Access to Machu Picchu has been suspended amid unrest in Peru!

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Tourist entry to Machu Picchu Citadel and the Inca Trail network has been suspended until further notice due to social unrest in Peru, Peruvian officials said on Saturday, as quoted by CNN.

The Department of Decentralized Culture and the Machu Picchu Historical Sanctuary Department said in a statement that tourists who have tickets for January 21 or after that date can request a refund.

Earlier this week, protests in Peru continued across the country, leaving at least 30 injured. At least two police officers were injured and 11 people were detained as protests turned violent in the southern city of Puno. A police station in Puno was set on fire. Interior Minister Vicente Romero said protesters attacked police stations, government buildings and private offices across the country on Friday.

On Saturday, the National Police of Peru stormed the National University of San Marcos to remove the protesters. The authorities were requested by the university's legal representatives who said that unidentified individuals "used violence" against university staff and took control of the university campus, including the doors of the institution.

Between 200 and 300 police entered the university campus in an armored vehicle to clear away the protesters, according to the state-run Andina news agency. The authorities used tear gas to disperse the protesters who were stationed near the entrance gates, the media added.

Peru is experiencing some of the worst political violence in decades. The protesters want new elections, the resignation of Boluarte, an amendment to the constitution and the release of Castillo, who is currently in pre-trial detention. At the heart of the crisis are demands for better living conditions, which have remained unfulfilled in the two decades since the country's democratic regime was restored.

Access to Machu Picchu has been suspended

According to local news agency Andina, parts of the Urubamba-Ollantaytambo-Machu Picchu railway were damaged during anti-government protests on Thursday, forcing rail services to be suspended until further notice. The suspension of trains resulted in 417 people, including 300 foreign nationals, being stranded in the Machu Picchu district.

At least 300 of those tourists are foreigners, according to Peru's Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism, Luis Helguero. "People are still trapped in Machu Picchu," Helguero said. "417 tourists cannot leave the city, over 300 are foreigners".

Helguero said authorities are assessing and repairing the damage so tourists can be evacuated. Some tourists were evacuated on foot, but the journey, Helguero said, took at least six to seven hours.

PeruRail said Thursday it was suspending services to and from Machu Picchu, among other destinations, because tracks were blocked and damaged in various places.

"We regret the inconvenience this is causing our passengers, however, due to a situation beyond the company's control due to the protests in Cuzco," the statement said.

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