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. Rail and air travel services were disrupted as protesters stormed the airport.

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.

Peru’s Ministry of Transport said on Friday that flights 75 kilometers (47 miles) from Machu Picchu had resumed after being 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.

On Sunday, Peru’s Minister of Transport and Communications Paola Lazarte said work was underway to resume operations at Arequipa Airport, the largest airport in southern Peru. After being closed due to protests. She added that she has received additional lighting kits to help resume night flights on Saturday.

About 300 tourists from all over the world, including Peruvians, South Americans, Americans and Europeans, are stranded at the historic site, 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 on Friday that it planned to evacuate tourists by Saturday as tensions rose across the country after at least 20 people died during political demonstrations.

“Local authorities, through their tourism offices, will make the necessary coordination in the selection and prioritization of children and vulnerable people for transfer on humanitarian flights. It is work that has been done by the government,” the statement said.

Warning from international governments

The ongoing relief effort is a systematic collaboration between Machu Picchu Mayor Darwin Baka León and the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism, the Ministry of the Interior, the Department of Culture (DDC) and the local government of Machu. Pichu.

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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