Regional authorities in northern Peru are to meet with the country’s new cabinet chief in December to create a plan to tackle crime in the area, according to state news agency Andina.
The meeting is scheduled to take place on December 5 between Premier Cesar Villanueva, who took office last week, and the regional presidents of Tumbes, Piura, Cajamarca, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Ancash.
“It’s important to have an integration of efforts by all regional and local governments from the macro-region in order to exchange best practices and reinforce intelligence services for citizen security,” said Javier Atkins, president of the National Assembly of Regional Governments and also the president of Piura region.
While crime is an issue throughout Peru, the cities on the north coast, such as Chimbote, Trujillo and Chiclayo have a reputation for problems related to street crime, and more serious incidents such as extortion, kidnappings and assassinations.
Last week, the warden of a prison in Trujillo was gunned down during a lunch outside the prison. Also, several mayors of small towns in the north, and other areas of Peru, have reported being threatened by gangs that are seeking a kickback from public works. Several authorities have been murdered over the past year.
Premier Villanueva said after taking office that he would take on crime “head first” and make improving security a priority.
Insecurity is regularly cited as one of the main concerns among Peruvians in national opinion polls even though the level of crime in the Andean nation is still lower and usually much less violent than in many other Latin American countries.