The mayor of a small town in Peru lay in an open chest and pretended to be dead when he was found breaking the lockdown rules.
Jaime Rolando Urbina Torres, mayor of Tantara, is said to have been drinking with friends, in violation of the country’s coronavirus laws.
When police officers arrived to arrest the group, the quick-thinking Torres jumped into an open chest and lay still, pretending to be dead in an attempt to avoid arrest. He was photographed with his eyes closed and still wearing a face mask.
The ruse didn’t work, and the mayor, who turned out to be intoxicated at the time, was arrested on charges of violating curfew and social distance laws.
Local media reports have not made clear where the group had been drinking that there were chests in the immediate vicinity.
Peru was shut down 66 days ago, but Torres was criticized by Tantara locals for failing to demonstrate sufficient leadership and breaking the law during the pandemic.
It is alleged that he has only spent eight days in the city since the closure began, and that he has failed to open emergency shelters and introduce security controls for the community.
On May 9, he defended himself at a congregation meeting and caused a rant of angry remarks against the people of Tantara.
His own officials reportedly refused to stand with him, writing down his various apologies for not opening shelters or providing proper security checks for people trying to enter the city.
South America has been severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic, with 2.1 million confirmed cases to date.
Peru itself has 104,000 cases and a death toll of 3,024, making it one of the hardest hit countries, despite President Martín Vizcarra announcing one of the earliest coronavirus closures in Latin America on March 16.
Social distance measures are believed to have been largely ignored on the north coast of Peru and the Amazon regions, adding to the high number of cases.