Conflicts & War

Railway to Machu Picchu remains blocked by protests for 2nd day

Lima, Apr 19 (EFE).- Railway services to the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu on Tuesday remained suspended for the second day of a strike called by about 20 unions to demand that the Peruvian government deliver solutions to alleviate the rise in food, fuel and fertilizer prices.

Given the blockades on the rail lines used by many tourists who travel to the architectural jewel of the ancient Inca empire, PeruRail and Inca Rail confirmed to EFE that, for the second day in a row, they had suspended their operations, although they said they are hoping to reestablish service up the mountain on Wednesday.

The 48-hour strike in the Andean region of Cusco was announced on April 11 by dozens of social organizations linked to the agriculture and transport sectors, among others, who are demanding that the government fulfill its promises to reduce the prices of fuel, fertilizers and basic necessities.

They are also demanding that the second agricultural reform announced by President Pedro Castillo be carried out and, in addition, they are demanding that Congress drop what they call its obstructionist stance in the matter.

With an eye toward finding a solution to the conflict, Prime Minister Anibal Torres on Monday traveled to Cusco to meet with the social organizations that have sponsored the strike.

At this meeting which lasted for more than three hours, a commitment agreement was signed for a working negotiation session on April 21 and the holding of a decentralized Council of Ministers meeting on the 22nd in Cusco to be attended by the president, the government said.

In that regard, the government on Tuesday morning in the official daily El Peruano published the resolution created by a temporary working group titled the “Technical dialogue committee for the development of Cusco province.”

“There are so many things that we can achieve by talking, agreeing on these dialogue sessions, without any discrimination,” Torres said on Monday, urging the unions to end their strike to “maintain social peace.”

However, after the meeting with the authorities, the unions decided to continue with the initial plan and maintain the strike until Tuesday, given the “doubts” that the agreed-on accords have raised, as German Santoyo, the representatives of the Provincial Workers Federation of Cusco (FDTC), told local media.

On the first day of the strike, the Peruvian government implemented an action plan to protect tourists, including establishing a transportation corridor for visitors to the Machu Picchu site.

EFE csr/gdl/ads/bp

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