivers.

Travelers should exercise caution when withdrawing money from ATM machines. Criminals have been known to stake out banks and after identifying an individual who has withdrawn cash, either immediately assaulting them or following them to another location before committing the robbery. 

Counterfeiting and piracy are illicit businesses in which criminal networks thrive. Items produced and distributed by counterfeiters are often substandard and can even be dangerous, posing health and safety risks that range from mild to life-threatening. Counterfeit and pirated goods are widely available. These items may be illegal in the United States and contribute negatively to social and labor issues. 

Road Safety

Traveling outside of Lima by road at night is considered hazardous due to potential domestic terrorist and/or criminal activity. Peru has one of the highest road fatality rates in Latin America. The U.S. Embassy prohibits nighttime travel via road for U.S. government personnel and contractors outside the greater Lima area and other cities due to poor highway safety and the threat of criminals. 

Crime occurs on roads, particularly at night and outside urban areas. Clandestine, impromptu roadblocks can appear on even major highways where bus and automobile passengers are robbed. The risk is even greater on rural roads after dark. In addition, numerous Americans have reported the theft of passports, cameras, and other valuables on overnight bus rides by thieves taking advantage of sleeping passengers or accessing their stowed luggage in the cargo area underneath when opened during scheduled stops for passengers to disembark or enter the bus. 

Information on road conditions and road safety can be found on Peru’s Consular Information Sheet at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_998.html.

Political Violence

Regional Terrorism and Organized Crime

The Peruvian government has made strides in its fight against domestic terrorism, but the threat of attacks in certain parts of the country still exists. The Embassy’s Regional Security Office (RSO) advises visitors to take every precaution to avoid traveling to these particular areas whenever possible. Embassy personnel must abide by the Embassy’s Restricted Travel Policy. 

The government continues its campaign to eliminate violent terrorist groups. In 2011, the government continued to arrest members of Sendero Luminoso (SL or Shining Path), Peru’s largest and most active domestic terrorist group, which is now entwined with narcotics trafficking. The SL columns that remain active have become more aggressive due to the increase in military and police counter-narcotics efforts in the areas of the Upper Huallaga and Apurímac & Ene River Valleys (VRAE). These interior areas are known as primary sites for substantial narcotics production and trafficking. Documented terrorist activities in the VRAE, Huallaga, and Lima decreased from 136 in 2010 to 74 in 2011. That being said, three Peruvian military helicopters were attacked with small arms fire and disabled, resulting in the deaths of three Peuvian soldiers. A total of 14 Peruvian soldiers were killed during counter-terrorism operations conducted in the VRAE and another 29 wounded. 

There were no significant terrorist attacks in 2011. The last noteworthy SL terrorist attack in Lima occurred in March 2002, when a car bomb detonated in the parking lot of a shopping mall across the street from the U.S. Embassy in the Monterrico district of the city.

The Movimiento Revolucionario Tupac Amaru (MRTA) is not considered a militarily viable terrorist organization. Its last major action resulted in the 1997 Japanese Embassy hostage crisis in which 14 MRTA members occupied the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, holding 72 hostages for more than four months. Following this hostage-taking, the majority of their leadership was killed in 1997, and no major activity has been reported since.

International Terrorism or Transnational Terrorism

Notably, members of Colombia's largest terrorist group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), have reportedly crossed the remote border area along the Putumayo River into Peru. However, there is no information that suggests or indicates that the FARC are conducting terrorist activities or otherwise pose a security threat to Americans in Peru.

Civil Unrest 

There is little anti-American sentiment in Peru; however, certain sectors of Peruvian society, including illegal coca growers, resent U.S. counter-narcotics policies. Others blame U.S. foreign and economic policies for their difficult economic situation. Unrest and civil disorder usually last from a few days to a few weeks and is usually manifested by political demonstrations that can become violent. In 2011, there were several national protests against the government or their governmental policies by a wide variety of labor and indigenous groups. 

Most demonstrations in Lima take place in and around the historic downtown area near the Presidential Palace and the Congress, although some do occur in other areas of the city. Marching groups of demonstrators often force the temporary closure of streets until they pass. Political demonstrations take place in cities throughout the country, sometimes paralyzing road traffic for a few days. Demonstrators often block areas of the PanAmerican Highway, the main north-south thoroughfare located along the western coastal area of the country. The RSO is normally notified in advance if the police expect road closures during protests.

