Entry to Machu Picchu has been suspended amid unrest in Peru


Tourist entry to Machu Picchu The citadel and the Inca Trail network have been suspended until further notice due to ongoing unrest in Peru, officials in the country said Saturday.

The Decentralized Cultural Directorate and the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary Directorate said in a statement a day earlier that tourists who have a ticket for Jan. 21 or later can request a refund up to one month after the protests end.

Earlier this week, the protests in Peru continued across the country, leaving at least 30 injured. At least two police officers were injured and 11 people were detained after 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 asked by the university’s legal representatives, who said unidentified people “used violence” against university staff and took control of the university campus, including the institution’s gates.

The university said on Saturday that national police had cleared the university’s gates, which had been occupied by protesters who were “participating in demonstrations at the national level”. More than 100 protesters were arrested, Interior Minister Vincent Romero Fernandez said in a tweet.

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

Peru sees some of the worst political violence in recent decades. The protesters want new elections, the resignation of Boluarte, a change to the constitution and the release of Castillo, who is currently in pretrial detention. At the root of the crisis are the demands for better living conditions, which have not been fulfilled in the two decades since the restoration of democratic governance in the country.

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

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

PeruRail said Thursday it was suspending services to and from Machu Picchu, among other destinations, as tracks were blocked and damaged in various locations.

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

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