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In Lima, A Public Ban On Pokemon Go Sparks Backlash

Hunting in Lima's La Punta quarter
Hunting in Lima's La Punta quarter

LIMA — Sometimes it seems the popular smartphone gaming app Pokémon Go knows no bounds. But Lima-based daily El Comercio reports that the capital's seafront district of La Punta recently banned the game in most areas, restricting players to a limited zone.

The district council moved ahead with the ban this week after receiving numerous complaints from local residents, as the area had become extremely popular among Pokémon Go players in the city. The new ordinance also prohibits playing the game between midnight and 6 am, and violators will be fined or have their cell phones taken away by police.

The measure has already drawn strong opposition, with many calling it unconstitutional. Opponents of the initiative have launched several petitions online, with the goal of reaching 5,000 signatures to request a ruling on its constitutionality that would invalidate the measure. "If I'm walking among Pokémon Go players but I'm on WhatsApp or Facebook, am I breaking the law?" asks Mariana Alegre of Lima Cómo Vamos, an NGO. "Where's the limit?"


The regulation went into effect on Sunday, but so far it has only generated scorn among Lima's Pokémon Go players. While the gaming app is prohibited in some countries in the Middle East and in certain sensitive sites in the West, Lima is the first large city to issue such a ban on users. If the first few days have been any indication, it's unlikely the city's police will be able to catch them all.

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Ginevra Falciani, Inès Mermat and Laure Gautherin

👋 Azul!*

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[*Tarifit, Northern Morocco]

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