In the wake of several brazen, high-profile killings, Peruvian regional officials have called on the national government to institute a state of emergency in an effort to curb violent crime.
Many Peruvians were shaken by the recent murder of Jorqe Izquierdo, a prison warden in the city of Trujillo, located 300 miles north of Lima. Izquierdo was gunned down in broad daylight as he ate lunch with prison employees.
Citing a story in the Spanish-language daily El Comercio, the Times reported that Izquierdo’s killing may be connected to his plan to transfer 51 high-risk prisoners to a maximum-security prison in Peru’s deep south.
Interior Minister Wilfredo Pedraza said police will be providing special protection to wardens of “the dangerous prisons.”
In other parts of Peru, municipal and regional officials have been killed by hit men — often juvenile hired guns.
We are lacking short-term policies to stop this crime,” said Javier Atkins the head of the National Assembly of Regional Governments chief Javier Atkins.
“We are reaching a point where life isn’t worth anything, that’s why the central government should declare the issue of citizen security an emergency,” said Atkins, the president of Piura, a region in northern Peru.
"‘Express kidnappings,’ in which criminals kidnap victims and seek to obtain funds from their bank accounts via automatic teller machines, occur frequently," according to the State Department, and passengers who hail taxis on the street have been attacked and robbed
Street taxis “are not well regulated and are often used as a front by criminals to rob unsuspecting victims,” the State Department adds.
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