Travelers are reminded of the possibility of spontaneous protests and that public demonstrations occur frequently in Lima and other cities in the interior of the country. Transportation strikes can occur at a moment’s notice and can affect travelers for short periods. Occasionally, marching demonstrators have forced the temporary closure of some of Lima’s busiest streets. 

The most serious social conflict in recent history occurred on June 5, 2009, in northern Peru when 11 policemen and 25 Peruvians were killed in a confrontation in Bagua (Amazonas Region). The conflict escalated over efforts to clear a roadblock that had lasted for more than a month.

Anti-mining groups are a primary source of civil unrest and organize demonstrations and road blockades. Not infrequently, such disruptions have turned violent against private property and local government installations, as witnessed during civil unrest in Puno. In November 2011, large-scale demonstrations over mining issues turned violent in Cajamarca and resulted in a government state of emergency declaration in the Department of Cajamarca. 

Post-Specific Concerns

Environmental Hazards

Earthquakes are common, and visitors should be prepared to deal with these and other natural disasters. There have been several devastating earthquakes throughout Peru’s history, and Peru has the highest rating for seismic activity assigned by the U.S. Department of State. In August 2007, the southern part of Peru experienced an 8.0 earthquake that killed 510 individuals and injured thousands. As a result, telephone communications were disrupted, and drinking water and electricity services were disrupted in many cities, including several locations in the capital Lima. According to the Instituto de Defensa Civil del Peru (INDICE), in 2011 there were 183 recorded seismic events with the largest being a 7.0 magnitude earthquake in August with the epicenter in the Department of Ucayali and a 6.7 magnitude off the coast of Ica in October. In 2010, there were 154 earthquakes reported, with the most severe occurring in May off the southern coast of Peru, having a magnitude of 6.5 and level V intensity rating.
 
The most basic advice for earthquake preparedness includes three steps: Plan. Prepare, and Practice. For disaster readiness, residents should think about what supplies, tools, information, and resources they will need in the event of an earthquake. There are six basic elements people should have as part of their preparedness kit: water, food, first aid supplies, clothing and bedding, tools and emergency supplies (e.g., candles, gloves, hard hats, pry bar, flashlights, matches, sanitation supplies), and specialty items for medical conditions.

When developing an emergency plan, take the time to write down exactly what you will do and make a record of critical information (addresses, contact numbers, bank information, etc.). There are two tools that can be downloaded and used to help you plan effectively: the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide. Both document templates are available at http://www.operationhope.org/smdev/lf1.php?id=187.

Once you have your plan prepared and your emergency supplies assembled, take time to practice your emergency plans. Consider the following:

- What would you do if an earthquake occurred during the workday? Where would you meet? Does everyone have an emergency kit they can use if they are away from home?

- A good way to check how prepared you are for an emergency is to attempt to evacuate your home with only 10 minutes’ notice. Observe how many essential items (emergency supplies, important papers, food, and clothing) you are able to assemble and depart with in this short time frame. Be honest with yourself and then take steps to correct the deficiencies in the location, accessibility, and quantities of your emergency supplies.

- Practice your emergency plan at least once every six months. Consider running a practice drill during the night or early morning to see if everyone can respond at an inconvenient time to an emergency.

A final reminder is to keep track of the food and water supplies you have on hand and rotate them on a regular basis. It is essential to be familiar with how to prepare and store the food you have selected as part of your emergency supplies. A useful reference is an article entitled Preparing an Emergency Food Supply, Short Term Food Storage found at http://www.fcs.uga.edu/ext/pubs/html/FDNS-E-34-2.html. The article, written by food safety specialists, outlines important tips to keep in mind when purchasing emergency supplies by focusing on how you should be planning to store the food once you have begun to use it.

Additional References
FEMA – Earthquake page
http://www.fema.gov/hazard/earthquake/index.shtm

Drop Cover Hold On
http://www.dropcoverholdon.org/

Terremotos- A California-specific site containing useful guidance in Spanish for earthquake preparedness
http://www.terremotos.org/

Red Cross – Earthquake Preparedness
http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/0,1082,0_583_,00.html

Red Cross – Earthquake Preparedness (Spanish)
http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/foreignmat/earthspn.html

Travelers should be sure to consult the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Information Sheet, either through the U.S. Department of State’s webpage at http://www.state.gov/ or the Embassy’s webpage at http://lima.usembassy.gov/.

