Hundreds of tourists stranded in Machu Picchu amid Peru protests

About 300 tourists from around the world have been left stranded in the ancient city of Machu Picchu, according to the mayor, after Peru was plunged into a state of emergency following the ousting of the country’s president.

Former President Pedro Castillo was impeached and subsequently arrested in early December after announcing his plan to dissolve Congress. The unrest sparked by his arrest has prompted international warnings about travel to Peru.

Darwin Baca, Machu Picchu’s mayor, said that Peruvians, South Americans, Americans and Europeans are among the stranded travelers.

“We have asked the government to help us and establish helicopter flights in order to evacuate the tourists,” Baca said Friday. The only way to get in and out of the town is by train, and these services are suspended until further notice, he said.

In a ray of hope for those affected, a statement published late Friday by the Municipal District of Machu Picchu said stranded tourists were expected to be evacuated Saturday.

“The municipality, through the Tourism Unit, carries out the necessary coordination for the selection and prioritization of children and vulnerable people for the transfer on humanitarian flights, work that has been carried out in coordination with the National Police and the district Health Center,” the statement said.

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