news Peruvian government to resume train services from Machu Picchu

(CNN) — Hundreds of stranded tourists are evacuating the ancient city of Machu Picchu after Peru plunged into a state of emergency following the downfall of its president.

Train services and airports are now resuming following last week’s suspension and closure.

Civil unrest swept Peru when former President Pedro Castillo was impeached and arrested earlier this month, and his removal from power has fueled long-simmering political tensions in the country. raided the airport, disrupting rail and air travel services.

Peru Rail, the rail operator for the southern and southeastern regions of Peru, said in a statement on Saturday that trains to and from Machu Picchu were urgently restarting operations.

A train full of stranded tourists arrived in Ollantaytambo, Peru, on December 17.

Martin Bernetti/AFP/Getty Images

“To this end, we are coordinating with the Machu Picchu municipality to ensure that people are properly boarded on these trains, prioritizing the care of the elderly, people with health conditions and families with children. I will,” the statement said.

Trains to Machu Picchu, the main means of accessing the UNESCO World Heritage Site, were suspended on Tuesday, with PeruRail in a statement saying, “We regret the interruption of service caused by circumstances beyond our control. .

PeruRail also said that evacuees will be transported by bus from the community of Piscaccho to Cusco City, where the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) is located.

Airports to resume operations

Peru’s Ministry of Transport said Friday that the airport in Cusco, 75 kilometers (47 miles) from Machu Picchu, had resumed operations after it was temporarily suspended amid protests in the country.

“Passengers who need to travel during curfew hours can use their travel tickets as a safe act,” the ministry said.

Other airports in Peru, also affected by unrest, have begun to reopen

Peru’s Ministry of Transport and Communications tweeted on Monday that Alfredo Rodriquez Barón International Airport in Arequipa, the largest airport in southern Peru, resumed operations with the first flight taking off at 6:15 am.

Juliaca’s Inca Manco Capac International Airport is expected to resume operations from Tuesday, the ministry said.

Unexpected Stranding

About 300 tourists from all over the world, including Peruvians, South Americans, Americans and Europeans, were stranded at Machu Picchu, according to Machu Picchu Mayor Darwin Baka.

Baka told CNN on Friday that he called for helicopter flights to evacuate tourists after demonstrations brought trains and planes to a halt.

Stranded tourists walking Chilka near Machu Picchu.

Stranded tourists walking Chilka near Machu Picchu.

Alejandra Orozco/Reuters

After Castillo’s downfall, protests erupted in cities across the country, sometimes marked by clashes with Peruvian security forces. Some protest in support of Castillo, while others want a complete reset of the country with new general elections and the dissolution of parliament.

Machu Picchu’s municipality said in a statement Friday that it planned to evacuate tourists by Saturday due to heightened tensions across the country. At least 20 people died in political demonstrations.

The evacuation effort is a joint effort between the Mayor of Machu Picchu and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Culture and the local government of Machu Picchu.

Warning from international governments

The British Embassy in Lima, Peru’s capital, has advised British citizens to register through an online form, via the platform ‘iPeru’, with the local authority at the Cultural Center on Avenida Pachacutec.
The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel advisory to citizens traveling to Peru, listing it as a Level 3 “reconsider travel” destination. The State Department is asking Peruvian travelers to register for her STEP alert from the U.S. Embassy if they have not already done so.

In his Sunday address, Pope Francis called for peace in Peru.

“We pray for peace in Peru and hope that the violence in the country will stop and that the avenues of dialogue will be opened to overcome the political and social crises that afflict the people.”

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