Peru: Requirements and procedures to file a criminal complaint; requirements and procedures to obtain a copy of the complaint from within the country as well as from abroad (2015-March 2017) [PER105758.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Reporting a Crime

Sources indicated that criminal complaints can be filed with the National Police of Peru (Policía Nacional del Perú, PNP) or with the Public Ministry's (Ministerio Público) (Peru 14 Feb. 2017; Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017) Office of the Public Prosecutor (Fiscalía de la Nación) (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017; Peru n.d.a). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a Managing Partner from a law firm with offices in Lima and the United States that works on immigration and criminal law, noted that criminal complaints filed with the police are [translation] "mostly" misdemeanors such as robbery, theft or fraud, whereas other crimes such as breach of trust or duties are reported to the Public Ministry or the Office of the Public Prosecutor (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017).

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an official from the Embassy of Peru in Ottawa stated that the procedures to file a criminal complaint, as well as the contents of such a complaint, can be found in the Code of Criminal Procedure (Código Procesal Penal) (Peru 14 Feb. 2017). The Code of Criminal Procedure provides the following:

[translation]

ARTICLE 326. Authority and obligation to report.-

  1. Any person has the authority to report criminal acts to the respective authority, provided that exercise of penal action to prosecute such acts is public.
  2. This notwithstanding, the following are obliged to make reports:
     
    1. Persons expressly obliged to do so by law; in particular, this includes health professionals who become aware of offences while engaging in their activities, as well as educators in regard to offences that may have taken place in the educational setting.
    2. Civil servants who, in exercising their authorities, or for reasons of their position, become aware of the commission of any punishable act.

ARTICLE 327. Non-obligation to report.-

  1. No person is obliged to file a complaint against his/her spouse and relatives including up to the fourth degree by blood or second by marriage.
  2. This obligation also does not apply when knowledge of the acts is covered by professional secrecy.

ARTICLE 328. Contents and form of the report.-

  1. All complaints must contain the identity of the complainant, a detailed and truthful account of the events and, if possible, identification of the person allegedly responsible.
  2. The complaint may be filed by any means. If it is in written form, the complainant must sign and affix his/her fingerprint. If the complaint is given verbally, the respective record will be drawn up.
  3. In both cases, if the complainant is unable to sign, he/she must affix only a fingerprint, and a note must be entered on the record in regard to the inability to sign. (Peru 2004)

The Managing Partner indicated that criminal complaints can be made verbally or in writing, and that there are no special requirements regarding supporting documentation and that the evidence is not subjected to [translation] "filters" for weighing legal admissibility (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017). However, the same source added that the lack of either supporting documentation or legal weight of the complaint "often leads to the archiving or dismissing of complaints" (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017).

La República, a Peruvian newspaper, provides the following steps to report a robbery or theft in Lima, based on recommendations from the office of the PNP in Lima:

  • Call 105 to report the crime to the PNP's emergency hotline;
  • File a criminal complaint through a written statement at either a police station or the Office of the Public Prosecutor;
  • Provide evidence of the value and ownership of the stolen property, such as purchase receipts or ownership certificates;
  • Police officers must make a police attestation that describes the results of the investigation (La República 1 Aug. 2015).

Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

1.1 Online Reporting

According to the website of the Office of the Public Prosecutor, reports of crimes can be filed online, provided that the person filing the report is of legal age (Peru n.d.b). The same source indicates that the report needs to "clearly and coherently" describe the facts, identify the place where they took place, and provide concrete information that can be verified (Peru n.d.b). The Office of the Public Prosecutor's Regulations for Online Reports (Reglamento de Denuncias en Línea) provides information on the procedures, requirements and processing of online complaints (Peru n.d.c). Excerpts of these Regulations are attached to this Response (Attachment 1). The website of the PNP indicates that reports of lost or stolen identity documents can be filed online, after which the report must be formalized at any police station in Lima and Callao (Peru n.d.d). The Managing Partner noted that complaints made by telephone or internet are treated as "administrative complaints" and not criminal complaints unless they are formalized (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017).

2. Obtaining a Copy of a Police Report

A document posted in the website of the PNP describes the process to obtain a copy of a criminal complaint from the PNP (Peru n.d.e). A translation of the document is attached to this Response (Attachment 2). The request form required to obtain a copy of a criminal complaint from the PNP is also attached to this Response (Attachment 3).

