Peru Warden's Murder Leads to Call for National Emergency

Thursday, 31 Oct 2013 07:38 AM

By Joel Himelfarb

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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.
 
Authorities suspect both inmates and correctional officers were involved in the slaying, according to a report in the Peruvian Times.
 
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.
 
According to the State Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, “ Violent crime, including carjacking, assault, sexual assault, and armed robbery is common in Lima and other large cities.”
 
 "‘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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