Man Allegedly Involved in Brazen Notary Attack Arrested – Police

Peru’s police say they have captured a man that allegedly participated in the brazen, daylight attack on a notary public’s office last week in Lima, where one person was killed.

Police general Cesar Cortijo said the man was arrested in Huachipa, in the San Juan de Lurigancho district in east Lima, daily Peru.21 reported.

Cortijo identified the man as Alex Mejia, a 26-year-old who police say goes by the name of Michel.

According to Cortijo, police officers confiscated a gun, bullets, a balaclava, and a piece of paper with the address of the notary’s office.

Three masked men stormed the notary’s office last Wednesday, following a man who had just withdrawn 260,000 soles ($100,700) in cash. One of the men finalizing a transaction with that cash for the sale of a house was killed in the attack.

Some analysts, including former Interior minister Fernando Rospigliosi, have questioned the arrest, saying it appeared too convenient that the individual was captured with a balaclava and the notary’s office address. The individual’s lawyer has not made a public comment yet.

Police quickly came under criticism following the attack and have been under pressure from President Ollanta Humala and others to make a quick arrest.

That attack, and the killing of a photojournalist from leading daily El Comercio a few days later, have made front page headlines in Peru, leading to strong criticism against Humala’s government and police. Both attacks occurred in broad daylight.

The media and several analysts say the attacks highlight the lack of security in Lima, even though government officials say crime has decreased over the past year. While crime is lower in Peru than many other Latin American nations, the violence involved has increased and the perception among residents that it is out of control is extremely high.

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