As diligence goes, the mayor of one small town in Peru would probably get a C, as in coffin.
Perhaps for those who grade on creativity, he might get an A, as in arrested, despite his unique scheme to evade being taken into custody.
Jaime Rolando Urbina Torres, the mayor of the community of Tantara in Peru, has not been popular with the people there because of his laxity in addressing lockdown rules to contain the coronavirus.
And so it was recently that when Peruvian police arrived to arrest him while he was drinking with his pals in violation of social distancing rules, he hopped in a coffin and played dead, hoping to avoid arrest, according to the U.K.’s Evening Standard.
Police reported that the mayor’s drinking buddies hid in drawers, although no detail was given to explain why a coffin and drawers happened to be nearby.
A clip from a Spanish-language report on YouTube shows images of Torres before hiding in the coffin, and while he was pretending to be dead.
He was detained for allegedly breaking curfew and social distancing orders and was supposedly drunk when arrested.
Tantara, like the rest of Peru, was supposed to be locked down as of mid-March, according to the national government’s orders.
But Torres has been upbraided by local citizens for a lackluster performance of his duties, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
During an early May town meeting, he was accused of having spent only eight days in the community since the lockdown was imposed.
He was also criticized for failing to open shelters for those in quarantine and for failing to put in place safety checks to protect local residents from those who might enter the town but are not residents.
Peru ranks 12th among the world’s nations in coronavirus cases with 123,979, according to Johns Hopkins.
“This situation is not just a health emergency, but a health catastrophe, defined as a situation where the pandemic has overtaken the response capacity of the health sector,” Dr. Alfredo Celis of the Medical College of Peru told CNN.
Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said that in the aftermath of the virus, Peru’s residents must change “social behaviors that have done much damage.”
“This kind of behavior is individualistic, selfish … ignoring what’s happening around us, and precisely what has brought this situation upon us, not just in Peru, but the whole world,” he said.
Vizcarra has extended the nation’s state of emergency until June 30.
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