Tourist stranded in Machu Picchu amid Peruvian protests

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(CNN) – About 300 tourists from around the world are stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu, the mayor said, after Peru was plunged into a state of emergency after the country’s president was ousted.

former President Pedro Castillo He was later impeached and arrested in early December after announcing his plan to dissolve Congress. The unrest sparked by his arrest prompted international warnings about travel to Peru.

Darwin Paca, the mayor of Machu Picchu, said Peruvians, South Americans, Americans and Europeans are among the stranded travelers.

“We asked the government to help us and to establish helicopter flights to evacuate the tourists,” Baka said. He said the only way to get in and out of the city is by train, and those services are suspended until further notice.

trains to and from Machu PicchuPeruRail, the primary means of access to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, was halted on Tuesday, according to a statement from PeruRail, Peru’s railway operator for the southern and southeastern regions of the country.

“PeruRail said they are still reviewing the situation,” Baca explained.

A State Department spokesperson told CNN on Friday that the United States is in contact with American citizens stranded in Peru.

The spokesperson added, “We are providing all appropriate consular assistance, and are monitoring the situation closely. Due to privacy and security considerations, we will not go into further detail about the numbers of US citizens they have come into contact with.”

The US Embassy in Peru said in a statement early Friday that the Peruvian government is organizing the evacuation of foreigners from the town of Aguas Calientes, which is the main access point to Machu Picchu.

“We will post a message with instructions once the assistance plan is confirmed. Travelers who are in Aguas Calientes/Machu Picchu Village should follow instructions from local authorities whether they choose to remain in place for assistance with travel to Cusco, as well as any travelers who may choose to travel on foot,” the statement added. on foot”.

Food shortages in Machu Picchu

Mayor Baca also warned that Machu Picchu is already experiencing food shortages due to the protests, and the local economy is 100% dependent on tourism.

Baca called on the government, led by new President Dina Boulwart, to establish dialogue with the local population to end social unrest as soon as possible.

PeruRail said it will assist affected passengers in changing their travel dates.

In a statement, the company said, “We regret the inconvenience these ads create to our passengers; however, they are due to situations beyond our company’s control and seek to prioritize the safety of passengers and staff.”

Tourists are stranded elsewhere in Peru

Travelers wait outside Cuzco airport on Friday after it was closed due to protests.

Paul Gambin/Reuters

Peruvian airline LATAM said operations to and from Alfredo Rodriguez Ballon International Airport in Arequipa and Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cuzco, 75 kilometers (47 miles) from Machu Picchu, have been temporarily suspended.

“Latin America maintains continuous monitoring of the political situation in Peru to provide relevant information according to how it affects our air operations,” the airline said in a statement.

“We are waiting for the response of the competent authorities, who must take corrective measures to ensure the safety of air operations,” he added.

“We regret the inconvenience this situation beyond our control caused to our passengers and reinforce our commitment to air safety and connectivity in the country,” she added.

Warnings from the US, UK and Canada

Demonstrators clash with police during a protest in Lima on Thursday.

Demonstrators clash with police during a protest in Lima on Thursday.

Sebastian Castaneda/Reuters

The US State Department issued a travel advisory for citizens traveling to Peru, which listed it as a Tier 3 destination for “Travel Reconsideration”.

“Demonstrations can cause local roads, trains and major highways to close, often without advance notice or reopening timetables.

The report warns that “road closures may significantly reduce access to public transport and airports and may disrupt travel within and between cities.”

The Department of State requires travelers in Peru to register with STEP ALERTS from the US Embassy if you haven’t done so yet.

The UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has also warned its citizens about this situation.

“British subjects should take particular care to avoid all areas of protest. If possible, they should remain in a safe place. … You should plan in advance to severely disrupt any plans.” FCDO said Friday evening on its website.

He also told travelers arriving in the capital, Lima, that there was no possibility to travel to or from several regional areas – including Cusco and Arequipa – and that further disruptions were possible.

British citizens have also been warned to respect the Peruvian curfew in place and monitor local news and social media for more information.

Global Affairs Canada has warned its citizens to “exercise a high degree of caution” in Peru and to avoid non-essential travel in many areas. Canada Global News spoke to one Canadian He is stuck in the small town of Ica in southern Peru, which he says is far from civil unrest but is robbed in a taxi.

Tourists are running out of medicine

US tourist Catherine Martucci spoke to CNN about her hangout in Machu Picchu, Peru.

US tourist Catherine Martucci spoke to CNN about her hangout in Machu Picchu, Peru.

Courtesy of Catherine Martucci

She told CNN that the American tourist who is stuck in Machu Picchu has run out of medicine and is not sure when she will be able to leave the small town and get more.

Florida resident Kathryn Martucci, 71, said she was on a group trip with 13 other Americans when Peru went into a state of emergency.

According to Martucci, her traveling party was unable to snatch the last train from the small town before the rail line was suspended.

Her son, Michael Martucci, who lives in the US, also spoke to CNN and was trying to help his mother find a way out.

“They’ve been there since Monday, and now she and the other people with her have run out of medicine that they need,” Martucci said. “There’s nothing in the little town they’re stuck in. They’re safe and luckily have food, but no way to get any more medicine.”

Martucci said her group was scheduled to stay in Machu Picchu for two days, so they were told to pack light items and only bring two days’ worth of medicine.

On Friday morning, Martocci said her tour guide took her group to the city hall to be medically evaluated in hopes that local officials would understand their situation and help them find a way out.

“There were about 100 tourists in line and we waited for two hours before we could see a doctor,” Martucci said. “They told me I was a priority, and that they would try to pick me up by helicopter from Machu Picchu in the next couple of days.”

However, Martucci isn’t sure if that will happen, she told CNN.

“There are many people who need help, and a helicopter can only carry 10 people. We don’t know what’s going on.”

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