The Chargé in Peru (Smith) to the Secretary of State
[Received April 3—1:25 p.m.]
60. Your 41. Crimes against internal peace are provided against and punished in Peru by Penal Code which came into effect January 1863, section 3, book 2, Penal Code, comprising titles 1 to 7 which deal with offenses committed against the internal safety of State—125 to 129. Punishment under such articles is from four to six years exile. There is also punishment of the crimes of sedition and mutiny with punishment ranging from four months to one year covered by articles 138 to 140. It is important to note that in addition to these punishments under the law perpetrators are furthermore held civilly and criminally responsible when [for?] manslaughter or other private offenses they may have committed while perpetrating their political crimes.
In the opinion of Dr. Porras these laws are adequate. In the opinion of the President and Senor Carnejo,13 as well as other members of the Cabinet, the present laws are not adequate as they do not reach the rich perpetrators of rebellion who invariably escape from the country after having protected their property by false transfer or otherwise.
While agreeing to a certain extent with the President, I am inclined to believe that all things considered there is a danger of a misuse of more stringent law; that the present Penal Code as it now exists is the best and more efficient. I am therefore inclined to agree with the Minister for Foreign Affairs.
A full report on the present laws being mailed next pouch.14