Peru 2016 Crime & Safety Report
Travel Health and Safety; Transportation Security; Stolen items; Theft; Assault; Kidnapping; Carjacking; Burglary; Murder; Rape/Sexual Violence; Drug Trafficking; Extortion; Counterfeiting; Fraud; Financial Security; Aviation; Narcoterrorism; Elections; Riots/Civil Unrest; Earthquakes; Floods; Landslides and mudslides; Information Security
Western Hemisphere > Peru; Western Hemisphere > Peru > Lima
Overall Crime and Safety Situation
Post Crime Rating: Critical
Crime is a constant problem in Lima and most other parts of Peru. Street crime is prevalent in most urban areas, especially in Lima. 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.
Peru has one of the highest reported crime rates in Latin America. Armed robberies, assaults, express kidnappings, carjackings, burglaries, and petty theft are a common fact of life in Peru. Violent crime has been on the increase over the last few years, especially crimes of opportunity such as robbery, carjacking, vehicle thefts, and kidnapping. 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 five years. 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.
Peru’s murder rate increased from 1,533 murders committed in 2014 to 1,749 murders committed in 2015.
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.
Residential burglaries are most common during the day, on weekends, or holidays when houses are left vacant. Thieves often gain entry by exploiting unsecured entryways, tricking domestic employees, or forcing access through perimeter doors when the home is vacant (or appears vacant). Residential burglaries, mostly of single-family homes, occur on a regular basis.
Vehicle theft (including carjacking) and theft of parts from parked vehicles occur frequently throughout the country. Sport utility vehicles and sedans with expensive upgrades are the most common types of vehicles targeted by carjackers.
The government has made strides in its fight against domestic terrorism, but the threat of attacks in certain parts of the country still exists. On December 15, 2015, the government declared a State of Emergency in the district of Callao in order to curb gang violence related to drug trafficking, extortion, and homicides. PNP increased the number of foot patrols with 160 officers. Under the State of Emergency, PNP has the authority to arrest subjects without judicial order and to enter residences without a search warrant. The government has the discretion to extend the State of Emergency as they deem fit, which they did for an extended 45 days in January 2016.
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 throughout Peru. These items may be illegal in the U.S. and contribute negatively to social and labor issues. 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 approximately $2,630,200.00 in counterfeit U.S. currency in 2015.
Credit card fraud is rampant, and many travelers have reported the theft of their card numbers while traveling in Peru.
Other Areas of Concern
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, U.S. Embassy Lima enforces a Restricted Travel Policy, which is based on the Peruvian government’s declared emergency zones. On June 27, 2015, President Humala declared that the Upper Huallaga region will no longer be under a State of Emergency, but the security risks to Americans and Embassy personnel remains unchanged, which is why it is still considered to be a Restricted Travel zone. The Restricted Travel Policy governs the travel of official U.S. government employees and restricts/prohibits their travel. 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:
Restricted: provinces of La Mar and Huanta.
Restricted: 20-kilometer swath of territory contiguous to the Apurimac River and Ayacucho Department (specifically, the districts of Kimbiri, Pichari, Vilcabamba, and Echarate in the province of La Convencíon).
Permitted: Everywhere else including the Machu Picchu area and city of Cusco.
Restricted: province of Pampas.
Permitted: Train travel from Lima to Huancayo City (department of Junin) and Huancavelica City. Daylight road travel from Lima to Huancayo City. Daylight road travel from Pisco City (department of Ica) to Ayacucho City (department of Ayacucho).
Restricted: All zones; no ground travel is permitted without the approval of the DCM.
Permitted: Flying into and staying within the city limits of Huánuco City and Tingo María City.
Restricted: province of Satipo and Chanchamayo.
Permitted: Daylight travel from La Merced City to the Satipo provincial boundary.
Restricted: 20-kilometer swath of territory contiguous to the Colombia border. Travel on the Putumayo River.
Restricted: Entire region.
Restricted: province of Carabaya and Sandia.
Restricted: Entire province including the City of Tarapoto.
Permitted: Flying only into and remaining within the city limits of Tocache City, Saposoa City, Juanjui City, and Bellavista City.
Restricted: province of Padre Abad.
Permitted: Flying into and remaining within the city limits of Pucallpa City and Aguaytía City. 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/personal travel during the nighttime hours.
• Travel by personal/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 are known to 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 the city of Lima. The 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.
Road Safety and Road Conditions
Peru has one of the highest road fatality rates in Latin America. 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.
Traveling outside of Lima by road at night is considered hazardous due to potential domestic terrorist and/or criminal activity. The U.S. Embassy prohibits night time 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.
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.