The Managing Partner indicated that copies of criminal complaints filed with the police and the Public Ministry can be obtained by submitting a request with the fee payment, which is set by the Public Ministry or the police (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017). The same source added that for criminal complaints filed with the Public Ministry, a signature of a lawyer is required in the request (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

The Managing Partner indicated that requests for copies of criminal complaints can be made through a lawyer, including by people living abroad (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017). Further and corroborating information about obtaining copies of criminal complaints from abroad, or through a representative, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

A November 2016 press release from the Peruvian Ministry of Interior indicates that, as established in a new legislative decree, the first certified copy of a criminal complaint would be free of charge and issued [translation] "on the spot" (Peru 9 Nov. 2016). The Managing Partner stated that, in practice, "it can be difficult" to obtain a copy of a criminal complaint made to the PNP as local police stations have insufficient resources and lack adequate equipment to register and store the information (Managing Partner 24 Feb. 2017). Corroborating information could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

La República. 1 August 2015. "Conoce los 4 pasos que debe seguir para denunciar un robo." [Accessed 30 Jan. 2017]

Managing Partner, Monteblanco & Associates. 24 February 2017. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.

Peru. 14 February 2017. Embassy of Peru in Ottawa. Correspondence from an official to the Research Directorate.

Peru. 9 November 2016. Ministerio del Interior, Oficina de Comunicación Social e Imagen Institucional. "Primera copia de denuncia policial será gratuita para los ciudadanos." (Nota de Prensa Ministerio del Interior Nº 383-2016) [Accessed 7 Feb. 2017]

Peru. 2004. Código Procesal Penal (Decreto Legislativo Nº 957) (Code of Criminal Procedure (Legislative Decree No. 957)). Translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada. [Accessed 23 Feb. 2017]

Peru. N.d.a. Ministerio Público. "Preguntas frecuentes." [Accessed 13 Feb. 2017]

Peru. N.d.b. Ministerio Público. "Registro de denuncias por web." [Accessed 27 Feb. 2017]

Peru. N.d.c. Ministerio Público. Reglamento de Denuncias en Línea (Regulations for Online Complaints). Excerpts translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada. Provided to the Research Directorate by the Embassy of Peru in Ottawa

Peru. N.d.d. Policía Nacional del Perú (PNP). "Denuncia virtual por perdida de documento." [Accessed 7 Feb. 2017]

Peru. N.d.e. TUPA PNP - ENE. 2014/ Decreto Supremo No. 304-2013-EF del 11 DIC. 2013 (TUPA PNP - ENE. 2014 / Supreme Decree No. 304 - 2013- EF of 11 DEC. 2013). Translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada. [Accessed 30 Jan. 2017]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Instituto de Defensa Legal, Seguridad Ciudadana; Instituto de Victimología del Perú; Law office specialized in immigration, Florida; Peru – Defensoría del Pueblo, Ministerio del Interior; two law offices specialized in criminal law, Lima.

Internet sites, including: Amnesty International; Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos; ecoi.net; El Comercio; El Peruano; Factiva; Fédération internationale des ligues de droits de l'homme; Human Rights Watch; Instituto de Defensa Legal; Instituto de Victimología del Perú; Peru – Defensoría del Pueblo, Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos, Ministerio del Interior, Policía Nacional; Proética; Transparency International; UN – Refworld; US – Department of State, Embassy in Lima.

Attachments

  1. Peru. N.d. Ministerio Público. Reglamento de Denuncias en Línea (Regulations for Online Complaints). Excerpts translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada. Provided to the Research Directorate by the Embassy of Peru in Ottawa.
  2. Peru. N.d. TUPA PNP - ENE. 2014/ Decreto Supremo No. 304-2013-EF del 11 DIC. 2013 (TUPA PNP - ENE . 2014 / Supreme Decree No. 304 - 2013- EF of 11 DEC. 2013). Translated by the Translation Bureau, Public Works and Government Services Canada. [Accessed 30 Jan. 2017]
  3. Peru. N.d. Ministerio del Interior, Policía Naconal del Perú (PNP). "Formato N°12 TUPA -PNP." [Accessed 7 Feb. 2017]