At 7 a.m. yesterday morning, a group of about 30 people disguised in masks made of bedsheets stormed the Ferré Colonial, a hotel in the tourist hub of Miraflores, Lima. The men sealed the door of the building with wire and a heavy chain, prior to igniting four car tires on the hotel’s front patio.
About 15 of the men remained outside the hotel, brandishing clubs wrapped with barbed wire. A few more stationed themselves on the roof and threatened to hurl explosive canisters of natural gas into the street.
According to Elizabeth Palomino, the building’s owner, the invaders were employed by her tenant, Jorge Luis Peláez, after she had begun the eviction process over unpaid rent.
“He only paid me for six months, and afterwards nothing,” said Palomino in an interview with Canal N. “He owes me $540,000 for about two years of rent.”
The masked men, carrying clubs wrapped in barbed wire, stood in front the building for about two hours before being detained by police. A total of 41 people were arrested, but five were subsequently released after being identified as hotel workers.
All guests were apparently evacuated the night before the attack under the pretense of a routine fumigation.
Today, reports El Comercio, families of the some of the detained have asserted that they were employees of Protech Seguridad, a private security company hired under false pretenses.
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