A string of deadly robberies this month has raised concerns in Lima as students as young as 15 years old are targeted for their cellphones, according to local media reports.
Since May 3, five young men and women have been shot, with at least three killed, following their resistance during a street robbery.
There was the 24 year old student who was killed while walking in Los Olivos by two individuals who tried to steal his backpack. A few days later in central Lima, a 28 year old university student was shot and killed, according to newspaper El Comercio.
Since May 7, a 15 year old has been in intensive care since being shot in the abdomen in Villa El Salvador, allegedly by a 16 year old who wanted his cellphone.
On May 10, an 18-year-old died after being shot in the head in San Borja after defending his girlfriend during a robbery. Shortly after, an 23-year-old was shot in the back a few blocks from murder in San Borja.
The incidents highlight the growing anxiety in Peru over rising crime. Many residents here are calling for a crackdown on criminals, an issue that has become important in the presidential campaign.
Candidate Keiko Fujimori is seen by many as being best suited to improve security. Her supporters remember he father’s success in defeating the Shining Path insurgency in the 1990s, although he also committed human rights crimes that landed him in prison.
Fujimori has promised to build new prisons high in the Peruvian Andes for the worst criminals.
He opponent, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, has security experts on his team. He has promised to revamp the police and create a professional force by ending a system that allowed officers to work part-time as private security guards.