Residents of the Paucara and Yauli districts of the Huancavelica region detained eight communications technicians on Wednesday, June 10, over false rumors that the group had come to install 5G network infrastructure. The team had reportedly arrived in the area to perform maintenance on existing masts in the town of Chopccae when they were kidnapped by residents who accused them of attempting to install 5G transmitters. The technicians are still being detained as of Friday, June 11, with their employer stating that they are being held hostage until the existing communications masts are removed from the area. At least one of the antennas outside Paucara has reportedly been vandalised by residents following the 5G rumours.
A police contingent has since been deployed to the area to resolve the situation and an increased security presence is likely in the near term.
Conspiracy theories regarding alleged health risks from 5G technology have become increasingly widespread during the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, with attacks on network infrastructure and threats against communications workers being reported in multiple countries. However, medical officials have repeatedly stated that there is no evidence that 5G technology poses any health risks or is associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Those in the Huancavelica region are advised to monitor the situation, anticipate an increased security forces presence, and heed any directives issued by local authorities.
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