When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Police officers in Piura, Peru
Police officers in Piura, Peru

TRUJILLO — The mayor of the northwestern Peruvian city of Piura was shot dead last week by a masked hitman as he left a restaurant, making him the latest victim in a wave of violence directed at Peru's embattled local officials.

Lima-based daily El Comercio reports that the death of Piura Mayor Ronald Javier Navarro sparked a fresh outpouring of grief and fear among his colleagues nationwide, many of whom live at risk of extortion and kidnapping from organized crime. Nine mayors have been killed by criminal gangs within the last two years, according to the Peruvian Association of Municipalities (AMPE).

"We lament, reject, and condemn acts like these that the country mourns," said Óscar Benavides Majino, AMPE chief. "This assassination only confirms the danger that we live in, we feel afraid and helpless."

Peru's mayors are poorly paid, with those in remote areas receiving as little as 900 sols ($264) a month. The majority of those targeted for extortion are mayors far from the capital of Lima, in more isolated regions. Gangs dealing in illegal mining and drug trafficking, especially in the region surrounding the northwestern city of Trujillo, extort mayors for large sums of money and threaten to kill them or their family members.

Officials like Benavides are urging Peru's Congress to pass a bill, proposed by the mayors themselves, that would provide all district and provincial mayors with bodyguards. At least 70 mayors across the country have received death threats or have been targeted by gangs in 2016, up from 40 in 2015, according to El Comercio.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