The mayor of a town in Colombia has been praised after he turned his own son into the police for breaking a curfew imposed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Carlos Higgins Villanueva said he had to set an example.

“My family are the first who have to respect the rules,” he tweeted.

There have been more than 95,000 confirmed cases of the virus in Colombia and more than 3,300 people have died.

Setting an example

Atlántico, the northern state where Mr Higgins is mayor of the small town of Juan de Acosta, has the second highest number of infections.

Mayor Higgins posted pictures of himself driving his son, his nephew and a man he described as “a great friend” to the police station, where he asked officers “to deal with the rule-breakers as they see fit”.

The three had been caught on video celebrating Father’s Day. The party they attended was not only held during the hours of a strict curfew but there was also alcohol on sale, in contravention of a temporary state-wide ban imposed for that weekend.

Mayor Higgins wrote on Twitter: “My relatives are the first who have to respect these measures. I will not allow them to put the lives of our villagers at risk just because they wanted to have some drinks.”

“I have other younger sons and he could bring the virus home if he caught it,” he said about why he felt his eldest had to learn his lesson. “I wanted to set an example so that the rest of the community respects the rules,” he added.

The rule-breakers have been ordered to do community service.

The municipal authorities have adopted the mayor’s approach and launched a campaign with the motto: “If I see you at a party, drinking, outside your home, visiting or receiving visits or playing football, I will grass on you and you will go to the police.”

Coronavirus: Colombian mayor shops son to police for breaking lockdown

The mayor’s actions were widely praised, with residents saying that he had put in practice the saying “the law starts at home”.