news Peruvian government to resume train services from Machu Picchu
Train services and airports are now resuming following last week’s suspension and closure.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.”