Arrest of a U.S. Citizen

Upon notification by Peruvian authorities of the arrest of a U.S. citizen, a Consular Officer will visit any U.S. citizen arrested in Peru to:

  • Ascertain the arrestee’s physical well-being and conditions of arrest.
  • Provide information on legal procedures, including a list of attorneys (PDF 129 KB).
  • Subject to Privacy Act restrictions, notify family or friends.

For more information on what the Department of State, Embassies and Consulates can do for you, please visit our website at

U.S. Travelers Subject to Local Law

When in Peru you are subject to the jurisdiction of Peruvian law for offenses committed in Peru.  Specifically, the penalties for possession, trafficking or use of narcotics are severe.  U.S. citizens should view with extreme skepticism any offer of free travel to Peru, including courier services.  U.S. citizens should only transport their own possessions to the United States or to another country.  Anyone arrested on drug charges, regardless of nationality, suffers protracted pre-trial detention in local prisons.  The judicial process itself can go on for months or even more than a year.  Please see the State Department publications “Assistance to U.S. Citizens Arrested Abroad” and “Drugs Abroad“.