Floods, mud, and landslides are other issues to be aware of. They occur with frequency during the rainy season and often result in road closures for extended periods. Although the west coastal region does not receive much precipitation, the mountainous Andes and jungle regions to the east experience significant precipitation during the rainy season. One only needs to look at the massive floods that left thousands stranded in Aguas Calientes (base of the Machu Picchu Mountain) in January 2010 to understand how quickly the weather can turn dangerous.

Kidnappings

The number of kidnappings for ransom is underreported, based on anecdotal information received at the U.S. Embassy. The targets are usually the wealthy or assumed wealthy persons residing in affluent areas. In one specific 2011 incident, five armed men intercepted and kidnapped a foreign student whose father was a businessman associated with several companies in Lima. The perpetrators demanded a large sum of money in exchange for the student’s release. In this case, the victim was released unharmed after being held for over three weeks, and the PNP subsequently made several arrests. 

Violent crime has been on the increase over the last few years, especially crimes of opportunity such as robbery, carjacking, vehicle thefts, and kidnapping. “Express kidnappings,” primarily short-term and geared toward robbery of personal possessions and ATM and bank withdrawals, are a problem. Often the criminals perpetrating these kidnappings are taxi drivers working as part of an organized criminal group. In the city of Arequipa, express kidnappings have become such a problem that all U.S. government personnel are prohibited from hailing taxis off of the street. U.S. government personnel there must utilize cabs from well-established dispatch taxi companies. The RSO recommends that all U.S. citizens visiting Arequipa also use dispatch taxi companies. Some of these include:
Taxi Turismo Arequipa 054-45-8080
Taxi Alfredo Pimental 054-23-5050
Taxitel 054-45-2020
Taxi Megatur 054-40-4040
Taxi Maldonado 054-28-6933
Panataxi 054-42-7878
Taxi Turismo Cayma 054-45-8989
Fono Taxi 054-45-3737
Arequpa Movil Taxi 054-26-5959
Imperial Tours 054-27-3434
American Express 054-45-6464
Inca Tour 054-45-2121
Taxi Libre 054-45-1515

The use of taxi cabs with telephone/radio dispatch does not guarantee the safety of the passenger. It is, however, a means of risk mitigation that will decrease the probability of being a victim of an express kidnapping or other crime associated with unlicensed taxi cabs.

Drugs and Narco-terrorism

Narcotics production continues to be a rapidly growing problem, and recently Peru outstripped Colombia as the major producer of high quality cocaine. The vast majority of the refined product is exported, but the widespread production of cocaine in the Huallaga and VRAE areas have contributed to a growing illegal drug presence in the cities. Moreover, the high productivity level has created a steady supply of the cheaper intermediate product, cocaine paste, for sale domestically. Cocaine paste, also known as coca paste or paco (short for pasta de cocaína), is a collective name given to several different cocaine products. Cocaine paste includes crude intermediate stages of the cocaine preparation process and their freebase forms, as well as "crack cocaine" prepared from pure cocaine hydrochloride. Often combined with marijuana and smoked like a cigarette, it provides a cheaper and shorter-lived drug-induced high. 

Increased drug use may contribute to a higher incidence of petty theft and violent crime. Recent incidents involving groups of armed criminals in what used to be the safest residential areas in Lima serve as examples of this increased crime potential. There have been incidents of armed home invasions and an increase in attempts by perpetrators to gain access to residences using ruse tactics.

According to recent statistics from the Anti-Drug Police, approximately 13 metric tons of cocaine paste were seized in 2011. This is in addition to approximately 9.5 metric tons of cocaine and three metric tons of marijuana. This was a slight decrease in all amounts seized from 2010.   

Police Response

Peru has a national police force with nationwide jurisdiction. The Peruvian National Police (PNP) averages 104,000 members between officers and noncommissioned officers. This number is insufficient to cover the internal security of the country and its more than 29 million inhabitants. At the conclusion of 2011, the new political administration was in the process of implementing a complete restructuring of the PNP, including steps to change what was considered by many as a top-heavy organization. During 2011, a total of 596 generals, colonels, lieutenant colonels (comodantes), and majors were forcibly retired. This included reducing the number of general officers from 48 at the beginning of the year to 28 at the end of December.

