Civil Guard (Peru)

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Civil Guard
Guardia Civil
Motto El Honor es su divisa como la madre patria
Honor is its emblem with the mother country
Agency overview
Formed 1873
Dissolved 1988
Superseding agency National Police of Peru
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Peru
General nature
Operational structure

The Civil Guard (Spanish: Guardia Civil) in Peru was formed as main preventive police force of Peru in 1922. It was organized and trained by a Spanish police mission sent to Peru at that time. It was not a detective force, investigations being carried out by the Investigative Police of Peru founded in the same year, while the old Republican Guard still had certain police missions. The Civil Guard was later renamed the General Police, which merged into the new National Police of Peru in 1988.

Mission[edit]

The Guardia Civil Benemérita Peru (now the National Police of Peru) was the corps of police that had as its mission: maintaining public order, while not requiring the use of armed force and the prevention of crimes and misdemeanors, the protection of people and their property, maintaining the free movement on public roads, vehicular traffic control, among others. Depended from the Ministry of Interior.

Creation of the Civil Guard[edit]

The origins of the PCG dates back to 1873, when President Don Manuel Pardo approved and signed two Supreme Decrees on December 31 of 1873 (published in the Diario Oficial "El Peruano" on January 28 of 1874) and March 23 of 1874,respectively, providing for its creation. By virtue of Supreme Decree signed on December 31 of 1873, with legislative approval made on April 3 of 1874 he formnally reorganized the police in the following manner:

  • “Organization of the Vicinity", composed by the residents against criminals, by the Mayors.
  • “Police Special Services", composed of the Security Police in markets and public places.
  • “Police for Establishments".
  • “Country Police".
  • “Prison Guards".
  • “Ports Police", regulated by the Peruvian Navy.
  • “Organization of the permanent Public Force", for the preservation of public order, preventing crimes in the cities and other places nationwide.

It also refers to "urban and rural stations and of the Regular Police Force divided into Gendarmerie and the Civil Guards, respectively", thus the decrees formally marked the birth of the service. That same year, Congress reported that Civil Guards units would commence their duties in every part of the nation.

On November 9 of 1874, President Don Manuel Pardo Lavalle opened the Civil Guard Instruction School which was formed by a company of 50 men in the basis of the Battalion of Infantry Gendarms of Lima, its first cadets.

During the War of the Pacific, the Civil Guard had a notable performance fighting alongside the Peruvian Army and it was in the victorious Battle of Tarapacá where one of its officers took part whose work was critical to the Army which obtained the victory in such actions. Guards Subinpsector Mariano Santos Mateos, the brave Guardsman of Tarapacá, was then assigned to the 25th (Civil Guard) Infantry Battalion "Guards of Arequipa", composed of 6 Civil Guard companies, and managed to capture, in the battle, the regimental Colonela (flag) of the "2nd Line" Infantry Regiment of the Chilean Army in the name of the nation, was after the victory in that batlle being congratulated for his heroic action and was promoted to the next higher rank of Guards Inspector. All through the course of the war, the Civil Guard, then a part of the Ministry of War, fought in all the battles of the conflict.

Ranks of the Peruvian Civil Guard until 1919[edit]

  • Corneta (Cornet)
  • Guardia de segunda clase (Guardsman 2nd Class)
  • Guardia de primera clase (Guardsman 1st Class)
  • Subinspector de Guardias (Guards Subinspector)
  • Inspector de Guardias (Guards Inspector)
  • Mayor de Guardias (Guards Major)
  • Comandante de Guardias (Guards Commander)
  • Comisario Jefe (Chief Commissioner)

Reorganization[edit]

The formation of the former police lasted until 1919, the year in the second government of Don Augusto Bernardino Leguía Salcedo decided to reorganize through a Legislative Decree No. 1163 issued on August 7 of 1919 the existing police forces of the Republic of Peru. Among other things that said decree provided for the establishment of "a school for aspiring police officers and individuals in the institution."

