Peru sacks national police commander just four months after taking office

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The administration of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo sacked national police commander Vicente Tiburcio on Monday, just four months after taking control of the security forces. A few days earlier, Mr. Tiburcio had issued arrest warrants for two people close to President Castillo.

Through A resolution published in the state newspaper El Peruano, the new interior minister, Dimitri Senmache, ordered the dismissal of the commander. Mr Senmache took office a few days earlier after replacing former interior minister Alfonso Chávarry

Another one later resolution announced that Luis Alberto Vera, former Inspector General of Police, would take over as Commander of the National Police.

New police commander, Luis Alberto Vera Llerena. Image courtesy of ANDINA

Mr. Tiburcio is a career lawyer who gained notoriety as one of the members of the Special Peruvian Intelligence Group (GEIN) which in 1992 captured Abimael Guzmán, the now deceased leader of the rebel group of Bright trail.

Minister Senmache told the media that the removal of the commander was within the competence of the president and was carried out according to law.

“(The change was made) with my recommendation, as I will be making different changes. It makes sense that if I made no changes, it would be concluded that we are going to have the same result as of today,” he said. says RPP.

However, for the former head of the Anti-Terrorism Directorate (DIRCOTE) José Baella, the departure of Mr. Tiburcio is very worrying.

“It is mistreatment, this act weakens the police institution. If we count, at least in two years, the orders have changed eight times. An institution as noble as the National Police of Peru should not be mistreated in this way,” he told the Peru21TV Show.

“Why is Commander Tiburcio fired? He is a commander who has made a career in the institution, with more than 35 years of service. Institutional rules must be respected,” Mr. Baella added.

Former police commander, Vicente Tiburcio. Image courtesy of Congress TV

Mr. Tiburcio’s dismissal comes days after he issued an international arrest warrant for former presidential secretary Bruno Pacheco and the president’s nephew, Fray Vásquez. Both are being investigated by the prosecutor’s office for being part of an alleged corruption network within the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Mr. Tiburcio also targeted other members of President Castillo’s ruling party, Free Peru, including arresting officers associated with “Los Dinámicos del Centro”, a criminal organization which, according to investigations, was dedicated to obtaining illicit profits in exchange for favors with driver. licenses. The irregular acts were committed from the Regional Directorate of Transport and Communications of the Regional Government of Junín.

Since the start of Mr. Castillo’s administration in July 2021, Peru has had four commanders of its national police: César Cervantes (November 2020 – September 2021), Javier Gallardo (September 2021 – January 2022), Vicente Tiburcio (February 2022 – May 2022), and now Luis Alberto Vera.

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