The U.S. Embassy is warning U.S. citizens of a potential kidnapping threat in the Cusco area of Peru. The Embassy has received information that members of a criminal organization may be planning to kidnap U.S. citizen tourists in the Cusco and Machu Picchu area.
Possible targets and methods are not known and the threat is credible at least through the end of February 2013. For the moment, personal travel by U.S. Embassy personnel to the Cusco region, including Machu Picchu, has been prohibited and official travel is severely restricted as a result of this threat.
Thousands of U.S. citizens routinely travel to the Cusco region without undue incident. The U.S. Embassy remains confident of the Peruvian government’s efforts to ensure the safety of all tourists in the region.
The citadel of Machu Picchu is a world heritage site built in the 15th century and rediscovered in 1911. To protect the land, only 2,500 visitors are allowed each day.