Tue, 07 Feb 2023

Peru Closes Machu Picchu Amid Deadly Protests in Lima

Voice of America
22 Jan 2023, 18:07 GMT+10

Peruvian security forces descended on the Lima campus of the National University of San Marcos Saturday where anti-government demonstrators were staying. Authorities say at least 100 people were arrested.

A large group of protesters marched to anti-terrorism police headquarters in Lima demanding the release of those detained at the university. Many in the group were chanting in Spanish "They are peasants, they are not terrorists."

Many of the demonstrators have come to Lima from remote regions of the country.

Also Saturday, the growing protests caused Peruvian cultural officials to close "until further notice," the famed Incan citadel of Machu Picchu and the Inca Trail, top tourist attractions, where hundreds of tourists, most of them foreigners, had been stranded. More than 400 tourists were later evacuated from the site.

The Machu Picchu train is not running because the tracks have been damaged. The closest town is an hourslong hike.

Dozens of people have been killed in the anti-government protests that have been sweeping across Peru in recent weeks.

Demonstrators began taking to the streets last month after President Pedro Castillo was ousted and replaced by his vice president, Dina Boluarte.

Castillo, the country's first leader of rural Andean descent, was impeached as he was trying to dissolve Congress to head off the impeachment vote. Authorities have detained Castillo on charges of rebellion.

Demonstrators want Boluarte out of office and new elections held.

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