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The highest court of Peru is the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic (Corte Superior de Justicia de la República) in Lima. Under it are the 23 Superior Courts (Cortes Superiores), located in the seats of departments. Each of the 140 provinces has a Court of First Instance located in the provincial seat. The 1,302 small towns each have a Justice of the Peace Court. All of these are courts of record.
Although records of genealogical value can be found in court records, you should first search church and civil records. Not many court records from Peru have been microfilmed.
Inquisition records were created in the 16th and 17th centuries when non-Catholics, including many of the minority and immigrant groups, were being tried as heretics. The records of persons tried by the Inquisition are found in the National Historical Archive (Archivo Histórico Nacional) of Madrid and in the National Archives (Archivo Nacional de la Nación) of Lima. Following are some inquisition records available on microfilm at the Family History Library:
- Procesos de Fé, 1564–1804 (Proceedings of Faith, 1564–1804). Madrid: Centro Nacional de Microfilm, 1977. (FHL film 1224016–29.)
- Pleitos civiles relativos a Lima (Civil Litigation Relating to Lima). Madrid: Archivo Histórico Nacional, 1982. (FHL film 1418251–65.)
- Lohmann Villena, Gillermo. Informaciones Genealógicas de Peruanos seguidos ante el Santo Oficio (Genealogical Information of Peruvians Appearing before the Holy Office). Lima: n.p., 1957. (FHL book 929.1 W893 F16; film 0873987 item 3.)
- Medina Zavala, José Toribio. Historia del Tribunal de la Inquisición de Lima, 1569–1820 (History of the Tribunal of the Inquisition of Lima, 1569–1820). 2 vols. Santiago: Fondo Histórico Bibliográfico, 1956. (FHL book 985 K21t; film 0896618.)
See also Peru Minorities.