Relative to other countries in Latin America, safety in Peru is not a major concern. Nevertheless, there are a few safety issues that expats need to be aware of, as crime do occur in both rural and urban areas, and civil unrest can cause disruptions.
Crime in Peru
Crime is a problem in the main cities, including Lima, Cusco and Arequipa. Petty crimes, such as mugging and pickpocketing, occur frequently in crowded tourist areas and on public transport, while more serious crimes, such as robberies, also occur frequently in these cities.
There have also been some issues with unregistered taxi drivers taking advantage of unsuspecting foreigners. It’s best to order a taxi ahead of time over the phone rather than hail one directly off the street.
Protests in Peru
Protests are common in Peruvian cities and towns and can be quite disruptive, particularly to transport. It’s not uncommon for protest action to carry on for days or weeks, so it’s best to keep abreast of developments. Although they are mostly peaceful, it’s best to avoid any demonstrations.
The Shining Path in Peru
The Shining Path is a domestic insurgent group operating within Peru. The organisation is involved in illicit narcotics trading, mostly in the Ayacucho department, and has carried out a few terrorist attacks since they first began their insurgency in the early 1980s. The government has waged an ongoing campaign against the group, which has been weakened in recent years. While the organisation was a lot more active a decade ago, they do still carry out occasional raids and attacks on small villages. It’s unlikely that expats will be affected by Shining Path terrorist activities, but areas in which they are known to operate are best avoided.