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.