Evacuation of stranded tourists underway in Peru

 Monday, December 19, 2022 


Peru’s civil unrest has left hundreds of tourists stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu who are now being evacuated. Following the ousting of the country’s president, the country plunged into a state of emergency.

Earlier this month former president Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested leaving train services and airports disrupted. However, trains have resumed operations to and from Machu Picchu on an emergency basis, PeruRail, Peru’s railway operator for the south and southeast regions of the country said in a statement on Saturday. Also flights have been resumed after it had been temporarily suspended, CNN quoted Peru’s Ministry of Transport as saying.

According to Darwin Baca, Machu Picchu’s mayor, about 300 tourists from around the world, including Peruvians, South Americans, Americans and Europeans, have been left stranded in the historic site. He said to CNN that he had requested helicopter flights to evacuate the tourists.

The Ministry of Transport has also asked passengers to use their travel tickets as a safe-conduct to move during curfew hours.

Paola Lazarte, Peru’s Minister of Transport and Communications also said work is being done at the Arequipa Airport, Peru’s largest airport in the south. to resume operations.

Protests broke out in cities across the country following Castillo’s ousting, sometimes marked by clashes with Peru’s security forces. Some are protesting in support of Castillo, while others want a total reset of the country with fresh general elections and a dissolution of Congress.

The Municipal District of Machu Picchu had said in a statement on Friday that it expects to evacuate tourists by Saturday. “The municipality, through the Tourism Unit, carries out the necessary coordination for the selection and prioritization of children and vulnerable people for the transfer on humanitarian flights, work that has been carried out in coordination with the National Police and the district Health Center,” the statement said.

The British nationals have been advised by the UK embassy in the Peruvian capital of Lima to register via the platform iPeru through their online form and with local authorities at the Cultural Center at Avenida Pachacutec.

The US State Department has also issued a travel advisory for citizens traveling in Peru, which it has listed as a level three “reconsider travel” destination.

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