OMAHA, Nebraska — What started out as a relaxing trip to Peru for a group of friends has turned into an exhausting fight to go back to their own country.
After the arrest and deportation of the country’s former president, a group of friends, including two from Omaha, have found themselves stranded in Cusco, Peru, in the midst of violent protests in response to the situation.
Nurses Lisa Kinney, from Omaha, and Anne Lavelle, originally from Omaha but currently residing in Kansas City, will be going on the trip. Liz Schoen is another member of the group who does not hail from Omaha.
They stated that the consulate instructed them to remain in position and take cover when the situation turned serious. In a statement to 3 News Now, a representative for the Department of State advised residents of the affected areas who are citizens of the United States to remain in their homes until it is possible to travel in a safe manner.
Kinney expressed optimism, stating, “It sounds like we’re kind of getting close to even making it for Christmas.”
During the course of the journey — which began in Ecuador — Pedro Castillo, the former President of Peru, was removed from office, detained, and Dina Boluarte, the country’s Vice President, was installed in his place. It came as a surprise to the majority of his fans, who immediately flocked to the streets in an act of defiance. The demonstrations have frequently descended into violence, and at least 20 people have been killed as a direct result of the turmoil, according to some accounts.
Castillo was accused of participating in a conspiracy as well as an act of insurrection. After Castillo’s attempt to dissolve Congress was unsuccessful, the legislative body approved the step that was being proposed.
There have been reports of impassable roads and train tracks, as well as shuttered airports, including the one in Cusco.
But according to Lavelle, the changes that have been made in the administration began having a significant influence on them on Monday.
Lavelle mentioned that Monday was the day when things began to take a decisive turn for the better. “At that time, the airport in Cusco was forced to close because demonstrators had broken into the airport and authorities were unable to secure it,” the author writes.
Both Kinney and Lavelle stated that they witnessed establishments in Cusco covering their windows with boards in order to protect themselves from the widespread looting and vandalism.
Lavelle remarked that the group “has each other.” “I can’t even fathom doing this by myself,” she said.
They have reported that the hotel they have been staying at has been both secure and accommodating during their visit. However, Kinney stated that she is almost out of her medication and that she will most certainly be absent from a significant family event because of the forced prolongation.
The application for citizenship submitted by Kinney’s wife, who is originally from Serbia, was successful. The taking of the oath is slated to take place on Monday, and it appears as though Kinney won’t be back in time for it.
Even though Cusco’s airport was able to resume normal operations on Friday for the first time in several days, Kinney and Levelle won’t be able to leave the city until late on Sunday.
“The majority of each day is spent monitoring the flights and making adjustments as necessary to ensure that we remain one step ahead of schedule. And in the event that they do get canceled, so that we don’t face rebooking delays of multiple days’ length, “added Kinney.