As the purpose of President Leguía, inspired by the example of the Merited Spanish Civil Guard, was to reinvent the public security forces towards the changing security situation in the country, the government of His Catholic Majesty the King of Spain Don Alfonso XIII was formally requested for full assistance in the modernization and reorganization of the police forces, sending to the capital of Peru on a Spanish police mission to organize and instruct for Peru a modern and capable police service from veterans of the old Civil Guard and the remainder of what was then the National Gendarmerie. Leguía through Supreme Resolution of April 4 of 1921 formally assigned for this mission selected policemen from the Spanish Civil Guard which was formally raised, and later signed up in Madrid on October 1 of 1921, the diplomatic settlement for the reformation of the police forces, which materialized into a Merited Mission of the Civil Guard, which on November 22 of 1921 arrived in Lima and was chaired by then Lieutenant Colonel Pedro Pueyo, SCG. Completing the mission were Captain Bernardo Sanchez Visaires, SCG and Lieutenant Adolfo Parreño Carretero, SCG, who due to illness had to return to Spain, and was replaced by the same class of Lieutenant Fernando Gomez Ayau and SFC Mr José Gómez Hernández, SCG (First Guard instructor).

After arriving and having been received by the President, the mission went to work planning and formulation of projects for the reform of the police forces, delivering within a month of their arrival, the documentation on January 21 of 1922, having presented to the President Leguía and the Minister for Police 14 bills that comprise the complete plan of reorganization of the state security forces were by then a topic of discussion in the National Congress. This study was approved no less than the President himself, who considered the plan proposed in the 14 projects mentioned, in order for the development of the national economy and to improve the security situation. As a result:

  • The Civil Guard Charter for Peru was framed, similar to that used by the Spanish Civil Guard, with its 1st article stating Honor is the principal emblem of the Civil Guard, a distinction that must never be hurt, for when it is done it will never be repaired, and formalizing the proposals of the Spanish military mission to make it a uniformed, independent service away from the Armed Forces and the War Ministry and as part of the Police Ministry, but will keep its military form and traditions
  • The wartime role would be to reinforce the Armed Forces in the defense of the nation, also as stated in the Charter
  • The peacetime role of the CG would be for public security in rural communities, customs and port security, highway patrol, and border security and defense among others, also as stated in the Charter
  • The GC abbreviation, the same one used in Spain, will be formally adopted by the new service

Creation of the School of Police of the Republic[edit]

As a result of work carried out by the Spanish Police Mission, the government issued on July 3, 1922, a Supreme Decree stipulating in its operative part the creation of the "School of the Civil Guard and Police of the Republic. The purpose of the decree was as follows:

  • to organize a Civil Guard Corps similar to the Meritorious Civil Guard of Spain on the basis of the remaining personnel of the National Gendarmerie
  • Also to form another Corps called the Security and Public Order Corps on the basis of the old Town and Country Civil Guards (the new Civil Guards formed from the Gendarmerie would carry on their tradition)
  • and as well as to establish another Corps called as the Investigation and Surveillance Unit, with the profitable elements of the Investigations Section of the Police Administration and first sergeants, graduates of the Army, or of the same who served as commissioned officers in the existing Gendarmerie who served in these duties of criminal investigation. Formerly the national security services served as an auxiliary of the Peruvian Armed Forces, especially during wartime, and all officers had to be graduates of the Chorillos Military School to become officers of the services.

The School of Police of the Republic initially consisted of three sections namely:

  • 1st Senior Officers
  • 2nd, Junior Officers and Officer Cadets
  • 3rd, Special Section for Aspiring personnel of Investigation and Surveillance and its fingerprinting annex.

After the creation of the School of Police and Civil Guard due to the Supreme Decree of July 3, 1922, there were first and a very careful recruitment of qualified personnel for the installation of the campus, getting the nomination very honorable and excellent military history for the kind of Captains, Lieutenants and Ensigns to be commissioned. Class sections for security and investigation were met with great care to conduct background and education and to that extent that every cadet's qualifications were met.

