Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu Closes As Government Protests Continue.

Machu Picchu, the iconic 15th-century Incan citadel in the Andes Mountains of Peru, has been closed to visitors due to continuing protests by residents.

Over the weekend, hundreds of visitors were evacuated from the Incan site. The Peruvian government has indefinitely closed Machu Picchu and the renowned Inca Trail due to ongoing political protests that have resulted in the deaths of over 50 people, most of whom were killed in clashes with police. 

Peru’s tourism ministry announced on January 21 that over 400 people were evacuated from a 15th-century Incan site over the weekend. Tickets might be refunded or used in the month after the dispute, according to the agency. Protesters want Dina Boluarte’s resignation, therefore this date is questionable.

The Peruvian government has protested the site’s congestion and damage to the fragile nature. Tourism enriches the government more than the local populace, prompting complaints.

The tourism ministry said that “violent groups” damaged Machu Picchu rail lines. Due to shuttered airports and train routes, the government evacuated tens of thousands of tourists last month. Cusco has seen violent battles with Peruvian authorities until January.

After the Peruvian congress ousted socialist president Pedro Castillo in December, Indigenous protests began nationwide. Castillo, facing an impeachment vote for corruption on December 7, moved to dissolve congress, sparking mass resignations and military non-support. After the highest court ruled the former president’s dissolution of the legislature unlawful, Castillo was imprisoned. Castillo was imprisoned for 18 months before his trial by former vice president Dina Boluarte.

The government has responded by closing Machu Picchu to visitors until further notice. While the government has not indicated when the site will reopen, it will likely remain closed until the protests are resolved.

Turn of events

Peru’s current political instability is indicated by the abrupt swing of events. The current government is corrupt after six presidents in six years. Former union leader and educator Castillo spoke for Peru’s rural poor and broke with established leadership. Indigenous Castillo is the first rural Andean president in a country where Indigenous populations have always endured societal inequity. Indigenous Castillo supporters have led recent Southern Andes protests.

Peru’s worst political violence in 20 years occurred recently. On January 10, the UN called for “prompt, fair, and effective” investigations into the escalating number of injuries and deaths in Peru and justice for the perpetrators and victims.

On Tuesday, after Boularte called for a cease-fire, thousands of Lima protesters were gassed and pelleted. Left-wing Peruvian politicians filed for President Dina Boluarte’s impeachment on January 25, citing her protest mismanagement.

In the meantime, tourists and locals must explore other attractions, such as the Sacred Valley, which offers stunning views of the Andes Mountains. Cusco, with its colonial and Incan architecture, traditional markets, and exquisite food, is also a great place to experience local culture.

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