Peru, Intelligence and Security
Peru is the seat of the ancient Incan Empire, one of the most advanced indigenous civilizations in the Americas. Spanish conquistadors captured the empire in 1533. In 1921, Peru declared its independence.
In the last two decades of the twentieth century, Peru sought a stable government and a means of overcoming endemic economic woes. The 1990 election of Alberto Fujimori ushered in a brief era of prosperity and stability, but increasing accusations of corruption and authoritarianism undermined the legitimacy of the Fujimori government. He was ousted from power in November 2000. Although democratic elections were held in 2001, the Peruvian government continues to weather occasional political turmoil.
Intelligence and security services have existed in Peru since the era of the Incan Empire. In the modern era, Peru's intelligence community resembles that of neighboring nations, and takes an active, cooperative role in addressing regional intelligence and security issues.
The main civilian intelligence agency in Peru is the National Intelligence Service (SIN). The agency was restructured in 1990 to eliminate military influences and abuses. Restructuring in 2002 sought to minimize the organization's ties to political espionage during the Fujimori regime.
Peru's Technical Police (PT) is the primary communications and electronic surveillance force. The agency works closely with the other organizations in the Peruvian intelligence community, but has been accused on several occasions of aiding government-backed political espionage against dissidents.
Peru's military intelligence community is organized within the nation's army and administered by Army Intelligence Directorate (DINTE). The Army Intelligence Service (SIE) focuses on foreign intelligence and the protection of military installations. In addition, individual military units in the Peruvian navy and air force may maintain their own strategic intelligence forces.
The prevalence of drug trafficking networks in the region, as well as a rise in paramilitary organizations connected to organized crime, prompted the development of the National Counter-terrorism Division, or Dincote, as it is more commonly known. Dincote specializes in anti-terrorism intelligence, using both electronic surveillance and human intelligence to infiltrate anti-government groups.
Peru is a member of the United Nations, the Organization of Latin American States, and several other international security organizations. Peruvian intelligence services participate in ongoing international and domestic anti-drug trafficking and anti-terrorism operations.
█ FURTHER READING:
Central Intelligence Agency. "Peru." CIA World Factbook. < http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/pe.html > (April 8, 2003).