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A Stampede At A Nightclub In Peru Left A Dozen Dead After Police Raided The Underground Party

Although many cities in the United States are attempting to return to normal – with bars and clubs opening and often packed with partygoers – most cities across Latin America remain under lockdown.

For some, lockdown orders have been in place since early-March, meaning the nightlife industry has been shuttered for nearly six months. Reports of clandestine clubs and underground parties have circulated on social media but for the most part it seems that most bars and clubs are following official health orders.

But as the lockdown orders stretch into their six month, many people are starting to risk their own lives (and those of their communities) by organizing larger parties. Such is the case of a club in Lima which opened despite oficial lockdown orders prohibiting them from doing so, and the result is a tragic reminder of the importance of staying home.

At least a dozen people were killed in a stampede as police raided an underground party.

At least 13 people have been killed and three others injured in a stampede at a nightclub in Lima, Peru, as partygoers attempted to escape a police raid on the venue, according to Orlando Velasco Mujica, general of the Peruvian National Police.

At around 9 p.m., police were alerted to a large party at the Thomas Restobar by neighbors. According to officials, at least 120 people were attending the illegal party in the city’s Los Olivos district of Peru’s capital city.

In an official statement, the Ministry of the Interior reported that the police did not use “any type of weapon or tear gas to clear the premises.” When people began to flee the 2nd floor venue trying to get away from the police they were crushed on the stairs.

“I feel sorry for the relatives… but also anger and indignation with the business people who organized the event,” Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra said at a public event in the south of the country. He urged judicial authorities to punish those who had broken the law. 

Some 23 people were arrested, and 15 of those tested positive for the new coronavirus and will be quarantined, Claudio Ramírez, a Health Ministry official, told reporters. The party “was a breeding ground for the transmission of this disease, there was a viral load because it was a closed environment,” Ramírez said. 

Like most of Latin America, Peru is still under a wide ranging lockdown order.

Credit: Gilberto Aguilar / Getty Images

Peru was one of the first nations in the Americas to take strict preventative Coronavirus measures, but is now one of the worst affected countries in Latin America, with more than 576,000 cases, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. More than 27,000 have died of the virus so far, JHU reports.

Social distancing measures are mandated in Peru, large social gatherings are banned and there is a nationwide 10 p.m. curfew in an effort to slow the spread of the Covid-19.

Underground parties are becoming more common as people becoming increasingly bored at home.

In Los Angeles, the city has become overwhelmed with illegal gatherings – so much so that the mayor has threatened to shut off the utilities of repeat offenders. In fact, at least one house has already been targeted for repeat violations.

While in Mexico City, several clandestine parties have started popping up in abandoned warehouses, behind shuttered store fronts, or on rooftops. Police have tried to respond to shut them down but thanks to their overwhelming number, it’s been difficult to control.

Obviously, those who work in the nightlife, tourism, and entertainment industries have been impacted terribly by the shutdown orders. But several studies have shown that bars and clubs have been one of the biggest vectors for the virus. This appears to be the case because many forget social distancing norms once they’ve started drinking, most gatherings are taking place indoors to hide from authorities which increases the risk.

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