In recent years the use of drones has spread across the world for security and journalism, and to manage emergencies caused by natural disasters. These small unmanned aircraft gather very useful data and images and are able to access geographically complex areas to capture situations and events that could not otherwise be recorded by a video camera. Ojo-publico.com’s use of drone technology for the the Water Lords series was necessary and in the public interest in order to complement our investigation of water theft from the subsoil.
Although the Peruvian Congress passed the Law Regulating the Use and Operations of Remote Piloted Aircraft Systems in June 2017, it was only enacted on March 22 of this year. This regulation became necessary because individuals, public entities, and private companies had been piloting drones in the country for about five years for a range of purposes: the National Service of Protected Natural Areas for their control activities in the Amazon, mining and agro-exporters for monitoring of their properties, and media organizations to cover marches and large entertainment events, among others.
At the beginning of 2016 the National Water Authority incorporated drones into its groundwater well monitoring activities in the Ica region to combat the barriers its inspectors face in attempting to enter properties. In February 2017 the Minister of Production announced that the ministry would also include drones in the fight against illegal fishing at sea, while the National Police reported a month later that it was already working on the creation of a drone unit to improve citizen security. If drone use is based on public interest objectives and all protocols are clear, it should continue to increase across the country.