Insecurity skyrockets in Peru with extortions and violence, leading to the declaration of a state of emergency. The alarming situation places Peruvians at the top of the perception of crime in Latin America.

By Karla Velezmoro


“You shit yourself… if you don’t pay me 300 thousand soles (about 80 thousand dollars) you and your entire family are going to die. You have one more chance. Pick up the phone…” This is the message that Los accomplices de la cumbia received in a manila envelope in which there were also five bullets. They immediately reported it to the police and for a few weeks decided to keep a low profile. But, upon noticing that the threats stopped, this very popular band in the southern cone of Lima scheduled their return by announcing a presentation at the Xanders nightclub in San Juan de Lurigancho. However, his long-awaited return would not occur.

Friday, September 15, 8 pm, groups of young people were walking along the front of the nightclub when, suddenly, a grenade detonated at the door of the premises. The blast wave of the explosive left 15 people injured, three of them seriously. “I feel very scared. I don’t hurt anyone. I’m young. «I just like to sing and share with the public,» Sergio Romero, Chechito, singer of the cumbia group, told the press, who revealed to the Police that they have been receiving threats for more than a month.

This fact was the trigger for three days later the government decided to declare a 60-day emergency not only in San Juan de Lurigancho but also in San Martín de Porres and six towns in the northern city of Sullana in Piura, a measure that was extended.

Widespread threats

But it’s not just artists who are targets of extortion, small businesses too. The president of the Association of Winegrowers of Peru, Andrés Choy, reported that 60% of its more than 22 thousand associates have been victims of extortionists, quota collectors and lenders who use the modality known as ‘gota a gota’. What’s more, he stated that out of every ten winemakers, one decided to close their business for fear of threats.

And the figures are alarming: so far this year, nearly 13,000 reports of extortion have been registered, according to the Peruvian Police. Even with the declaration of emergency, criminal acts have not stopped. In San Juan de Lurigancho, on September 25, police from the Explosives Deactivation Unit (UDEX) managed to deactivate a grenade that they left in the front of a small warehouse. On October 24, a subject threw his backpack onto the roof of an elderly woman’s home when being chased by the Police. Fortunately, the grenade did not explode. On October 26, a grenade was detonated in a stuffed animal manufacturing workshop. And the cases continue.

The most worrying thing is that some of these gangs are using minors to carry out extortion. This situation was evidenced by the capture of a 14-year-old teenager as a member of the criminal organization Los Malditos de Huáscar that operates in San Juan de Lurigancho.

Escalation of tensions between Peruvians and Venezuelans

But extortions are not exclusive to the districts declared in emergency. Tired of being extorted by Venezuelan criminals, on October 30, a group of Peruvian motorcycle taxi drivers working in La Parada (wholesale market in Lima) burned the motorcycle of an alleged extortionist. They staged protests. The motorcycle taxi drivers expressed their frustration at having to pay between one and two soles a day to the extortionists (less than a dollar), so they decided to confront them.

Two days later, on November 1, a video went viral on social networks showing a group of hooded men holding weapons sending the following message:

«If they make another attempt on the life of any other Venezuelan worker, we will apply the same thing, we will kill working Peruvians so that they realize that this is not the solution. There will be no peace for Peruvians who support xenophobia. We will begin to kill all the Peruvian motorized vehicles that are at the stops of La Victoria, Gamarra, 28, and any other district that is available. We hope that the situation with the Venezuelan workers will normalize. We are in Peru. Sincerely: Los Gallegos.

» This threat was disseminated through the media, which caused alarm in the population. It should be noted that Los Gallegos is a faction of the criminal organization El Tren de Aragua that operates in several countries in the region.

Peruvians cry out for security amid an epidemic of robberies.

Added to these episodes are common thefts, especially of cell phones. According to himSupervisory Body for Private Investment in Telecommunications (Osiptel), every hour, an average of 200 mobile devices are stolen nationwide. Even schoolchildren are targets of these thefts. Despite the state of emergency in San Juan de Lurigancho, a teenager was stabbed in the back to steal his cell phone near his school. Parents protested in front of the school due to insecurity in the area.

Peruvians consider that the main problem that the country has is citizen insecurity and crime. And Peru leads, along with Ecuador, the ranking of crime perception in Latin America, according to a recent opinion study by CID GALLUP.

According to CID GALLUP, Peru and Ecuador lead the list of crime.

According to this international report, 87% of Peruvians surveyed feel that crime is on the rise. And if we talk not about perception but about official figures, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics, 28.1% of the Peruvian population living in urban areas was the victim of some criminal act during the semester from March to September of this year. anus.

However, it is highly likely that the figure is much higher, since it is known that not everyone reports thefts.


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