New protections for Tourists

February 16th, 2007

The Peruvian Congress yesterday approved a measure that will create new protections for international tourists visiting Peru, going as far as granting automatic life sentences if a tourist is murdered or suffers permanent harm.

The new laws allow a judge to impose a minimum 10 year sentence and maximum 20 year sentence if the robbery occurs in a home, hotel, commercial location or in public or private transportation. Those criminals who target tourists will also receive this sentence if the robbery occurs around bus terminals and airports, near hotels or in national parks, ensuring that tourists are protected by the new measures wherever they are likely to go.

A mandatory and automatic life sentence will be given to criminals who rob tourists as part of an organised gang or if the robbery results in severe physical or mental injuries or indeed, death.

All 18 members of the committee voted in favour of the new bill which will modify the Peruvian Penal Code and categorize robberies against tourists as aggravated robbery. The bill will now go to a second round of voting by the congress and is expected to be approved next week.

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