And you thought your leader was worrying.

All around the world, citizens of most countries are disappointed with how their leadership has responded to this pandemic. Some feel they haven’t responded quick enough, others feel it’s just not efficient enough—but imagine having a leader who has basically been…nonexistent?

Jamie Rolando Urbina Torres, the mayor of Tantará–a small town in Peru, has some ‘splainin’ to do after violating his own country’s lockdown restrictions. Authorities revealed that he had violated both curfew and social distancing laws while out meeting up with his friends to drink. Unfortunately, when you’re the mayor, you can’t hide for long—it’s only a matter of time before you get busted.

Authorities went to arrest Torres for breaking the rules, and when they arrived on the scene they found him hiding. But, not just hiding. Torres took it upon himself to disguise as a COVID-19 victim by putting on a face mask and laying in an open casket so that they could not recognize him. Genuine idea, or trying to be funny? We’ll never know, but neither option is smart.


                            Mayor lies in coffin and pretends to be Covid-19 victim to avoid arrest after breaking lockdown to go drinking
Image from Policia Nacional del Peru

This news comes after Torres received criticism—believe it or not—for not taking the virus seriously. He’s apparently failed to implement any sort of safety precautions to the town, and in the nearly 70 days the country has been in lockdown, Torres has only physically been in the town for a total of 8 days. Again, hard to believe for a mayor who played dead to avoid arrest.

Just when you thought it stopped there, it doesn’t. On top of the lack of safety measures—no closed borders, no social distancing rules, literally nothing—Torres also just doesn’t care to show up to local meetings, even when they’re centered around himself. On May 9, he had to be forced to show up to a town meeting where he had to defend himself against angry locals, but instead unleashed a series of angry rants against them. On top of that, when he gave excuses for his behavior and response to the pandemic, not even his own local officials came to his defense. I know what you’re thinking: who the hell voted for this guy?

Jokes aside, this is disappointing and devastating news to hear as we continue to read about the impact the virus has had all over the world, and most recently South America. With over 100k confirmed cases now, Peru is struggling to contain COVID-19 and need all the help they can get. Hopefully with news like this, people like Mayor Torres can be removed from office so that someone with a brain—and a heart—can help Peru get to where they need to be and save lives.

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