Operations at Peru’s Cusco Airport suspended due to political protests

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The  Peruvian Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) has announced that, due to political protests, operations at Cusco’s Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) have been temporarily suspended until at least January 13, 2022.

‘The MTC declares that, as a preventive measure, Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport #Cusco will temporarily suspend its operations. This action is being carried out to safeguard the integrity of people and the safety of aeronautical operations,’ the department announced via a Twitter post on January 13, 2022.

Famous for being the historic capital of Peru, Cusco is located in the middle of the Peruvian Andes and is celebrated for its archaeological remains and Spanish colonial architecture. It’s the gateway to Machu Picchu, one of the world’s most visited archeological sites.

Cusco Airport is Peru’s second busiest air terminal nationwide with over 100 weekly flights to and from Lima. It’s estimated that around 3 million tourists visit Cusco each year. 

Peru is currently gripped by what is said to be its worst violent political outbreaks and protests in 20 years.  

Protests in the country began in early December 2022 after Congress removed former President Pedro Castillo, who was arrested and sentenced to 18 months of pre-trial detention on rebellion charges. 

Castillo’s vice president, Dina Boluarte, has now become Peru’s sixth president in five years.

Castillio’s supporters– villagers, many of them farmers – tried to reach Cusco Airport as part of a mobilization to demand Boluarte’s dismissal.

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