The location chosen for the State Police Academy was the former Hospice of Mercy Hospital, 796 Sebastian Lorente Ibáñez Avenue (Avenue of the Incas before) in the traditional district of Cercado, which was renovated days after the decree took effect. The academy officially opened its doors on November 1 the very same year. The opening was presided over by President Leguía, together with government officials, the diplomatic corps, and military officials and attaches attending. The Spanish community of Lima also graced the event and the Spanish mission chief, LTCOL Pedro Pueyo y España, SCG, entrusted the State War Color to the academy as its director after it was blessed officially by military chaplains and handed over to the President. It was followed by the oath-taking of the first cadets of the academy. A plaque was unveiled by the presiding officers to commemorate the occasion of its formal opening, and the first Corps of Cadets performed its first march past.

As part of the opening a giant sign was made in the school entrance with the words of the Civil Guard motto, El honor es su divisa como la madre patria (Honor is its emblem with the mother country), made by no less than President Leguía himself who adapted to Peru the Spanish Civil Guard motto. Classes commenced on November 4, 1922 and its first graduation and passing out parade was held on Sept. 3, 1923, for the first of what became 59 graduating classes of officers.

The strength of the first class of graduates from the Police Academy, addressed to the Commissioners for Lima, constituted the State Security Corps and the first Corps of Cadets were made up of

  • 30 Peruvian Army Officer Cadets
  • 104 Officer and NCO Cadets
  • 19 Technical Cadets of the course of Investigation

Growth and progress of the Civil Guard[edit]

Thanks to the Spanish mission to Peru of the Spanish Civil Guard the nation had professional civil security forces for the first time. The brand new uniforms of the Civil Guard and the Security Corps reflected the effects of that mission: While the new Civil Guard kept the kepis with their dress beige uniforms Security Corps personnel wore peaked caps with their dress and duty blue uniforms. Civil Guards were also distinguished by the very same items Peruvian Army cavalry officers used then in their uniforms while the Security Corps uniforms were modeled on those worn by European police services of the period.

Police organization in the rural and urban areas then were different from each other. Rural organization of the Civil Guard was on posts, lines, sectors, commands and regions while Security Corps' urban organization mirrored military organization save that, instead of companies, commissaries were the basic unit.

The new SSC's first commisariat, the Monserrate Commissariat, was formally created.

The cavalry was formed under the name of the Cavalry Squadron of Provincial Security, which was organized on the basis of the Gendarmerie's Cavalry Squadron "Lima Guard" at the "Quinta de Presa" Barracks, one of the new mounted police units to be raised as part of the now reorganized Civil Guard. Two more were later raised, but all were disbanded in 1923 and converted to instruction squadrons in the Police Academy. The 1st Gendarme Cavalry Squadron, at the same time, became the mounted component of the 1st Combined Arms (Cavalry and Infantry) Security Regiment, and the Gendarmerie Provincial Cavalry Squadron became the Provincial Security Cavalry Squadron. On February 22, 1924, President Augusto B. Leguía, via a Supreme Resolution from the Cabinet, formally raised a Machine Gun Battalion to reinforce the ranks of the Security Corps to fulfill its mandate of public order, with Major Teodosio Alejandro Solís as its first battalion commander.

The baptism of fire for the new Security Corps came with the death of two personnel from the service on May 26, 1924, while on a routine mission in Villa de Olaya. The two who died were Guardsman Nazario Tapia and Corporal Miguel Gutarra Herrera, a member of the 1st ever graduating class of 1923.

