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Tony Dunnell

Cusco Kidnap Warning Update

By February 17, 2013

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On February 13, the U.S. Embassy in Lima posted a security message warning of a potential kidnapping threat in Cusco. Unsurprisingly, Peruvian authorities have voiced concerns over the validity of the claims.

President Ollanta Humala was quick to state that there is no supporting information for the U.S. claim. Further statements by José Luis Silva (Minister for Foreign Trade and Tourism) and Juan Jiménez (Head of Cabinet) have also questioned the validity of the U.S. warning.

In Cusco, meanwhile, the number of foreign arrivals to Machu Picchu has dropped by about half since the security alert. According to a report by Gestión, local mayor Elvis La Torre told Canal N: "Normally in season low (January to March) we receive between 1,500 and 2,000 tourists daily. Now we see between 700 and 800 tourists. Nearly half have canceled their tour packages."

Despite their doubts about the U.S. claim, Peruvian authorities have nonetheless increased police numbers on the street of Cusco.

February 26, 2013 at 11:31 am
(1) Holly says:

I am a single female, and I love Peru and the people. I have spent much time all over Peru, including Cusco, both alone and with another. Never have I had a problem, felt fear, or threatened- I am very comfortable there alone. As with any travel, be aware of your surroundings. Peruvian’s are kindhearted people. There will always be some bad apples. I am going again in June. Please don’t cancel plans or avoid going to Peru because of this warning…

February 26, 2013 at 8:09 pm
(2) goperu says:

Hi Holly, and thanks for your comment.

I agree with you — if anyone asks me whether or not they should cancel a trip to Cusco due to the current warning, I say don’t cancel. Be extra cautious, perhaps, but I don’t think the warning warrants cancelations.

My last few blog posts have been slightly bleak, so thanks for the positive words!


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