The train that was supposed to allow them to leave Machu Picchu could no longer run, the tracks having been damaged by protesters. As for the Inca trail, the only other way to access the site, it is closed “due to the social situation and to preserve the safety of visitors”, according to a press release from the Ministry of Culture. Hundreds of tourists had therefore been stranded for a few days at the foot of the most famous Peruvian site.
A solution was finally found. “This afternoon, 418 national (Peruvian) and foreign tourists were transferred from the village of Machu Picchu to Cuzco”, the Inca imperial and tourist capital of Peru, the Ministry of Tourism announced on twitter.
The ministry released a photo of the train that connects the two cities and another of the tourists inside it. Apart from walking, the train is the only way to reach this tourist gem. Piscacucho is the nearest village connected to the road network. Tourists, of all nationalities, had registered on Friday lists in Aguas Calientes to be evacuated.
In December, some 300 tourists had already been stranded in Machu Picchu before being evacuated by a special train with railway workers to repair the track, supervised by law enforcement. Tourism, vital for the economy, represents between 3 and 4% of the GDP and provides employment to all strata of the population.
Strong tensions in the country
The morning was bereaved by a new death, a demonstrator who died of his injuries received on Friday during clashes between police and protesters in Ilave in the Puno region (south, near the Bolivia).
This brings to 46 the number of dead since December 7 and the start of protests demanding the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, the dissolution of Parliament and the constitution of a Constituent Assembly.
The unrest began after the dismissal and arrest of left-wing president Pedro Castillo, accused of having attempted a coup d’etat in order to dissolve the Parliament who was about to oust him from power.
The crisis is also a reflection of the huge rift between the capital and the impoverished provinces that supported President Castillo, of Native American descent, and saw his election as revenge for what they see as contempt for the capital.
disproportionate use of force
In Lima, the day after two days of mobilization, with the arrival in the capital of demonstrators from the poor Andean regions, the situation remained tense. The police invaded San Marcos University in the city center in the morning to expel many demonstrators who had been staying there for several days.
They knocked down the gate with an armored vehicle, then searched the occupants of the premises, sometimes forcing them to lie on the ground in front of the university, journalists from theAFP, before stopping some of them. Several hundred people gathered in the afternoon near the police to demand their release, some brandishing signs “Dina murders”.
The police dispersed them in the early evening, with tear gas fire. Other small groups demonstrated in the capital with the same demands.