Flood Closes Trails to Machu Picchu
The top news story in Peru this week was last Sunday’s flood that greatly affected Machu Picchu and the surrounding cities. Days of heavy rains triggered up to 40 landslides, blocking the roads and railways between Machu Picchu and Cuzco. The government declared an emergency in the area on Monday and all week long they have been airlifting tourists out of the area. As of Saturday, Police in Peru say they have airlifted the last of the tourists stranded near the Inca ruins. Of the approximate 4,000 tourists and local residents who have fled the area, 1,460 of them were flown out by helicopter.
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The Progression of the Shining Path
The Shining Path has suspended military action in Peru this week. Filomeno Cerron Cardoso, the leader of the Peruvian group Shining Path, announced the suspension of military actions on their part. Known as “Comrade Artemio,” Cardoso also asked the Peruvian government to enter into negotiations. Shining Path diminished after its founder, Abimael Guzmán, was captured in 1993 but rumors of a possible resurgence began in 2002 when a car bomb went off at the El Polo shopping center in Lima, directly across from the US Embassy. This was a few days before President George W. Bush was to visit Peru for the first time. Since the El Polo bombing, hundreds of oil pipeline workers in the valleys have been kidnapped, and Shining Path guerrillas have killed hundreds of Peruvian police and soldiers. The group has taken on a different mindset since the 1980’s and even the imprisoned Guzmán has distanced himself from the group, calling Cardoso and his following mercenaries with no ideology.
For more information on Shining Path, click here.
Piura Regional News
Threats Persist at a Developing Health Center
The Bellavista Health Center in Sullana stopped construction this week after the engineering contractor received several threats to him and his family. This is a much needed health center in the area and should have been finished in the middle of last year. However, since construction has stopped so many times, it has been delayed. The contracting company is considering putting a stop to this project as they feel violence and delinquency in the area is getting out of control.
Click here for the full article in Spanish.
A Murder Mystery
The bodies of two youth from the settlement of Almirante Miguel Grau de Castilla were found on Friday in Catacaos. Andy Valverde Cordóva was 18 years old and Iván Calle Cango was 21. According to their families, they left on Monday night after receiving a call from an unknown girl. They went to a nightclub in the Almirante area around 9:00 where they got into a quarrel and subsequently got kicked out. No one knew what happened to them after that, until they were discovered in the Los Ejidos canal. Investigations are still ongoing to find out if it was gang related violence.
For the full article in Spanish click here.