The Tourist Police


If you’re unlucky enough to have anything stolen, your first port of call should be the tourist police ( policia de turismo). Bear in mind that the police in popular tourist spots, such as Cusco, have become much stricter about investigating reported thefts, after a spate of false claims by dishonest tourists. This means that genuine victims may be grilled more severely than expected, and the police may even come and search your hotel room for the “stolen” items. However, provided your claim is genuine, you should stick to your guns and make sure you get a written report. Peru’s headquarters for the tourist police is in Lima at the Museo de La Nacion, Javier Prado Este 2465, 5th floor (tel 01/225-8699, 437-8171 or 435-1342).
If you feel you’ve been ripped off or are un-happy about your treatment by a tour agent, hotel, restaurant, transport company, customs, immigration or even the police, you can call the 24-hour Tourist Protection Service hotline (Servicio de Protecion al Turista, also known as INDECOPI). Staff are trained to handle complaints in English and Spanish. If an immediate solution is not possible, the service claims to follow up disputes by filing a formal complaint with the relevant authorities.

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