Monday, February 18, 2013

Péru: Update--Kidnap Threat Against Americans in Cuzco, Macchu Picchu

As a follow-up to my posting of February 16, 2013,  the kidnap threat against predominantly US citizens in the Cuzco region (including Macchu Picchu), which could include other nationalities as well. The threat is based on communications intercepts.

On April 9, 2012, an armed group led by a Sendero Luminoso leaded known as "Gabriel," abducted 36 workers in the village of Camisea Kepashiato, located in the district of Echarate, province of the Convention. During the rescue operation that followed, Senderistas killed eleven members of the police and military. In addition, one combat UH1H Huey II helicopter belonging to the US government was lost.
 
The counter-offensive which threatens to unleash this group Shining Path now has a new target that are not military, but the United States. This would explain the unexpected finally Washington warning its citizens.

COMMENT: Although the President of the Peruvian government's Council of Ministers, Juan Jimenez, confirm receipt of the threat, it reportedly has not been able to independently corroborate the information.

That being said, the Peruvians have assured the Embassy that they will take all necessary steps to protect Americans in Cuzco.

It should be noted that the Peruvians are on record as attempting to persuade the US Ambassador to cancel the threat warning, which is probably why the host government has not "corroborated" the warning.

Considering that most US Embassy threat alerts have been corroborated, I would strongly suggest that our readers heed the embassy warning and defer travel through March 15, which should provide sufficient time to see if threats are going to materialize.