Strike and Potential Demonstrations in Arequipa (May 12, 2015)

During recent protests of the proposed Tia Maria copper mining project in the province of Islay (on the coast of Peru, southwest of the city Arequipa) violent clashes erupted involving protesters and local police. The government of Peru has responded by sending additional military and law enforcement resources to Islay in order to keep the peace.

From May12-15, 2015, there is a call for a civic strike, and associated demonstrations in and around the city center of Arequipa, also related to protests against the Tia Maria mining project. U.S. citizens traveling through or around Arequipa during this period are advised to stay in close contact with tour organizers in order to avoid areas of potential conflict.

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 or by following the Facebook page for American Citizen Services in Lima. 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). Should you wish to avail yourself of additional up-to-date information on conditions on specific areas within Peru, please contact iPeru at 01-574-8000 or iperu@promperu.gob.pe.

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.

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.