LIMA – Peruvian President Ollanta Humala on Thursday announced a 45-day state of emergency in two districts with an eye toward increasing public security.
Humala said, in remarks to reporters, that he brought up the issue of public safety at the latest Council of Ministers meeting and it was agreed to declare a state of emergency in Santa and Casma provinces “to be able to provide calm for the families in these zones who, often due to the issue of lack of security over the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, can become (crime) victims.”
Both Santa and Casma are located in west-central Ancash province and have experienced crimes and acts of corruption that are currently being investigated by the authorities.
Last October, the mayor of the town of Samanco in Santa, Francisco Ariza, was murdered along with his legal advisor, and the perpetrators are said to be local councilmen, according to the investigation.
Meanwhile, the provincial mayor of Santa, Julio Cortez Rojas, was convicted of embezzling public funds and his predecessor, Victoria Espinoza, is a fugitive facing charges of alleged illicit enrichment.
Humala added that he had instructed the National Police to take measures to prevent crime, as has been done in the Callao district, adjacent to Lima, which has been under a state of emergency during December.
Regarding the situation in Callao, Humala said that authorities had seized 300 kilograms of drugs, broken up criminal bands, searched cargo passing through that port and taken other measures to reduce crime.
But Humala said that “it is not intended that the problems of decades in Callao can be resolved within 45 days.”