With the exception of several specialized units, the PNP lacks professionalism by comparison to U.S. standards. Many police are eager to serve but do not have the training and equipment necessary to do so effectively. Morale is poor, pay is low, and corruption is rampant, which has created an overall negative image of the police in the minds of the populace. Police have either solicited bribes in order to supplement their salaries or readily accepted bribes when offered. Police response to reported crimes is notoriously slow and in many cases largely ineffective. There is a police presence in all major cities and towns, but they are often unable to respond to calls for service and are incapable of proactively deterring, investigating, and reducing crime. 

Any circumstance involving a violation of the law, including traffic accidents, must be reported to the local police station. Police will not initiate an investigation of any incident until a report has been filed. According to many crime victims, the police merely go through the motions when taking crime reports, are incapable or unwilling in most instances to conduct meaningful investigations, and rarely arrest perpetrators. There are also allegations that pay-offs to corrupt police officers are often a “get out of jail free card” for criminals who are arrested. 

The Criminal Investigative Directorate unit is tasked with investigating cases involving violent crimes including homicide, kidnapping and sexual assaults, organized crime, carjackings and vehicle theft, fraud, counterfeiting, cyber crimes, and other complex criminal investigations.   

Where to Turn for Assistance if you are a Victim of a Crime

Foreign visitors who become victims of a crime should contact the Policia de Turismo (tourist police) whenever possible. The tourist police, which can be found in major tourist areas, are among the more knowledgeable and helpful of police units and are more likely to speak English. The Tourism Police Division is assigned to the main tourist areas and hotels in Lima and also in the principal provinces of Peru. These officers receive training on how to interact with tourists and some of them are fluent in English and other languages. 

In case of emergency, a 105 line (similar to the U.S. 911 system) is available 24 hours; however, the response time is not optimal due to the lack of personnel, vehicles, and coverage. It is important to mention the significant assistance provided by the Serenazgo Service, composed of municipal security officers and assisted by off-duty police officers who work in most districts of Lima. While not having law enforcement authority, i.e., the ability to make arrests, Serenazgo play a significant role in maintaining order and deterring crime in Lima and are often the first line of defense in case of emergencies.

Police Emergency Numbers  
Central 105
Office: 332-3222
Fax: 431-1668
Bomb Squad (Udex): 431-3040

Lima
Central Operations: 460-1060
Tourism: 423-3500 (Downtown Police)
             
VII Lima Sur 
Central Operations: 431-1668         
Fax: 4317859

Police Stations in Lima
San Isidro 441-0222
Orrantia 264-1932
Miraflores 445-7943
Monterrico 435-0688
La Molina 368-1871, 368-1789
Santa Felicia 348-7213, 349-2370
Chacarilla 372-6614, 372-6596
San Borja 225-5188, 225-5181, 225-5184

Trujillo
Región: (044) 222-034
Subregión: 221-908
Fax: 207-054
Police Department: 044-232-811

Iquitos
Región: (065) 232-509
Police Department: 065-231-852

Cusco
Región: (084) 242-611
Fax: 227-783
Comisaria de Cusco: 249-654
Turismo: 235-123, 084-235123
Police Department: 084231788

Chiclayo
Región: (074) 235-740
Fax: 235-534
Central: 235-534
Turismo: 206-366 
Police Department: 074-235-740

Cajamarca
Subregión: (076) 340-584
Fax: 362-832

Huaraz
Región: (043) 421-592, 427-814
Fax: 422-920 
Police Department: 043-427-814, 422-920

Chimbote
Región: (043) 321-651 
Fax: 329-205 

Huancayo
Región: (064) 200-091
Fax: 234-651 

Ica
Región: (056) 218-456

Ilo
Provincial: (053) 481-331
Fax: 481-212

Huánuco
Provincial: (062) 513-262, 513-480
Fax: 781-220

Piura
Región: (730) 305-455, 326-071
Police Department: 073-326-071

Tumbes
Police Department: 072-523-515, 523-888

Arequipa
Police Department: 054-252-688, 251-277

Ayacucho
Police Department: 066-312-055, 311-907

Puno
Police Department: 051-353-988

Medical Emergencies

Emergency medical service is generally not reliable. The U.S. Embassy health unit recommends the use of private ambulance services whenever possible. Telephone numbers for these services can be found in local telephone directories. The quality of medical facilities also varies from location to location, and U.S. health insurance is almost never taken. For this reason, treatment may be held up until proof of ability to pay is shown, either by cash or credit card.