Crime occurs on roads, particularly at night and outside urban areas. There have been numerous smash-and-grab incidents, which victimize vehicles along the known routes to/from Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima’s main commercial airport. In such incidents, vehicles without security film on the windows are targeted by thieves on motorcycles. The robbery occurs when the motorcycle drives up to the side window of a vehicle, smashes the window, and grabs any personal belongings that are unsecured, primarily on the passenger side of the vehicle. However, toward the end of 2015, the tourist police reported smash-and-grabs had decreased by 33 percent from last year.
Public Transportation Conditions
Numerous Americans have reported the theft of cell phones, 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.
Tourists should use radio-dispatched taxicabs rather than public transportation. All U.S. Embassy personnel are strongly discouraged from hailing taxis off of the street. 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 been known to pose as taxi drivers and prey on unsuspecting individuals.
U.S. Embassy personnel TDY or on personal travel to Arequipa should utilize cabs from well-established dispatch taxi companies. It is the RSO’s recommendation that all U.S. citizens visiting Arequipa also use dispatch taxi companies. Some include:
Taxi Remisse: 054-21-2121
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 the victim of an express kidnapping or other crime associated with unlicensed taxi cabs.
Particular care should be exercised when traveling to/from Jorge Chavez International Airport in Lima. The Embassy has seen a rash of crimes in which thieves smash car windows of slowly passing or stopped vehicles and steal items of real or perceived value from unsuspecting travelers. 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.
A popular attraction in southern Peru is the Nazca Lines. The best way to view this site is by plane; however, flights originating from the Maria Reiche Airport in Nazca was declared off-limits to all Embassy personnel due to potential safety hazards of small commercial aircraft based at that airport. Consular and RSO advise U.S. citizens desiring to fly over the Nazca Lines to use the airports in either Ica or Pisco. 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.
Post Terrorism Rating: Medium
Local, Regional, and International Terrorism Threats/Concerns
The government continues its campaign to eliminate violent terrorist groups. In 2015, the government continued to arrest members of Sendero Luminoso (SL, Shining Path), Peru’s largest and most active domestic terrorist group, which is now entwined with narcotics trafficking.
There were no significant terrorist attacks in any major city or tourist destination in 2015; however, there were a total of 35 documented terrorist activities. This was an increase from 24 documented terrorist activities in 2014. A majority of these activities consisted of raids of small villages in order to obtain supplies or to prosthelitize for SL’s recruitment. Two police officers and nine soldiers were killed in counter-terrorism operations conducted in the Valle de los Ríos Apurímac, Ene y Mantaro (VRAEM) and another nine were wounded. Five civilians were also killed.
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.
The terrorist group 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.
There is little anti-American sentiment in Peru; however, certain sectors of society, including illegal coca growers, resent U.S. counter-narcotic policies. Others blame U.S. foreign and economic policies for their difficult economic situation.
Political, Economic, Religious, and Ethnic Violence
On April 10, 2016, approximately 22 million Peruvians will participate in nationwide elections to select a president (along with two vice presidents) and all 130 members of Congress. A second round run-off election on June 5, 2016, for the president will almost certainly be required given the need for candidates to obtain 50 percent plus one vote to secure victory. The victor of the run-off election, likely held in late May or early June, will take office on July 28, 2016, two days after the new members of Congress are sworn in. With 21 political parties already registered and able to run candidates, and 10 more in the process of registering, the campaign season promises to be competitive, grueling, and rapidly changing. Peruvians benefit from strong, independent electoral institutions that enjoy high public confidence and a track record of effective process management.
Post Political Violence Rating: Medium
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.
Unrest and civil disorder usually last from a few days to a few weeks and is usually manifested by political demonstrations that at times become violent. In 2015, 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/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, sometimes paralyzing road traffic for a few days. Demonstrators often block areas of the Pan American 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.
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 in Peru for foreigners to participate in demonstrations. American citizens who have been caught up in political demonstrations in Peru have been detained and expelled.
Earthquakes are common throughout the year, 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 of this earthquake, telephone communications were disrupted, and drinking water and electricity services were interrupted in many cities, including several locations in Lima. According to the Instituto de Defensa Civil del Peru (INDICE), in 2015, there were 277 earthquakes recorded. In 2014, there were only 36 recorded seismic events.
There are two tools that can be downloaded (http://www.operationhope.org/smdev/lf1.php?id=187) and used to help you plan effectively: the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit and the Personal Disaster Preparedness Guide. A useful reference is an article entitled Preparing an Emergency Food Supply, Short Term Food Storage (http://www.fcs.uga.edu/ext/pubs/html/FDNS-E-34-2.html).
