Machu Picchu to reopen after train protests

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Machu Picchu to reopen after train protests
Workers and residents of the area protest against the railway companies that offer service to the famous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in demand of more train frequencies and cheaper rates, in the town of Machu Picchu, Peru, on December 14, 2020. The Inca citadel of Machu Picchu, the crown jewel of Peru's tourist sites, closed its doors on December 14 for an indefinite period for security reasons amid protests by locals over train services, officials said. The surprise measure came just six weeks after the tourist hotspot reopened following an almost eight-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Jesus TAPIA / AFP.

LIMA (AFP).- The mountainous Inca citadel of Machu Picchu in Peru will re-open to tourists on Saturday after an agreement was reached to halt protests by locals over train services, officials said.

The protests had forced the site to close on Monday, just six weeks after it reopened following an almost eight-month closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Residents of the towns of Machu Picchu and Ollantaytambo have been demanding cheaper fares and more frequent trains on the route between Cusco and Machu Picchu.

The train is the only means of transport for tourists, but it is also widely used by locals.

Protesters occupied the tracks, which sparked clashes with the police and threats to occupy the tourist site.

Authorities in the Cusco region said in a statement on Friday that "social order has been reestablished."

Activists said no long-term deal had been agreed, but that the protests and blockades had been halted until next year.

Machu Picchu was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1983. Visitor numbers are restricted due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

© Agence France-Presse

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