The following are U.S. Embassy recommended health clinics in Lima:

Clínica Anglo American
Tel: 616-8900
Av. Salazar s/n
Cuadra 3
San Isidro District

Clínica San Felipe
Tel: 219-0000
Av. Gregorio Escobedo 650
Jesús Maria

Clínica San Borja
Tel: 702-4300
Av. Guardia Civil 337
San Borja District

Clínica El Golf
Tel: 631-0000
Av. Aurelio Miro Quesada 1030
San Isidro District

Clínica Anglo American Urgent Care Center
Tel: 616-8990
Av. La Fontana 362, La Molina

Clínica San Felipe Urgent Care Center
Tel: 219-0000 Ext. 718
Av. Javier Prado Este 4841
La Molina

Peruvian National Police's High Mountain Rescue Unit ("USAM") 
Tel:  51-1-575-4696, 51-1-575-4698, 51-1-575-1555 
Fax:  51-1-575-3036
E-mail: ceopol_diravpol@hotmail.com  

Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim

Travelers should maintain a low profile where possible. They should attempt to dress down and avoid carrying large sums of cash, credit cards, ATM cards, cameras, and expensive jewelry. 

Money should be changed at local banks or at established hotels, rather than through the numerous moneychangers that operate along city streets. Many of these money-changers deal in counterfeit currency. Counterfeit currency is a significant problem in Peru, to include Euros, Nuevo Soles, Bolivianos, and Pesos Chilenos. According to the U.S. Secret Service, Peru now ranks as one of the top producers of counterfeit U.S. currency in the world. The PNP seized close to $23 million in counterfeit U.S. dollars in the past two years.

Credit card fraud is rampant, and many travelers have reported the theft of their card numbers while in Peru. The Embassy recommends that travelers limit their use of credit cards to paying only for hotel expenses or purchases at well-established businesses; most reputable locations have portable card devices and slide the credit card in full view of the card owner. Travelers should keep their credit cards within their sight while making transactions. 

Under Peruvian law, all persons must carry one form of valid photo identification. Due to the large trade in stolen U.S. passports, travelers are cautioned to avoid carrying their passports whenever possible. Original passports should be locked in a hotel safe or another secure location. Travelers should carry a photocopy of the data/biographic page, the page containing the visa (if needed), and a copy of the Peruvian immigration form received at the port of entry. Additionally, some type of valid original photo identification must also be carried, such as a driver’s license.

Tourists should try to travel in groups whenever possible and use radio-dispatched taxicabs rather than public transportation. There are a number of radio-dispatched taxi services available in Lima, all of which provide generally reliable service in late model sedans. These “radio taxis” offer a higher degree of security since criminals, operating in groups or individually, have posed as taxi drivers and prey on unsuspecting individuals. Particular care should be exercised when traveling to and from Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. The Embassy has seen a rash of crimes in which thieves smash the car windows of slowly passing or stopped vehicles and steal items of real or perceived value from unsuspecting travelers, such as purses, laptops, backpacks, and luggage. Caution should also be used when placing valuables, specifically electronic items, into checked luggage when traveling through the airports in Peru, as several U.S. visitors have reported items being stolen from their checked luggage.

While demonstrations are often peaceful, they can quickly escalate into violent confrontations. American citizens are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, maintain awareness of local events and their surroundings, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. It is illegal for foreigners to participate in demonstrations. American citizens who have been caught up in political demonstrations have been detained and expelled. 

Incidents involving incapacitating agents have been reported in the Lima area. This tactic is used by criminals to debilitate the victim, allowing them the opportunity to steal belongings and/or sexually assault the victim. It is advised to purchase one’s own drink and never leave it unattended. If for any reason the beverage is left unattended, drinking it is strongly discouraged.

There are several competent private security businesses operating in Peru, many of which offer a wide variety of services such as executive protection, private investigations, guard services for large events, armored car services, and physical security for both work and residential locations. 

Areas to Avoid

Many areas of Peru are considered dangerous due to potential domestic terrorist and/or criminal activity. Traveling by road at night is especially hazardous. As a result, the U.S. Embassy in Lima enforces a Restricted Travel Policy, which is based on the Peruvian government's declared emergency zones. This policy governs the travel of official U.S. government employees and restricts or prohibits their travel to certain areas of Peru. The following areas have regular security problems and are considered restricted for Embassy employees, who need prior approval for travel, and should be avoided by prudent travelers:

Department of Ayacucho:
Restricted: Provinces of La Mar and Huanta. Overland travel from Ayacucho to San Francisco is prohibited.
Permitted: Daylight road travel from Ayacucho to the city of Huanta; stay within the city limits of Huanta. Daylight road travel from Pisco to Ayacucho City.

