Voters across Peru went to the polls yesterday to elect mayors, governors and municipal councils following the most violent campaign since 2000, with hundreds of candidates suspected of ties to drug trafficking.
Two mayoral candidates have been slain in gangland-style killings, both in cocaine-trafficking corridors. On Friday, two police officers were shot and killed in an ambush blamed on drug-funded rebels in the Apurimac and Ene river valley, the world’s top cocaine-producing region.
Seven gubernatorial candidates that were up for election Sunday in five of Peru’s 24 states are under investigation for drug-trafficking related crimes
Decisive results of Sunday’s vote are not expected until later Monday. More than 1,300 candidates convicted of various crimes — from rape to graft — were on the ballot.
One governor running for re-election, Gregorio Santos of Cajamarca, is jailed pending a possible corruption trial.