Hundreds tourists who ended up in Peru Nearby Machu Picchu may soon leave the country after the main railway to the region began operating on a limited basis after it was closed due to political unrest, according to reports.
The U.S. Embassy in Peru issued a press release Saturday afternoon saying the Peruvian government has restored limited rail service to help travelers leave Aguas Calientes/village of Machu Picchu.
The trains would then go to a “designated point on the railway” where passengers would get off and travel the rest of the way to Cusco in other vehicles.
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On Sunday, the US Embassy said flights from Cusco Airport (CUZ) were operating as normal, but anyone heading to the airport was advised not to do so unless they had confirmed flights departing on time.
Other airports in areas such as Ayacucho (AYP), Arequipa (AQP), Juliaca (JUL) and Andahuaylos (ANS) will remain closed, the US Embassy said, although Arequipa is scheduled to reopen on Monday.
Among the American tourists trapped on the mountain were two Chicago police officers, a pregnant couple from Acworth, Ga., and a Miami-Dade fire-rescue captain, who told Florida Local 10 News that about 200 American citizens were in town. Thousands of others were unable to travel around the country due to the protests.
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On December 7, Peruvian President Pedro Castillo dissolved the country’s Congress, calling new elections ahead of new attempts to remove him from office. Castillo created a new emergency government and said he would make changes to the leadership of the police, the constitutional court and the judiciary.
Efforts to remove Castillo were based on allegations of corruption, and six investigations were opened against the president.
Castillo was replaced by his former vice president, Dino Baluarte, because the president’s actions were seen as an attempt by Congress to retain power.
But the appointment of Boluarte was unpopular because she was unknown to the people, while Castillo was seen as one of the people.
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How protests began to break out through Peru Boluarte sent the authorities to deal with them, though this only made matters worse. Violence erupted on Thursday night, and at least seven people were killed and 50 injured.
The judge ordered Castillo to be held in custody for up to 18 months while prosecutors build their case against him.
On Friday, Bolhuarte declared a state of emergency to control the unrest, sending the military into the protests, which have left more than 22 dead, according to The New York Times.
The 30-day state of emergency means the suspension of assembly rights and freedom of movement, and curfews are in place in many of Peru’s major cities.
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About 5,000 tourists were in the city of Cusco, waiting for the resumption of flights, the mayor of Machu Picchu told AFP.
Since 2016, Peru has been in a political crisis, with successive congresses and presidents trying to eliminate each other.