Machu PicchuGetty Images

Peru has closed its famous tourist site Machu Picchu indefinitely over the ongoing protests against the country’s president.

The government said it took the decision to protect tourists and its own citizens.

Hundreds of people, mostly foreigners, are currently thought to currently be stranded at the foot of the site.

Dozens of people have been killed in months of violent protests, which began after the previous leader was ousted.

The demonstrators are demanding fresh elections and calling for new President Dina Boluarte to stand down, which she has so far refused to do.

In the latest clashes, roads were blocked and police fired teargas at stone-throwing demonstrators in the capital, Lima.

The stranded tourists at Machu Picchu are the latest to find themselves unable to leave, with the protests disrupting transport services to and from the site.

Last month, the authorities had to rescue hundreds of tourists from nearby who had been stuck for days.

Machu Picchu is a 15th-century Incan citadel in the Andes mountains that was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World in 2007. It’s hugely popular with tourists, with around a million people visiting every year.

Saturday’s closure comes after rail services to the site were suspended after the track was damaged by demonstrators.

In a statement, Peru’s culture ministry said that those who had already bought tickets would be able to use them for one month after the end of the demonstrations, or else refund them.

Stranded tourists who were visiting the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu

Getty Images

Authorities announced on Saturday that another protester had died following demonstrations in the southern region of Puno, where police stations were set on fire.

At least 58 Peruvians have been injured in the latest clashes.

The European Union has condemned the widespread violence and what it called the “disproportionate” use of force by the police.

“The EU calls on the government and all political actors to take urgent steps to restore calm and ensure an inclusive dialogue with the participation of civil society and affected communities as the way out of the crisis,” it said in a statement.

Demonstrators want Ms Boluarte to step aside and call fresh elections, and for her left-wing predecessor, Pedro Castillo, to be released from custody.

Some regional governors have also called for the president’s resignation.

The country has been through years of political turmoil, which came to a head when Mr Castillo was arrested last month for trying to dissolve Congress.

He is being investigated on charges of rebellion and conspiracy. He denies all the accusations, insisting that he is still the country’s legitimate president.

Ms Boluarte has resisted calls to step down and issued a call earlier this week to Peruvians to ensure their protests were peaceful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP Radio
WP Radio