Strike in Lima (March 26, 2014)

A strike involving civic organizations is currently ongoing between the area of Plaza Grau, and Av. Abancay, near the Congressional building.  The protest began at about 09:00 this morning (March 26, 2014), and is expected to last as long as 15:00 this afternoon. This strike currently involves about 200 protesters, and the protestors have been lighting trees on fire along their route to Congress. The Peruvian National Police have used teargas in order to disburse the crowd. In addition, travelers should be aware that more spontaneous demonstrations may develop with little advance notice.

U.S. Embassy personnel have been instructed to avoid the area through the course of the day. U.S. citizens with plans to travel into downtown Lima today may wish to change their itinerary, and they are advised to contact their tour organizers or transportation companies prior to travel to discuss any expected delays or disruptions.

Demonstrations in Peru are often peaceful, but can quickly escalate into violent confrontations. U.S. citizens are advised to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and are strongly encouraged to maintain a high level of vigilance, maintain awareness of local events and their surroundings, and take the appropriate steps to bolster their personal security. It is illegal in Peru for foreigners to participate in demonstrations. In the past, some U.S. citizens who have been caught up in political demonstrations in Peru have been detained and expelled from the country.

You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the Embassy Lima website.  Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, by calling the regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

U.S. citizens are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). U.S. citizens without internet access may enroll directly at the nearest U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate. By enrolling, U.S. citizens make it easier for the embassy/consulates to contact them in case of emergency.  Stay up to date by bookmarking our Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution. Follow us onTwitter and the Bureau of Consular Affairs page on Facebook, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App to have travel information at your fingertips.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of the U.S. Embassy’s Consular Section, located in Monterrico, a suburb of Lima, at Avenida La Encalada, Block Seventeen; telephone 51-1-618-2000 during business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.) or for after-hours emergencies; website here. The Consular Section is open for emergency services, including registration, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. weekdays, excluding U.S. and Peruvian holidays. Non-emergency services are provided by appointment only.

For information on “What the Department of State Can and Can’t Do in a Crisis,” please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Emergencies and Crisis link at https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/emergencies/crisis-support.html.