The August 18, 1924 decree established the 1st Joint Command of the Civil Guard, with an Infantry Battalion, composed of two companies, and a Cavalry Squadron (formed on the basis of the former mounted police). Its duties began the same month, with its first personnel enlisted in 1925, detached from the two Civil Guards infantry companies' headquarters to the San Lazaro Barracks located at Matamoros Street, in the Rimac and the Cavalry Squadron's headquarters would be at Conchucos in the Barrios Altos, Lima, headquarters that the coming years would become the headquarters of the Cavalry Squadron of the Police and Civil Guard Guardsman's School until the end of 1965 when they moved to the Civil Guard Instruction Center (now the National Police Officer's School) Mariano Santos in the district of La Campiña, Chorrillos. The 1st Command would move to new quarters on 1644 28 July Avenue on January 16, 1937.

The Civil Guard Second Command, the customs police arm of the Civil Guard, would be raised on August 1, 1925, by virtue of a Supreme Decree. Its baptism of fire came in 1927 while fighting the forces of local rebel Eleodoro Benel Zuloeta in Cutervo Province and later while fighting warlords in Cajamarca. Due to this and other actions the Civil Guard size was increased and 3 independent companies had to be raised as a result.

A presidential decree of March 28, 1928 established August 30 every year as Police Day. Its first observance was marked by a grand parade in Lima's outskirts by all the participating units. Law No.6183 enacted on April 23, 1928 formally declared the status of the police forces, the Civil Guard included, as paramilitary units under the control and supervision of the Ministry of Government and Police with military traditions but with functions more akin to civil police services.

On January 14, 1929 the Traffic Battalion was created, a merit of Act No. 6468, to control traffic in the Capital of Peru, with Major Edilberto Salazar Castillo as its first chief. The service was started in November of that year.

Leguía reorganized the Corps of Security Forces of the Republic by virtue of Supreme Decree of March 17, 1930, with the autonomy of the role of cavalry in the Police Cavalry Squadron recognized and the Provincial Security and Lima Security Squadrons, thus by merger, became the First Cavalry Security Regt., moving the entire cavalry unit from the "Quinta de Presa" base to the Barracks "El Potao", approving Col. Rufino Manuel Martinez Martinez, CG's appointment as Head of the First Infantry Regiment of Security and appointing Lieutenant Colonel Manuel Pella Cáceda, CG, as First commander of the First Cavalry Regiment based at the Security Headquarters "El Potao."

Subsequently, the First Security Infantry Regiment, consisting of battalions, was raised, which in turn merged with the Commissioners for Lima. Then, these units were spread throughout Peru, with the names of the Security Battalions of the North, Central and South, with offices in Trujillo, Arequipa and La Oroya respectively. That same year, in 1930, the Machine Gun Battalion, mechanized that very same year, was forced to stand down.

1931 saw the Civil Guard involved in a rebellion by the 4th Army Division of the Peruvian Army led by LTCOL Agustín Cabrera in Cusco on the 26th of June. After forcing the surrender of the 4th Artillery Regiment the rebel division marched towards the CG station and the rebel leader asked the Civil Guard commander in the area, Major Humberto Flores Hidalgo to defect, but he refused, forcing the rebels to withdraw from the police station. Major Hidalgo alongside Captain Carlos Briolo forced Civil Guards units in the area to counterattack the rebel movement and worked with opponents of the movement to stop it in its tracks. The result was that most of the rebels defected and forced the capture of the rebel commander on July 6–7.

The American Popular Revolutionary Alliance rebellion of July 7, 1932 in Trujillo, Peru surprised the services. As part of the forces responding to the revolution in that city, both the Civil Guard and the Security Corps excelled well and contributed to the victory at the cost of 36 dead and 15 wounded at the part of both services. This was the first time both services fought alongside the Peruvian Armed Forces in a joint service operation. In their honor and of all others who died while in service, a memorial cenotaph was opened in the Police and Civil Guard Academy courtyard in the following month.

With the reform of the January 5th of 1944 the Civil Guards Corps and Security Corps were merged into one body called the Peruvian Civil Guard. Under a government mandate that the service responsible for providing services in the towns and cities of the nation, the corps was divided accordingly into the Urban Civil Guard for urban municipality and city security, and the Rural Civil Guard for rural security services.

