Peru protest warning triggers new state of emergency

A new state of emergency has been declared in Peru ahead of a fresh phase of political protests.

The Foreign Office altered its travel advice to the South American country today warning of a “large” protest in Lima and southern Peru on Wednesday (July 19).

“A related state of emergency has been declared in anticipation of road travel disruptions,” the alert said, pointing out that access to the centre of the capital may be restricted.

“Political protests in Peru are unpredictable and can escalate quickly and include violence. You should take particular care to avoid large gatherings and all areas of protests. 

“If there are protests and it is possible, you should remain in a safe place. You should follow the local authorities’ advice and also monitor local media, including social media channels.

“Protests may cause travel disruption, including with road blockades, suspension of train services and airport closures including in tourist areas.”

Peru has faced various degrees of turmoil for months with clashes between protestors and security forces having resulted in casualties in the past, including “significant violent civil unrest” in the Puno and Apurimac regions in December and January. 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) cautioned that “local police and emergency services do not have the same capacity to respond to traveller emergencies in these regions as elsewhere in Peru.

“Where protests or criminal activity result in travel disruption or damage to infrastructure, the British government’s ability to provide consular support will be limited, as may that of local authorities, especially if infrastructure such as airports, roads and railroads are affected.”

Travellers arriving in Peru should also be aware that travel to some parts of the country or return to Lima “could be affected by protests and should be prepared for delays or disruption”.

Some train services in the south, including trains to or from Machu Picchu, are occasionally temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure, or disrupted, due to protests, the FCDO pointed out.

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