Travel Safety Peru
 

February 10, 2008

This past week residents in Cuzco protested bringing public transportation to a halt and disrupting rail traffic between Cuzco and Machu Picchu. The protest involves the two proposed laws in congress involving the loosening of rules and regulations of tourism and hotel development. Opponents are fearful that such development will be for the purpose of enriching foreign investors. Sponsors of the protests warn that if the laws are passed that continued strikes and protests will continue. AP and other sources

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If you are travelling to Lima in May or November beware that both Lima and Callao will be very busy when they sponsor the EU-LAC summit May 15, 16, and the 17th. The APEC summit will be held November 20, 21, and 22nd. Some fear there will be a shortage of hotel rooms. Also, these days will be deemed non-working days for local and government employees.

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Robberies of foreigners are reported to be down 70% at the Lima international airport for the year 2007. Only 14 foreigners were reported robbed as compared to 44 in 2006. The modus operandi of most robberies involve the criminals smashing window of vehicles with spark plugs and grabbing phones and wallets. Most incidents happen at Faucett and La Marina Avenues which is the main gateway from the airport to Lima. Andina   

January 14, 2008

In Lambayeque, Peru a farmer has died from exposure to anthrax. It is believed the infection was aquired from working with livestock. Five others in Valle Hermoso in Chiclayno de Monsefú have been confirmed as having been infected. They are being treated and the health authorities have been called in to study the situation. One should always beware of meat from animals which the origin is not known or that have suffered sudden death. "Correo"-source 

January 07, 2008

The director of the volunteer firefighters organization of Peru stated that out of a fleet of 600 vehicles only 20 meet international standards. Most of the current fleet range between 20-50 years of age. He stated that the entire fleet needs to be replaced at an estimated 90 to 100 million dollars.

January 06, 2008

A passenger bus in Ica was detained after police discovered more than 600 cartridges of dynamite.

Asher Green who held both U.S. and Israel citizenship was missing three-months ago. He was last heard from on November 4, 2007, and was planning on doing some hiking near Arequipa. His body was found this weekend by a farmer in southern Peru.

Road Conditions - Arequipa

A recent article in a Peruvian newspaper discusses an accident and states that the highways of Arequipa have "returned to blood" Also, taxi drivers are in Arequipa are asking the local governement repair the roads in Arequipa. There are large holes throughout the city on various major streets. MORE INFORMATION   

January 03, 2008

94 miles WNW of Arequipa Peru at 6:26 pm(January 2, 2008) local time, there was an earthquake that measured 5.1 on the Richter Scale. No reports of injuries or damage at present. Local reports indicate that the intensity level was a III in Arequipa and a IV in Caraveli. The epicenter was 385 miles SE of Lima.

On January 2, 2008, a national from the United Kingdom, after celebrating the New Year, fell into the Vilcanota River between 2:00am and 3:00am after having visited the plaza and discotecas in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo). A friend with the victim who was age 44, stated he was intoxicated when he fell into the river. Police have not located the victim. 

January 02, 2008

Peru newspaper "Correo" reports the guerrilla group "Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) has made inroads in presenting its communist beliefs in several elementary schools. A military investigation has done a specific investigation at the school Tingo María where it has been found teachers have been involved in the teachings. Results of the investigation has also found the teaching has been going on in other schools in Peru. In most cases it is usually being done in very poor areas where the children may be susceptible to the ideas of communism.

Deaths were lower this year for the New Year celebrations throughout Peru as compared to years past. There have been reports of between three and eleven deaths on Peru's highways during the New Year's period.

Radio Programas de Perú states that on January 31, 2007, there were 66 fires reported in Lima and Callao. Eleven of the fires were caused by the use of pyrotechnics.

December 30, 2007

Be on the alert in Lima for new and more aggressive tactics to steal from you.

One tactic that is used by merchants is called the exchange or "cambiazo". After you have decided on what product to purchase, the merchant will exchange it for possibly another or defective product.. The vulnerability is allowing the product to be wrapped as a gift.

Another common theft practice is "arrebato" (surprise) where two thieves work. together. One of them grabs you by the right arm and the other steals your watch from your left wrist.

The maquinazo also involves two thieves. One of them will begun to throw insults at out of nowhere. While you are caught off guard, the other thief will push their hands in your pockets and take everything that they can.

Peruvian criminals are very astute. Always be careful of your personal space when in public and beware of anyone you don't know approaching you. That means anyone. Peruvians, due to the violence in their country's history are usually suspicious of foreigners or people they don't know and will avoid contact in public in most cases.

Beware during New Year's celebrations with fireworks. There are numerous clandestine vendors of pyrotechnics. One of the infamous devices is called the "rata blanca". A new and more potent firework is now available and named "mamá". It measures about 20 cm and contains 120 grams of explosive.

Huanuco - On December 15, 2007, 4 journalists received threats via pamphlets left in the hamlet of Aucayacu. The pamphlets were signed "Shining Path". Huanuco is a noted area of drug traffickers, police involved in paramilitary activity and former guerrillas.

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