Peru protesters block tourists from Inca citadel
CUSCO, Peru (Reuters) -- Protesters blocked trains to stop tourists from
travelling to Peru's Inca citadel of Machu Picchu on Tuesday and left
hundreds of visitors stranded at the Andean nation's top tourist site,
Demonstrators protesting the privatisation of the railway concession to
Machu Picchu blocked tourist trains leaving the historic city of Cusco, about
70 miles (112 km) from the ruins, by placing metal slabs, stones and logs on
More than 1,000 visitors travel every day by train or on hiking routes
reach Peru's most popular tourist site, perched spectacularly on the saddle
of a mountain about 9,000 feet (3,000 meters) above sea level.
On Tuesday morning, about 200 workers, protesting job losses and
redundancy payments, occupied the main train station in Cusco, barricading
themselves in the building and shouting slogans against President Alberto
Hundreds of tourists staying at hotels near Machu Picchu were unable to
return to Cusco, hotel employees said.
"We do not know yet if trains will leave (Cusco) on Wednesday," Tina
Puerta, a Cusco-based travel agent, told Reuters by telephone. Train
workers said the strike was "indefinite."
A private helicopter firm was ferrying some of the tourists back to Cusco
from the ruins, according to hotel workers.
Government officials were not immediately available for comment.
One of South America's top tourist draws, Machu Picchu was abandoned at
the time of the Spanish conquest and was rediscovered about 1920.