FEMA – 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 – http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/0,1082,0_583_,00.html and http://www.redcross.org/services/disaster/foreignmat/earthspn.html
Floods, mud/landslides are yet another issue to be aware of. They occur frequenly 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. Massive floods left thousands stranded in Aguas Calientes (base of the Machu Picchu Mountain) in January 2010.
Peru is considered to be one of the poorer South American nations and like all the countries on this coastline, it is regularly affected by El Niño and La Niña currents that can particularly create problems for the Peruvians who use the sea as their main or only source of income.
In an El Niño year, the whole weather system reverses, and the dry high pressure system that Peruvians are used to changes to a tropical, rainy, low pressure scheme. The fish that normally flourish in cool waters reproduce in lower numbers as the warmer water contains less oxygen, and those fish that remain tend to move offshore and out of reach of most fishermen’s range. In addition to affecting the fishing industry, El Niño brings torrential rain showers to agricultural land on the seaward side of the Andes and higher than normal levels of snow melt, both of which can trigger land/mudslides. In even minor El Niño years, rivers swell with increased rain water, and flooding is a regular occurrence. The government closely monitors satellite data and information from buoys in the Pacific Ocean in order to warn the appropriate areas that will be affected a few months in advance of extreme weather events.
Critical Infrastructure Concerns
More than a quarter of all Peruvians are employed in either agriculture or fishing industries for their main source of income. Therefore, a large part of the national economy is reliant on favorable climate conditions. During El Niño years, the economy loses up to five percent of its total income due to lost revenues as a result of lower fish landings and crop yields, a figure that is felt even more acutely by those who rely on these forms of employment most directly.
Water logged soils can devastate field systems in the long-term, and flooding can wash away irrigation systems that can take years to replace. Poor yields from the land and the sea can reduce export generated incomes, but they also affect the domestic food market for staples (rice, bananas). In the 1998 El Niño, the Piura River in the very north of Peru swelled by up to 15 centimeters a day, and when it burst its banks, flooding killed thousands of livestock and washed away people’s homes. Food prices rise and malnutrition can be common in El Niño years, leading to stunted growth among children and increased vulnerability to illnesses.
Floods also wash away roads and bridges that connect fishing and agricultural villages, making access to isolated areas impossible. Whole villages in past El Niño events have been washed away (the village of San Bartolome in 1982 sat at a confluence of the Rio Rimac until rain-induced mudslides left it uninhabitable). During floods, drinking water can become more easily contaminated with pollutants, and in very bad El Niño years whole regions can be cut off for months at a time.
Narcotics production and trafficking continues to be a problem; Peru is the world’s number one producer of cocaine. The vast majority of the refined product is exported from Peru, but the widespread production of cocaine in the Upper Huallaga Valley (UHV) and VRAEM (Apurimac, Ene, Mantaro River Valleys) 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. The increased drug use may contribute to a higher incidence of petty theft and violent crime.
In 2015, Peru eradicated an unprecedented 35,675 hectares of illicit coca, exceeding the 31,205 hectares eradicated in 2014. Law enforcement destroyed 1,158 maceration pits found at eradication sites, far exceeding the 311 pits found in 2013. Eradication is underway in the VRAEM, a region accounting for as much as 40 percent of Peru’s total potential pure cocaine production.
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.
“Express kidnappings,” primarily short-term and geared toward robbery of personal possessions and ATM/bank withdrawals, are a problem throughout Peru. Often, the criminals perpetrating these kidnappings are taxi drivers working as part of an organized criminal group. Express kidnappings have been a problem in Arequipa.
Peru has a national police force with nationwide jurisdiction. The Peruvian National Police (PNP) averages 103,000 members between Officers and Noncommissioned Officers. This number is insufficient to cover the internal security of the country and its more than 30 million inhabitants. At the conclusion of 2015, the PNP’s number of general officers was 74.
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 rumored to be extensive, all of which has created an overall negative image of the police in the minds of the populace. Police have been known to either solicit bribes in order to supplement their salaries or may accept bribes when offered. Police response to reported crimes is 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 they can be unable to proactively deter, investigate, or reduce 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 often limit their response to taking crime reports and are incapable or unwilling in most instances to conduct meaningful investigations, and they rarely arrest perpetrators. There are also allegations that payoffs to corrupt police officers can be a “get out of jail free card” for criminals who are arrested.
Under Peruvian law all persons must carry one form of valid photo identification.
Crime Victim Assistance
Foreign visitors who become victims of a crime should contact the Policia de Turismo (tourist police) whenever possible. In case of emergency, a 105 line is available 24-hours; however, the response time is not optimal due to the lack of personnel, vehicles, and coverage.
