More Than 170 Aussies Contact Embassy In Peru After Protests Leave Them Stuck At Machu Picchu

Peru protests machu picchu

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has confirmed at least 170 Australians have contacted its embassy in Peru after becoming trapped near Machu Picchu. The entire country has been in a state of emergency after political protests broke out this week following the ousting of Peru’s president.

Violent protests involving locals have caused supply lines to be blocked, transport to be disrupted and many tourists to panic.

“Many of those [Australians] are in the city of Cusco and Machu Picchu, where transport options are limited,” a statement from DFAT said, per The Sydney Morning Herald.

MacKenzie Reynolds is a Sydney woman who has become stuck in the region.

“The railways have been destroyed by protests, they’ve stolen parts of it, they’ve blocked parts with boulders,” she told the SMH.

“There’s actually no roads that come in and out of this town.”

Another Aussie tourist, Michael Cocks, was critical of the Australian Government’s response.

“We contacted the consulate and asked, “what are our options?” and essentially all the consulate could do was recommend that we just stay where we were, don’t move, and that was the extent of it,” he told SBS.

It was announced on Sunday morning that limited train services would resume to and from Machu Picchu, per 9News. Helicopter evacuations are also being organised for more vulnerable individuals.

The situation has been caused by an evolving political crisis in the South American nation.

Earlier in December, Peru’s now-former President Pedro Castillo was ousted by his political rivals after being democratically elected in a historic election last year.

The left-wing former school teacher, considered an enemy of Peruvian elites, is now being held in detention for a period of 18 months before being trialled for allegations of rebellion, conspiracy and breaking constitutional order, per the ABC.

The Peruvian parliament was attempting to impeach Castillo on allegations of corruption. In a last-ditch effort to cling to power, he attempted to dissolve the congress which led to his eventual ousting.

Peru has had six presidents in the last six years.

More to come.