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Up to five people go missing in Lima, Peru every day

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Lima is a dangerous city, and its residents know it. According to an October report, 40% of Limeños were victims of crime in the 12 months preceding the study. Murders targeting women are also on the rise and now the Missing Persons Unit of the Peruvian national police have released some sobering statistics about disappearances in Lima.

Peru21 reports that on average three to five people go missing in Lima daily. According to the Missing Persons Unit, 78% of those missing are eventually found. 40% are found within 48 hours of their disappearance, and the remaining 60% are found after more than two days have passed. 22% of missing people in Lima are never heard from again.

Major César Delgado of the Peruvian National Police told Peru21 that most reported cases of missing persons involve minors between the ages of 14 and 17.

However, the reality of disappearances in Lima is that it’s not always a cut-and-dried case of a criminal absconding with an innocent child. “[These cases] are reported as missing people, but in many cases, it’s a runaway who left with their boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes they’re fleeing from violence, or moral abandon that’s present in their homes,” explained Major Delgado.

Delgado added that the police force’s work is often frustrated by parents who do not notify authorities when their child returns home. While a majority are later found, a substantial minority are never heard from again.

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Rachel Chase is a proud born-and-bred Minnesotan who’s moved to Lima after graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College with a double major in Spanish and Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies. During her junior year of college, Rachel studied in Peru and loved it so much that she just had to come back. As well as being a dedicated News Editor, Rachel plays the ukulele and sings, as well as trying to devour as many books as she can.