American Citizen Services; Emergency Hotline Tel: 618-2000
Police Emergency Numbers
Suat & Bomb Squad (Udex): 431-3040, # 421846
Lima Tourism Police
Command Post: 460-1060
Tourism: 423-3500 (North Downtown Police)
VII Lima South
Central Operations: 431-1668
Police Stations in Lima
San Isidro: 441-0222
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
Región: (044) 222-034
Patrol Division : 221-908
Police Department: 044-232-811
Criminal Investigative Division 044-231708
Región: (065) 232-509
Police Department: 065-231-852
Región: (084) 242-611
Fax: (084) 227-783
Comisaria de Cusco: (084) 249-654
Turismo: (084) 235-123
Police Department: 084231788
Región: (074) 235-740
Police Department: 074-235-740
Subregión: (076) 340-584
Fax: (076) 362-832
Región: (043) 421-592, 427-814
Fax: (043) 422-920
Police Department: 043-427-814, 422-920
Región: (043) 321-651
Fax: (043) 329-205
Región: (064) 200-091
Fax: (064) 234-651
Región: (056) 218-456
Provincial: (053) 481-331
Provincial: (062) 513-262, 513-480
Fax: (062) 781-220
Región: (730) 305-455, 326-071
Police Department: (073)326-071
Police Department: 072-523-515, 523-888
Command Post: 054-252-688,
Regional Director: (054) 251-277
Police Department: 066-312-055, 311-907
Police Department: 051-353-988
The Criminal Investigative Directorate is tasked with investigating cases involving violent crimes (homicide, kidnapping and sexual assaults, organized crime, carjackings and vehicle theft, fraud, counterfeiting, cyber crimes, other complex criminal investigations).
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, in charge of the crime prevention and investigation of crimes against foreign tourists, 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.
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 (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.
There are several competent private security businesses operating in Peru, many of which offer a wide variety of services (executive protection, private investigations, guard services for large events, armored car services, physical security for work and residential locations).
Emergency medical service is generally not reliable in Peru. 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.
Contact Information for Recommended Hospitals/Clinics:
The following is a list of clinics, many of which have staff who are familiar with American health care and speak some basic English:
Clinica Anglo American
Av. Salazar s/n, Cuadra 3, San Isidro
Clinica San Felipe
Av. Gregorio Escobdeo 650, Jesus Maria
Clinica San Borja
Av. Guardia Civil 337, San Borja
Clinica El Golf
Av. Aurelio Miro Quesada 1030, San Isidro
Clinica Anglo American Urgent Care Center
Av. La Fontana 362, La Molina
Clinica San Felipe Urgent Care Center
511-618-219-0000 ext. 718
Av. Javier Prado Este 4841, La Molina
Clinica Good Hope
Malecón Balta 956, Miraflores
Peruvian National Police's High Mountain Rescue Unit ("USAM")
Tel: 51-1-575-4696, 51-1-575-4698, 51-1-575-1555
Cusco and Iquitos clinics can be found at this link: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/peru/5/resources/2012-10_doctor_list.pdf
Country-specific Vaccination and Health Guidance
For additional information on vaccines and health guidance, please visit the CDC at: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/peru?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-double-001.
OSAC Country Council Information
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.
To reach OSAC’s Western Hemisphere team, please email OSACWHA@state.gov.
U.S. Embassy Location and Contact Information
Embassy Address and Hours of Operation
U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru
Avenida La Encalada cdra. 17 s/n
Surco, Lima 33, Peru
Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri, 7:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Embassy Contact Numbers
Tel: (51-1) 618-2000
Fax: (51-1) 618-2397
Regional Security Office (RSO): (51-1) 618-2469
Fax: (51-1) 618 -2278
Marine Guard (24 Hours): (51-1) 618-2469
The RSO at is available to discuss security concerns with U.S. organizations contemplating a trip to Peru, provide information on security companies, or to otherwise be of assistance to OSAC members while in country.
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/.
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.
Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim
Situational Awareness Best Practices
The Embassy’s RSO advises visitors to take every precaution to avoid restricted travel areas whenever possible.
Travelers should maintain a low profile where possible. They should attempt to dress down and avoid carrying large sums of cash, credit/ATM cards, cameras, and wearing expensive jewelry. It is recommended that money be changed at local banks or at established hotels rather than through the numerous money-changers who operate along city streets. Many of these money-changers deal in counterfeit currency.
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. Travelers should exercise caution when withdrawing money from ATMs. 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 robbery.
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.
Tourists should try to travel in groups whenever possible.
It is advised to purchase one’s own drink and never leave it unattended. If the beverage is left unattended, drinking it is strongly discouraged.