Posted on: January 10, 2023, 07:32h.
Last updated on: January 10, 2023, 09:26h.
Now is probably not a good time to be considering a vacation to Peru. There’s a state of unrest across the country and criminals are taking advantage of the situation to rob commercial establishments, including casinos.
Crime continues to take over the Piura region in the north of Peru, and there aren’t enough police officers to go around. As a result, four bandits hit a local gambling venue in the center of the city of Piura, robbing the property and those inside.
Stealing money and valuables wasn’t enough for the armed assailants. One of them shot a worker who tried to stop the attack.
Peru Turns Unsafe
The four criminals used the current unrest as cover when they assaulted a gambling hall this past Sunday. Their attack was likely just a haphazard scheme, as they didn’t get away with a lot of cash.
Local media reports indicate they made off with PEN3,000 (US$784.80) and some valuables from employees and patrons. However, they missed the big payday, as they either didn’t know about — or didn’t go after — the money the facility kept in a vault.
The local Criminal Investigation Department is on the case, but tracking down the assailants won’t be easy. There are few leads and Peruvian police departments everywhere are dedicating their resources to the protests and riots taking place.
Still, after what happened, the residents of the area demanded a declaration of emergency. They want a larger police force and a bigger permanent budget to keep the city from being overrun by criminals.
It doesn’t help that the criminal element receives assistance from those meant to keep it away. A few years ago, police busted 29 members of a local gang in Piura, eight of whom were police officers and three were lawyers.
Age of Unrest
The Peruvian economy registered an increase of 2.01% last October compared to the same month in 2021. This was a result of the increase in the sectors of transportation and storage, commerce, construction, hotels and restaurants, agriculture, mining and hydrocarbons, and other services, according to the country’s National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI).
This figure is the highest since June when the gross domestic product was 3.51%. In July, it was 1.60%. August reported 1.74% and September had 1.66%.
October was the highlight of an otherwise tumultuous time in the country. Different groups of protesters have been taking to the streets in opposition to the new president of the Republic, Dina Boluarte, following the removal and imprisonment of former president Pedro Castillo.
The protests have been concentrated in the southern cities of Ica, Arequipa, Tacna, and Cuzco. There has also been unrest north of Lima, as well as inside the Peruvian capital.
Clashes between law enforcement and protesters against Boluarte’s government left 17 dead this Monday in Juliaca, in southern Peru, according to local media. The victims reportedly had “projectile impacts” on their bodies, explained an official from a local hospital.
The mayor of the city of Juliaca, Oscar Cáceres, calls what’s happening a “massacre” among Peruvians. He urged residents, as well as the rest of the country, to stop the killing and allow the country to solve its problems with intelligence.
With the new balance, the number of people killed during the anti-government demonstrations has risen to 40 in almost a month of protests.