go to content go to search box go to global site navigation

Legal Matters

Legal assistance Your own embassy is of limited help if you get into trouble with the law in Peru, where you are presumed guilty until proven innocent. If you are the victim, the policía de turismo (tourist police; Poltur) can help, with limited English. Poltur stations are found in major cities.

Bribery Though some police officers (even tourist police) have a reputation for corruption, bribery is illegal. Beyond traffic police, the most likely place officials might request a little extra is at land borders. Since this too is illegal, those with time and fortitude can and should stick to their guns.

Drugs Avoid having any conversation with someone who offers you drugs. Peru has draconian penalties for possessing even a small amount of drugs; minimum sentences are several years in jail.

Police Should you be stopped by a plainclothes officer, don’t hand over any documents or money. Never get into a vehicle with someone claiming to be a police officer, but insist on going to a real police station on foot.

Protests It's not recommended to attend political protests or to get too close to blockades – these are places to avoid.

Detention If you are imprisoned for any reason, make sure that someone else knows about it as soon as possible. Extended pretrial detentions are not uncommon. Peruvians bring food and clothing to family members who are in prison, where conditions are extremely harsh.

Complaints For issues with a hotel or a tour operator, register your complaint with the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property in Lima.