Peru: Police officers from the Americas analyze ways of reducing humanitarian impact of urban violence

17 October 2018
Peru: Police officers from the Americas analyze ways of reducing humanitarian impact of urban violence
Cusco is the headquarters of the III International Symposium for senior police officers, with representatives from 15 Latin American countries. ©Policía Nacional del Perú

Senior police officers representing fifteen countries of the Americas assembled from 17 to 19 October in Cusco, Peru, to analyze the challenges posed by urban violence and to seek possible solutions to help reduce the humanitarian cost in the continent's vulnerable communities.

The impact of armed violence on people, particularly young people, who live in high-risk areas, poses a series of challenges to the authorities, police force and humanitarian actors in the region, who must be prepared to respond and, at the same time, to reduce the humanitarian consequences.

"For a number of years, many areas of the Americas have experienced a permanent state of lack of public safety, which has led to a large number of victims. High rates of homicide, sexual violence, threats and extortion are some of the factors that give rise to fear and stigma. In addition to these direct consequences are the problems of migration, displacement, missing people, recruitment to gangs and diverse problems that affect mental health," said Philippe Guinand, head of the regional delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) for Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador.

In Cusco, senior police officers discussed how to be prepared to respond to the consequences of armed violence and reduce humanitarian costs. Vice Minister of the Ministry of the Interior of Peru, Alida Ponce Chauca, took part in the event's inauguration. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Juan Hernández

Guest experts from America and Europe spoke at the inauguration on general issues (such as the challenges posed by the firepower of armed groups, urban violence, and access to basic services, or police personnel as victims) and on specific cases from various contexts, including Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Peru.

The III International Symposium on Good Police Practices - Reducing the humanitarian impact of urban violence - was organised by the Ministry of the Interior of Peru, the National Police of Peru and the ICRC. This is the third international symposium of this nature to be held in the continent. The first took place in Ecuador, in 2016, and the second in Chile, in 2017. The original aim of the initiative was to create an opportunity for dialogue amongst senior police officers, enabling them to exchange, in a constructive manner, their operational experiences in relation to violence, the use of force and due respect for human rights.

Philippe Guinand, head of the regional delegation of the ICRC for Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador welcomed the 31 participants. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Juan Hernández

For the ICRC, this space is conducive to sharing concerns of a humanitarian nature, based on knowledge acquired through their action on the ground. This event witnessed the participation of 31 high-ranking officials from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Peru.

The ICRC is an impartial, neutral and independent organisation whose exclusively humanitarian mission is to protect the lives and dignity of victims of armed conflicts and other situations of violence. The ICRC also endeavours to prevent suffering by promoting and strengthening humanitarian law and universal humanitarian principles.

For more information:
Dafne Martos, ICRC, Lima, tel: +51 99 756 02 40
Twitter: @CICR_LIMA