Two Chicago police officers are stranded in Peru after the government declared a police state in the midst of civil unrest.
The United States State Department issued a travel advisory for Peru, advising Americans to reconsider traveling there due to crime and civil unrest.
However, the two officers who were already present appear to be trapped.
During deadly protests, the government suspended personal security and freedom rights for 30 days.
The violent protests have hampered commerce and tourism. According to John Catanzara, president of the Fraternal Order of Police in Chicago, the officers who were on vacation are unable to leave.
“They were supposed to return on Monday,” Catanzara explained.
When the officers realized what was going on, they went to the airport early Monday to try to secure their exit.
“They were basically told after waiting there a couple of hours, ‘Get out of here now, the country is not secured, the airport has been taken over, there’s no flights leaving. Return to your hotel.”
Flights to and from four Peruvian airports have been suspended, according to the US Embassy in Peru. The embassy is advising travelers to avoid crowds and demonstrations, follow police instructions and to shelter in place until safe transportation becomes available.
WGN received the following statement from a US State Department spokesperson on Thursday evening.
“The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater priority than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. Embassy Peru issued alerts on December 7, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 15 and we will continue to evaluate the security situation and provide updates to U.S. citizens as appropriate. We encourage U.S. citizens to follow guidance from the Peruvian National Police and local authorities, and to keep in touch with the airlines for updated flight status.
We strongly encourage all U.S. citizens in Peru to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at step.state.gov to receive the latest Alerts from the Embassy, and to follow us on social media at @travelgov and @USEMBASSYPERU.We are not typically able to provide numbers of U.S. citizens living in or traveling to a particular country. U.S. citizens are not required to register their travel to a foreign country with us, so we cannot track how many U.S. citizens have gone to a specific country.“
– State Department Spokesperson
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