Tag: Peru

Peru: The Rights to Remain Silent and To Counsel and the Insanity Defense

The Peru Penal Code and the New Code of Penal Procedure address the rights of defendants and defense counsel, provide for the insanity defense and explain the procedure for taking statements during the investigation phase of the case. For those interested in the Joran Van der Sloot case in Peru, the details may prove interesting. (For those not interested, just scroll on by.)

The full penal code is here. The new code of penal procedure is here.

Peru provides many rights to the defendant, including the right to remain silent and the right to have a lawyer present during questioning.

I'm reprinting portions below that I think are relevant to Joran Van der Sloot, both as to the insanity defense, the right to remain silent and to have a lawyer present during questioning, and the proscription against coerced confessions. [More...]

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Peru's Media Displays of Prisoners : This is How We Do It

By now, I'd bet as many people have seen the arrest, perp walk and transfer of Joran Van der Sloot from police headquarters in Lima, Peru to the Big House at Miguel Castro Castro Prison as 15 years ago watched the perp walk of Timothy McVeigh as he was led out from the Noble County Courthouse in Oklahoma in his orange bullet-proof vest.

Amid throngs of media and crowds of angry bystanders, millions watched as Joran, wearing a bullet-proof vest with his head partially covered by a blanket, was manhandled by police as they whisked him into a waiting van (that appeared to be an ambulance.) The police allowed media cameras to continue filming as they followed the van to Castro Castro Prison. They even allowed the media to enter the prison so they could film Joran being perp-walked to his cell.

Within days, police released security camera videos from the scene of the crime and the casino where Joran and Stephany Flores played poker, video and photos of the inspection of his property upon arrest and the transcript of his post-arrest "confession." More recently, they revealed the crime-scene photos to a U.S. publication (which, in a desire to make sure everyone knew they had the exclusive, so prominently branded its name into the photos, the photos are practically worthless and not even worth linking to.)

The point: While it may appear the death of Stephany Flores is the crime of the century in Peru, and the reason for the wall-to-wall, symbiotic police-media video coverage, it turns out it isn't. This is just how they do things in Peru. [More...]

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Coca Production Shifts From Colombia to Peru

The U.S. spent more than $5 billion to fight coca production in Colombia over the past decade. The result: Growers have ramped up production in Peru.

When antinarcotics forces succeed in one place — as they recently have in Colombia, which has received more than $5 billion in American aid this decade — cultivation shifts to other corners of the Andes.

Eradication efforts in Peru and Bolivia in the 90's resulted in a shift by growers to Colombia. Now that efforts in Colombia have had success, growers have just moved back to Peru. That's the problem with a supply-oriented policy.

“Washington’s policy of supply-oriented intervention inevitably improves the efficiencies and entrepreneurial skills of traffickers,” said Paul Gootenberg, who wrote the book “Andean Cocaine.”


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The Peruvian Criminal Justice System and Prison Conditions

Update 6/7: He is still at the police headquarters facility. Reports that he will be moved to Miguel Castro Castro are now contradicted by the ex-prison chief, who says it is not secure enough to protect him. The ex-chief now thinks he will go to the maximum prison at Piedras Gordas, which he says does have adequate security. More here. This does seem to be his opinion, not fact. He's the former prison head. Article from Peru here.

Update 6/6: Joran Van der Sloot is being moved to the Miguel Castro Castro maximum security prison. Details here.

Getting details on the Peruvian penal code and procedural rules when you can't read Spanish is no easy task. Even Lexis and Westlaw offered little help. Our State Department has some basic information in this report dated March, 2010:

Trial Procedures

The justice system is based on the Napoleonic Code. The prosecutor investigates cases and submits an opinion to a first instance judge, who determines if sufficient evidence exists to open legal proceedings. The judge conducts an investigation, evaluates facts, determines guilt or innocence, and issues a sentence. All defendants are presumed innocent; they have the right to be present at trial, to call witnesses, and to be represented by counsel, although in practice the public defender system often failed to provide indigent defendants with qualified attorneys. The Ministry of Justice provided indigent persons with access to an attorney at no cost, although these attorneys were often poorly trained.


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