Department of Cusco:
Restricted: 20-kilometer swath of territory contiguous to the Apurímac River and the Department of Ayacucho (Specifically: the Kimbiri, Pichari and Vilcabamba provinces).
Permitted: Everywhere else, including Machu Picchu, the Sacred Valley and the City of Cusco.

Department of Huánuco:
Restricted: All zones; no ground travel is permitted.
Permitted: Flying into and staying within the city limits of Huánuco and Tingo Maria.

Department of Huancavelica:
Restricted: Province of Pampa, Churcampa, Acobamba and Tayacaja
Permitted: Traveling by train from Huancayo to Huancavelica City is permitted, and daylight road travel from Pisco to Ayacucho City.

Department of Junín:
Restricted: Provinces of Satipo and Concepcion east of the Rio Mantaro.
Permitted: Daylight travel from La Merced to Satipo

Department of Loreto:
Restricted: A 20-kilometer wide strip along the entire Peru/Colombian frontier. Travel on the Putumayo River is also restricted.

Department of San Martin:
Restricted: Provinces of Tocache, Mariscal Caceres, Huallaga, Bellavista
Permitted: Flying only into and remaining within the city limits of Tocache, Saposa, Juanjui, and Bellavista.

Department of Ucayali:
Restricted: Province of Padre Abad and Coronel Portillo west of Pucallpa City and west of Ucayali River. Road travel from Pucallpa to Aquaytia and all cities west of Aguaytia.
Permitted: Flying into and remaining within the city limits of Pucallpa and Aguaytia. The province of Coronel Portillo east of the Ucayali River.

Nighttime travel via road outside the greater Lima area and other cities is prohibited for government personnel and contractors due to poor highway safety and the threat of criminals. The only exceptions to this regulation are:

- Travel by commercial bus on the Pan-American Highway is permitted for official or personal travel during nighttime hours.

- Travel by personal or official vehicle on the Pan-American Highway south from Lima to Paracas or north from Lima to Huacho during nighttime hours.

There are many contributing factors to this prohibition. Criminal gangs use roadblocks and rob passengers in passing cars and buses. Furthermore, highways and other roads are in overall poor condition, creating a serious safety threat to drivers. 

There is no standing travel restriction within Lima. The Regional Security Office (RSO) considers the following neighborhoods to be relatively safe: Miraflores, San Isidro, Barranco, La Molina, Camacho, San Borja, Monterrico, and the eastern section of Surco. As with any major city, there is no guarantee that crime will not occur in these areas and care must still be exercised, particularly at night.

A popular attraction located in southern Peru is the Nazca Lines. The best way to view this site is by plane. Due to safety and security concerns, the Maria Reiche Airport in Nazca has been declared off-limits to all personnel working at the Embassy. The Embassy is aware of at least 10 airplane emergencies resulting in 17 deaths since December 2007, with the most recent event taking place in October 2010. Consular and RSO advise U.S. citizens desiring to fly over the Nazca Lines to use the airports in either Ica or Pisco. 

Further Information

How to Contact the U.S. Embassy

Regional Security Officers: 618-2469
RSO: David Hall
DRSO: Julia Hawley
ARSO: John Lydic
ARSO: Jim Bloomer
ARSO: Bracken Murphy
ARSO: Dennis Jones
ARSO/I: Brian Sultzbaugh

Embassy Operator: 618-2000
Consular Affairs: 618-2518
Political Section: 618-2410
Economic Section: 618-2410
Marine Post One: 618-2436

The RSO at the U.S. Embassy is available to discuss security concerns with U.S. organizations contemplating a trip to Peru, provide information on security companies, or to be of assistance to OSAC members while in country.

OSAC Country Council

There is an active OSAC Country Council in Lima that encourages all eligible companies to join. Prospective members can obtain further information on how to enroll by contacting the OSAC Country Council at the American Chamber of Commerce at 011-511 241-0708.

For further information regarding security issues in Peru, visit the Regional Security Office’s internet website at http://lima.usembassy.gov/regional_security_office.html , or contact the Regional Security Office of the U.S. Embassy at 011- 511- 618- 2469, fax 011- 511- 618 -2278 or e-mail RSOLIMA@state.gov. More information is available by calling the U.S. Department of State’s consular information number (202-647-4000) or visiting its website at http://travel.state.gov/.