Entry to Machu Picchu suspended amid unrest in Peru



Tourist access to Machu Picchu Citadel and the Inca Trail Network has been suspended until further notice due to ongoing unrest in Peru, officials in the country said Saturday.

The Decentralized Culture Directorate and the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary Directorate said in a statement the day before that tourists who have tickets for Jan. 21 or later can claim refunds up to a month after the protests end.

Earlier this week, protests in Peru continued across the country, leaving at least 30 injured. At least two police officers were injured and 11 people were arrested as protests turned violent in the southern city of Puno on Friday. A police station in Puno was set on fire. Interior Minister Vicente Romero said protesters attacked police stations, government buildings and private businesses across the country on Friday.

On Saturday, Peru’s National Police stormed the National University of San Marcos to remove protesters, police said on Twitter. According to the tweets, authorities were requested by the university’s legal representatives who said unidentified people had “used violence” against university staff and taken control of the university campus, including the doors of the institution.

The university said on Saturday that the National Police had cleared the doors of the university, which had been occupied by protesters “participating in marches at the national level”. More than 100 protesters were arrested, Interior Minister Vincent Romero Fernandez said in a tweet.

According to the state news agency Andina, between 200 and 300 police officers entered the university campus using an armored vehicle to remove protesters. Authorities used tear gas to disperse protesters stationed at the entrance gates, the news outlet added.

Peru is facing the worst political violence in decades. Demonstrators want new elections, the resignation of Boluarte, an amendment to the constitution and the release of Castillo, who is currently in pre-trial detention. At the heart of the crisis are demands for better living conditions that have gone unmet in the two decades since democratic rule was restored to the country.

According to Andina, parts of the Urubamba-Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu railway were damaged during the anti-government protests on Thursday, forcing train services to be suspended until further notice. The discontinued train service left 418 people – including hundreds of foreigners – stranded in the Machu Picchu district.

The group was evacuated in two trains early Saturday afternoon and taken from Machu Picchu to the town of Piscacucho, where buses would later take them to Cusco, according to a statement on the government’s website.

PeruRail said Thursday it was suspending its services to and from Machu Picchu, among other destinations, because tracks were blocked and damaged in several places.

“We regret the inconvenience this is causing our passengers, but (it is) due to a situation beyond the control of the company due to the protests in Cusco,” the statement said.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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