MADRE DE DIOS REGION, PERU - NOVEMBER 17: National Police officers search for illegal mining operations in a section of the Amazon lowlands ravaged by deforestation from gold mining on November 17, 2013 in Madre de Dios region, Peru. Police eventually destroyed three pieces of illegal mining equipment in the area. The biologically diverse Madre de Dios ('Mother of God') region has seen deforestation from gold mining in the area triple since 2008, when gold prices spiked during global economic turmoil. Small-scale miners are drawn to the area in hopes for higher pay but often face abysmal conditions. Gold is usually amalgamated with mercury during the process of informal mining in the region, which is discharged into the water supply and air, poisoning fish and sickening people in the area. Peru is the largest producer of gold in Latin America and the sixth-largest in the world. Informal mining accounts for roughly 20 percent of the gold production in Peru. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(2013 Getty Images)
LIMA, Peru (AP) – Peru's new interior minister says there is strong evidence that police officers ran death squads in 2011-2015 and prosecutors are investigating.
Interior Minister Carlos Basombrio's comments were published in a newspaper interview confirmed by his press office. He took office July 28.
The newspaper La Republica first published the allegations four days earlier. Peruvian news outlets say more than 90 police officers ranking as high as colonel are alleged to have been involved.
Those killed were reportedly involved in crimes including bank robbery and kidnapping.
Legislator Mauricio Mulder has likened the case to the so-called "false positives" killings in Colombia in the 2000s. Colombian soldiers killed hundreds of noncombatants on the orders of officers seeking promotions by producing "body counts."
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