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Nearly 5,000 tourists stuck in Cusco due to protests in Peru – News

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“We have 5,000 tourists trapped in the city of Cusco. They are in their hotels and waiting for flights to resume,” Darwin Baca, mayor of the neighboring district of Machu Picchu, also in Cusco, told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The city airport was closed today, the roads were blocked, the railway transport was paralyzed.

The mayor stressed that the Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport in Cusco, the third busiest in the country, has been closed since Monday, when protesters tried to invade infrastructure, while protests in this city continue.

Meanwhile in Machu Picchu, about 200 tourists, mostly North Americans and Europeans, left the region on foot, following a railway line, to the city of Ollantaytambo, 30 kilometers away, where they wait for a bus.

The train between the stone citadel and Cusco, the former capital of the Inca Empire, located 110 kilometers away, is the only modern way to get to the ex-libris of Peruvian tourism.

In Aguas Calientes, a resort town nestled in a steep valley at the foot of the historic site from which Machu Picchu can be reached, dozens of tourists are also waiting for transport.

“They are afraid that they will arrive in Cusco and will not be able to return to their country, because they are afraid that the situation will worsen,” Darwin Baca added.

The Portuguese government is working to evacuate 65 Portuguese tourists in Peru as soon as possible, Secretary of State for Portuguese Communities Paulo Cafofo told Lusa today.

According to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in 2020, 242 Portuguese citizens were registered at the Portuguese Embassy in Lima.

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At least 18 people have died during demonstrations and clashes with security forces that have rocked the country since December 7.

A delegation from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) will visit Peru from December 19 to 21, the autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS) announced today.

The agency clarified that the IACHR executive secretariat is “available” to visit Peru from 19 to 21 December, with another rapporteur visit scheduled for January.

Castillo asked this Wednesday after his arrest that the IACHR intercede for his rights, while the new government of Dina Boluarte has not yet reported any request for a visit from this organization.

Also today, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres reiterated his call for the rule of law in Peru and the guarantee of freedom of assembly and peaceful demonstration.

Stéphane Dujarric, a spokesman for the organization, reminded Guterres, “is following the situation with concern” and regrets the loss of life.

Boluarte took office as President of Peru on December 7, replacing Pedro Castillo, who was dismissed by Congress after the decision to dissolve this body and announce the formation of an emergency government that will rule by decree, convene a Constitutional Assembly and reorganize the justice system.

The new president has proposed that Congress hold a general election in December 2023 to contain the protests that erupted after the resignation of Castillo, who said he was the victim of a coup.

On Wednesday, the head of state declared a state of emergency for 30 days, which means suspension of the right of assembly or freedom of movement.

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However, this measure did not calm the mood of the demonstrators and, on the contrary, seemed to aggravate the protests.

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Vladimir Putin has delayed the invasion of Ukraine at least three times.

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Putin has repeatedly consulted with Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu about the invasion, Europa Press told Ukraine’s chief intelligence director Vadim Skibitsky.

According to Skibitsky, it was the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB), which is responsible for counterintelligence and espionage work, that put pressure on Gerasimov and other military agencies to agree to launch an offensive. .

However, according to the Ukrainian intelligence services, the FSB considered that by the end of February sufficient preparations had already been made to guarantee the success of the Russian Armed Forces in a lightning invasion.

However, according to Kyiv, the Russian General Staff provided the Russian troops with supplies and ammunition for only three days, hoping that the offensive would be swift and immediately successful.

The head of Ukrainian intelligence also emphasized the cooperation of local residents, who always provided the Ukrainian authorities with up-to-date information about the Russian army, such as the number of soldiers or the exact location of troops.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

See also  FBI looking for man who killed 11-month-old daughter in 'terrible' crime

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Life sentence for former Swedish official for spying for Russia

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A Stockholm court on Monday sentenced a former Swedish intelligence officer to life in prison for spying for Russia, and his brother to at least 12 years in prison. In what is considered one of the most serious cases in Swedish counterintelligence history, much of the trial took place behind closed doors in the name of national security.

According to the prosecution, it was Russian military intelligence, the GRU, who took advantage of the information provided by the two brothers between 2011 and their arrest at the end of 2021.

Peyman Kia, 42, has held many senior positions in the Swedish security apparatus, including the army and his country’s intelligence services (Säpo). His younger brother, Payam, 35, is accused of “participating in the planning” of the plot and of “managing contacts with Russia and the GRU, including passing on information and receiving financial rewards.”

Both men deny the charges, and their lawyers have demanded an acquittal on charges of “aggravated espionage,” according to the Swedish news agency TT.

The trial coincides with another case of alleged Russian espionage, with the arrest of the Russian-born couple in late November in a suburb of Stockholm by a police team arriving at dawn in a Blackhawk helicopter.

Research website Bellingcat identified them as Sergei Skvortsov and Elena Kulkova. The couple allegedly acted as sleeper agents for Moscow, having moved to Sweden in the late 1990s.

According to Swedish press reports, the couple ran companies specializing in the import and export of electronic components and industrial technology.

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The man was again detained at the end of November for “illegal intelligence activities.” His partner, suspected of being an accomplice, has been released but remains under investigation.

According to Swedish authorities, the arrests are not related to the trial of the Kia brothers.

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Ukraine admitted that Russia may announce a general mobilization

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“They can strengthen their positions. We understand that this can happen. At the same time, we do not rule out that they will announce a general mobilization,” Danilov said in an interview with the Ukrainska Pravda online publication.

Danilov believed that this mobilization would also be convened “to exterminate as many as possible” of Russian citizens, so that “they would no longer have any problems on their territory.”

In this sense, Danilov also reminded that Russia has not given up on securing control over Kyiv or the idea of ​​the complete “destruction” of Ukraine. “We have to be ready for anything,” he said.

“I want everyone to understand that [os russos] they have not given up on the idea of ​​destroying our nation. If they don’t have Kyiv in their hands, they won’t have anything in their hands, we must understand this,” continued Danilov, who also did not rule out that a new Russian offensive would come from “Belarus and other territories.” .

As such, Danilov praised the decision of many of its residents who chose to stay in the Ukrainian capital when the war broke out in order to defend the city.

“They expected that there would be panic, that people would run, that there would be nothing to protect Kyiv,” he added, referring to President Volodymyr Zelensky.

The military offensive launched on February 24 by Russia in Ukraine caused at least 6.5 million internally displaced persons and more than 7.8 million refugees to European countries, which is why the UN classifies this migration crisis as the worst in Europe since World War II (1939-1945). gg.). ).

See also  FBI looking for man who killed 11-month-old daughter in 'terrible' crime

At the moment, 17.7 million Ukrainians are in need of humanitarian assistance, and 9.3 million are in need of food aid and housing.

The Russian invasion, justified by Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need to “denazify” and demilitarize Ukraine for Russia’s security, was condemned by the international community at large, which responded by sending weapons to Ukraine and imposing political and economic sanctions on Russia.

The UN has presented as confirmed 6,755 civilian deaths and 10,607 wounded since the beginning of the war, stressing that these figures are much lower than the real ones.

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