Page last updated at 07:06 GMT, Thursday, 14 May 2009 08:06 UK

Peru to ban gay police officers

By Dan Collyns
BBC News, Lima

Peruvian police (file image)
Peru's government says gay police officers damage the image of the force

Peru has announced that it will ban homosexuals from the police force for damaging the image of the institution.

The law is one of several new regulations put forward by the Interior Minister, Mercedes Cabanillas.

Ms Cabanillas is trying to shake up the institution, which has a dismal reputation among the general public.

But critics say some of the new laws, especially those regarding sexual orientation or activity, are unconstitutional.

The law states that any police officer who has sexual relations with someone of the same gender will be indefinitely suspended from the police force.

The same applies to officers who have extra-marital relations - their actions are also deemed to cause scandal and denigrate the institution's image.

They are among a raft of new regulations, which also include provision for sacking police officers who accept bribes, organise or take part in strikes and protest marches.

Ms Cabanillas' strong-arm tactics have earned her some public backing and the nickname "Thatcher" in the Peruvian media, after the former Conservative British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher.

Traditional machismo means openly homosexual police men are extremely scarce, but gay rights activists are growing in strength and this new law will provoke a debate.

Print Sponsor

Your comments: Peru's police gay ban
15 May 09 |  Americas
Venezuela recalls envoy in Peru
28 Apr 09 |  Americas
Recession hits Peru anti-drug hopes
15 Apr 09 |  Americas
Rebels kill 13 soldiers in Peru
12 Apr 09 |  Americas
Peru country profile
31 Jul 12 |  Country profiles

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific