Machu Picchu (Peru) reopens after a week with evacuated tourists and closed businesses


Tourists evacuated, businesses closed and protests. This is the situation that Machu Picchu and nearby towns such as Ollantaytambo (Peru) have been experiencing since last Thursday. And all due to the indefinite strike called by workers, which has been joined by the rest of the inhabitants with several demonstrations. Finally, the strike has been called off after reaching an agreement with the authorities.

Specifically, the protests were sparked after the announcement by the Peruvian government of the award to the private company Joinnus for the sale of tickets to the Inca citadel. Many citizens consider that this is a "systematic privatization" of the site and, therefore, of the cultural heritage. 

For her part, the Minister of Culture (the Ministry responsible for the administration of Machu Picchu), Leslie Urteaga, has argued that the demonstrations are the result of "a few who want to continue profiting through the black market of tickets". After the negotiations, the Ministry of Culture has announced that it will break the contract with Joinnus.

By way of protest, the demonstrators have even paralyzed trains, one of the main means of access to Machu Picchu, so that many tourists were forced to reach the site on foot and in the rain, according to BBC information.

The truth is that Machu Picchu has not been able to raise its head for several years, since it had to remain closed during the pandemic and it took many months to reopen its doors because the pandemic hit Peru hard. At the beginning of 2022, it was also necessary to evacuate tourists and the access to the citadel was blocked due to the overflowing of the Alcamayo River due to a storm. And finally, during the first months of last year, the site was also forced to close for some periods due to violent protests following the arrest of Pedro Castillo for the attempted coup d'état.

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