Peru closes Cuzco airport amid anti-government protests

Lima, 12 Jan. The Government of Peru reported this Thursday that the Cuzco airport, the gateway to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, will temporarily suspend its operations “as a preventive measure” in the face of the anti-government protests that are shaking the country and that have totaled 49 deaths since December. .

“The Ministry of Transport and Communications informs that, as a preventive measure, the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cuzco will temporarily suspend its operations,” the ministry wrote on Twitter.

He added that “this action is carried out to safeguard the integrity of people and the safety of aeronautical operations.”

The announcement became official one day after a protester died in Cuzco, after a day of protests concentrated in the vicinity of the local airport.

In various parts of the country, protesters have tried to occupy airport facilities, causing the closure of some of them, as is the case in the southern city of Juliaca, in the Puno region, bordering Bolivia.

The Cuzco fatality was identified as Rema Candia Guevara, who was a leader of the Urinsaya Ccollana peasant community, in the Cuzco province of Anta.

The demonstrations in Peru began on December 7, when Dina Boluarte assumed the presidency of the country after the failed self-coup by former president Pedro Castillo (2021-2022) and, after a Christmas truce, they were felt again, especially in the south of the country. , as of January 4.

The mobilizations experienced their deadliest day last Monday, when clashes between protesters and law enforcement in the vicinity of the Juliaca airport left 17 dead.

The protesters demand the resignation of Boluarte, the closure of Congress, the advancement of general elections to 2023 and a constituent assembly, among other demands.

So far, 41 protesters have died in clashes with law enforcement, as well as a police officer and seven more people “due to traffic accidents and events related to the blockade.”

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