Since then, the Guardia Civil of Peru was evolving face since 1980 the serious problem of subversion, increasing its strength, taking on new tasks and creating different specialties.

Unification of the Police Forces[edit]

President Alan García Pérez, in his first term as chief executive (1985–1990), began on September 14 of 1985, under the law 24,294 of the Republic, as approved by Congress, the beginning of the reorganization of the police services of the Republic of Peru.

On February 4, 1986, continuing with the project undertaken, legislative decrees 370, 371, 372, and 373 relating to the Organic Law of the Ministry of the Interior, the Police Forces Code of 1969 and the Organic Laws of the Civil Guard, Investigations Police and the Republican Guard were issued to the three forces.

Among these, Legislative Decree No. 371, the "1986 Police Forces Act", formally laid the foundations for the definitive establishment of the National Police of Peru.

The Act established a single command (i.e. the Directorate General of Police) and also the formation of a single study center for the preparation of police officers (in the basis of Civil Guard Instruction Center "Mariano Santos" in La Campina - Chorrillos, and to be called the National Police Officer's School) and a national school for the guards and agents (referred to National Police headquarters at the former Republican Guard Superior Institute in Puente Piedra, today the National Police Technical College), directly under the Ministry of the Interior.

Law 24,949 was finally enacted on December 6 of 1988 amending the relevant articles of the Political Constitution of Peru of 1979 with the aim of the formal foundation of the National Police of Peru, and took effect the next day.

The objectives sought were, among others, to integrate the three police forces to make better use of economic resources, eliminate the conflict that existed between them caused by "double role" problems and, above all, provide better services to society.

With the unification of the police forces the CG became known as "General Police" (Policia General) until 1991, when all 3 commands of the National Police were abolished and a single command created in its place.

Ranks and titles[edit]

The police grades in the Civil Guard are the following:

1. General Officers:

  • Lieutenant General.
  • General.

2. Superior Officers:

  • Colonel.
  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • Major.

3. Subaltern Officers:

4. Under-Officers:

  • Superior Under-Officer
  • 1st Under-Officer
  • 2nd Under-Officer
  • 3rd Under-Officer

5. Classes and Constables:

  • First Sergeant
  • Second Sergeant
  • Corporal
  • Constable/Guardsman

The Anthem of the Peruvian Police (Civil Guard of Peru)[edit]

Anthem of the Peruvian Police (Civil Guard of Peru)

Músic: Miss Angélica Pagaza Galdo.

Lyric: Dr. Marcial de la Puente Dianderas

Year: 1938

O policemen, in a hymn of glory
Let us praise our noble mission;
satisfied with being what we are,
the great warriors of abnegation.
From the old Spanish noble Mother's
Meritorious Institution,
we shall follow its living examples,
we shall hold up the heroic blazon.
O policemen, in a hymn of glory
Let us praise our noble mission;
satisfied with being what we are,
the great warriors of abnegation.

Patron of the Civil Guard of Peru[edit]

Captain CG Alipio Ponce Vasquez was born in 1906 in the District of Apata province Jauja, department of Junín, joined in 1924 as a Student-Guard, the "School of Police and Civil Guard" with egresando Class Guard Security Corps of the Republic, on March 15 of 1925. It amounts to the CS Cabo July 21 of 1927, a Sergeant 2nd. CS on March 10 of 1930 and the 1st Sgt. CS on October 10 of 1932.

In 1931 he was appointed instructor in the School of Police and Civil Guard. After his promotion to Sergeant 1st. he was assigned to the 1st. Comandancia de la Guardia Civil y luego a la Primera Compañía del Batallón de Seguridad del Norte (Command of the Guardia Civil and then to the First Security Company of the Battalion of the North) which provides services to early 1935.

On April 3 of 1935 became a Sub-Officer-to-School Student of the School Officers of the Guardia Civil and police, and January 7 of 1937 as a graduate Ensign GC, going to serve in various units until 1940.

