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Swiss tourists stuck in crisis-hit Peru

Street protestors in Peru
At least 20 people have died during turbulent street protests in Peru. Keystone / Bienvenido Velasco

The Swiss authorities are making contact with citizens trapped in Peru among hundreds of other tourists with the country spiraling into political crisis.

A foreign ministry spokesperson told the Keystone-SDA news agency that it had been in touch with around 30 Swiss nationals in the South American country who had contacted its helpline.

There are no reports of Swiss citizens tourists facing particular problems in Peru.

Peru has descended into chaos since the arrest of former President Pedro Castillo this month, who had tried to dissolve Congress. More than 20 people have reportedly been killed during rioting and street protests.

A 32-year-old Swiss tourist, who has been stuck near to the sightseeing destination of Machu Picchu for three days, told Keystone-SDA that the immediate region was calm.

“It’s more the news coming from other parts of the country that makes you uncertain,” he said.

The Swiss foreign ministry is advising citizens to carefully review the situation before making travel plans to Peru. A state of emergency has been declared in the country, and a “worsening of the situation cannot be ruled out”.

Swiss people in Peru are being advised to follow the instructions of the local authorities and to contact the Swiss embassy if they need help.

Some flights have been suspended to Peru, making it harder for tourists to leave the country.

Last month, a Swiss national was among around 100 tourists who were freed after being temporarily held hostage by Peruvian villagers on the Amazon protesting an oil spill.

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