Prison for woman whose arrest went viral in Peru

Photo credit: Andina / Norman Cordova

A Lima woman whose arrest for assaulting a police officer launched a national debate about race and class has been sentenced to six years in prison.

After police tried to write her a parking ticket outside the Lima airport, Silvana Buscaglia pushed and insulted the officer before slapping the helmet from his head. She then tried to drive off while police officers stood in front of the car. She was arrested and processed in a Callao police station.

Under a new law which allows for speedy trials for those caught while in the act of a crime, Buscaglia was sentenced to six years and eight months in prison and levied a $3,000 fine. With good behavior, she could be paroled in less than two years.

“Justice has been served,” said interior minister Jose Luis Perez. “We must defend the judgment of authority. We cannot allow police officers to be insulted, offended and assaulted in this country and nothing done about it.”

The video of Buscaglia abusing the officer attracted national attention in a country where a small white elite has controlled Peru since the arrival of Francisco Pizarro. Buscaglia, a white woman driving an SUV, insulted officer Elias Quispe and questioned his education as he wrote the ticket. The images aroused indignation at the arrogance of the upper-class in flouting the rules the rest of the country lives by.

However some in Peru have criticized the sentence as disproportional to the crime and a product of the media coverage the video garnered. Supporters of Buscaglia set up a Facebook page titled “Silvana Buscaglia Zapler = Innocent,” which alleges that the white minority is discriminated against in Peru.

“No to the media propaganda of the police system and abusive public ministry,” reads the page’s description.

Buscaglia has appealed her sentence.


A 6 años y 8 meses de prisión fue sentenciada mujer que agredió a policía en aeropuerto (Andina)

Agresora de policía podría salir libre antes de los dos años (El Comercio)

Defensa de agresora de policía solicitó la nulidad de sentencia (El Comercio)

Pérez Guadalupe sobre sentencia a Silvana Buscaglia: “La ley se ha cumplido” (Peru 21)

Mujer es detenida por agredir a policía en aeropuerto Jorge Chávez (YouTube)

Silvana Buscaglia Zapler = Inocente (Facebook)


  • The police whether in Peru, US, or anywhere have to be respected. There are a few bad ones, but the majority risk their lives everyday to protect the citizens/residents/tourists of each respective country. No matter what your personal situation is – rich or poor/in between, RESPECT is needed for those who protect and serve.
    I feel the sentence is just and warranted. This sends a clear message to others that lack of respect/abuse of the police – will not be tolerated. My appreciation and thanks to all the police throughout the world.

  • That should take her down a notch. If she kept her mouth shut she would be paying a ticket and free, Enjoy your 6 years in prison for feeling entitled idiot….

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