For the degree of promotion is 1st Lt. GC. March 1941.

When the events of 1941 on the northern border, Lt. GC Alipio Ponce Vasquez was assigned, after service in the province of Huanta, department of Ayacucho - on March 25 at the Civil Guard Detachment established the Northern Border, as an officer of the First Company who then commanded the Captain GC Conrado Ruiz Oliva.

Participated in the decisive Battle of Zarumilla, achieving notable victories in the stock of weapons that culminated in the taking of Quebrada Seca, Carcabón and Huabillos. It was in taking the post of Lieutenant Carcabón where GC Alipio Ponce Vasquez on July 25 of 1941, under the command of thirty civil guards and infantry of the Army of Peru from his post after 25 minutes of action, managed to dislodge the forces opponents, raising the mast the national flag. The next day launched a surprise attack against Huabillos position, the enemy could not contain.

On September 11 of 1941 was killed during a reconnaissance, when his group was ambushed in the valley Porotillo (Ecuador).

Twelve days after his death by Supreme Decree 23 September 1941, the Peruvian Government awarded him the posthumous promotion to the grade of captain of the Guardia Civil. On September 10 of 1966 inaugurated a bust commemorating his actions in the square "Captain GC Alipio Ponce Vasquez" located on the sixth block of Jirón Apurímac in Callao.

The headquarters of the 27th. Command of the Guardia Civil (Police Region today) of Callao and Educational Center of the Guardia Civil (now PNP) have his name.

During the Government of the EP Division of General Francisco Morales Bermúdez Cerrutti by Supreme Decree No. 28-78-IN of August 29 of 1978 is declared a hero of the Civil Guard (now PNP) Captain Alipio Ponce Vasquez.

By Supreme Resolution No. 2269-78-GC/SG of September 4 of 1978 is declared patron of the Guardia Civil (now PNP) Captain Alipio Ponce Vasquez.

Congress declared it a national hero by Law No. 24658 April 24 of 1987, ordering that his remains rest in the Crypt of Heroes.

On September 11 of 1987 Benemérita the Founders Society of Independence, Winners of the May 2 of 1866 and Qualified Defenders of the Fatherland incorporated in its National Heroes Gallery Captain GC Alipio Ponce Vasquez.

Notes[edit]

1. ↑ El Artículo 14º del Capítulo IV del Decreto Supremo rubricado el 31 de diciembre de 1873, textualmente dice: “ La Fuerza Regular de Policía se divide en dos Clases: Guardia Civil y Gendarmería ” (la ultima a caballo y con labor de Policía Rural). (Article 14 of Chapter IV of Decree signed on December 31 of 1873, reads: "The Regular Police Force is divided into two classes: the Civil Guard and Gendarmerie (the last horse to work with Police and Rural)).

Bibliography[edit]

  • Album del Cincuentenario de la Guardia Civil del Perú, 1972, artículo: Breve Reseña Histórica de la Policía en el Perú . Album of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Civil Guard of Peru, 1972, article: Brief History of the Police in Peru.
  • Revista de la Guardia Civil del Perú, Año L, Nº 400, Noviembre-Diciembre 1982, folleto adjunto: La Guardia Civil del Perú (páginas desglosables) . Revista de la Guardia Civil del Peru, Year L, No. 400, November–December 1982, attached brochure: The Guardia Civil del Peru (pages broken down).
  • Revista de la Guardia Civil del Perú, Año LVI, Nº 434, Noviembre-Diciembre 1988, artículo: Historia de la Guardia Civil del Perú refleja abnegación, sacrificio, patriotismo y heroicidad a la patria ya la sociedad, que la cubre de gloria e inmortalidad, páginas 10-20 . Revista de la Guardia Civil del Perú, Año LVI, No. 434, November–December 1988 article: History of the Guardia Civil of Peru reflects dedication, sacrifice, heroism and patriotism to the nation and society, which covers the glory and immortality, pages 10–20.

External links[edit]