A Peruvian mayor soared to international notoriety after local authorities caught him lying motionless in a coffin in an attempt to fool them into thinking he was dead, after breaking curfew imposed due to Covid-19 to go drinking with his friends.
Jaime Rolando Urbina Torres, the mayor of Tantará, a rural district in Castrovirreyna, has long been receiving a lot of flak from his constituents for not taking the threat of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic seriously and not taking the necessary measures to protect them.
What really took the cake was when the elected official blatantly disregarded the rules of the lockdown enforced by the Peruvian government. Last Monday, Torres and several of his friends broke curfew, going out to drink late into the night. Around midnight, residents alerted by the ruckus the inebriated mayor and his friends were making, called the police and the troublemakers came up with a bizarre way of avoiding arrest.
Alerted by the sirens of the approaching police car, Torres and his friends – probably too drunk to make a run for it – decided to lay in a bunch of wooden coffins made for potential victims of Covid-19.
They were hoping that the police would mistake them for actual victims and just avoid their bodies, but they underestimated the lawmen's intelligence. It's not everyday that you bump into dead bodies lying in open caskets lined up in the open, let alone ones that are obviously still breathing, reeking of alcohol and have flushed faces.
The police managed to coerce the drunk men “back to life”, but not before taking a picture of the mayor as he was trying his absolute best to play dead. It went viral immediately after being posted on social media, and has since been doing the rounds online. Both Torres and his drinking buddies were taken into custody, but it’s unclear if any or what charges were pressed against them.
Sometime earlier this month, Torres was hauled to an emergency town meeting where residents accused him of failing to open any emergency quarantine shelters or creating safety checkpoints to ensure people from outside the town are barred from entering. His own officials reportedly retaliated when he tried coming up with excuses.
This is a classic case of what our enterprising Singaporeans have termed a "Covidiot".