Security Message for U.S. Citizens – Potential Kidnapping Threat in Cusco, Peru


(La Paz, Bolivia)

February 19, 2013 - The U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia warns U.S. citizens of a potential kidnapping threat in the Cusco area of Peru. The U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru, has received information that members of a criminal organization may be planning to kidnap U.S. citizen tourists in Cusco and Machu Picchu. Possible targets and methods are not known, but the threat is credible at least through the end of February 2013. For the moment, personal travel by U.S. Embassy Lima personnel to the Cusco region, including Machu Picchu, has been prohibited and official travel is severely restricted as a result of this threat.

Given the close proximity to Bolivia, we recommend that U.S. citizens in Bolivia that plan travel to Peru review their personal security plans; remain aware of their surroundings, including local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to enhance their personal security and follow instructions of local authorities. Thousands of U.S. citizens routinely travel to the Cusco region without undue incident. The U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru remains confident of the Peruvian government’s efforts to ensure the safety of all tourists in the region.

We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling abroad or residing outside the U.S. enroll in the Department of State's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) at https://step.state.gov/step. STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don't have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy.

For current information regularly monitor the State Department's website at http://travel.state.gov, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Peru at http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_4965.html. For additional information, refer to "A Safe Trip Abroad" on the State Department's website.

U.S. Embassy Lima, Peru Information

Contact the U.S. embassy in Peru for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can stay in touch and get Embassy updates by checking the Embassy Lima website or Lima ACS Facebook page. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free from within the United States and Canada, or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter at https://mobile.twitter.com/travelgov and Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/travelgov, and download our free Smart Traveler iPhone App at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/smart-traveler/id442693988?mt=8 to have travel information at your fingertips.

The U.S. Consular Agency in Cusco, Peru, can be found at Avenida Pardo 845, Cusco. The office can be reached by phone at (51) 984-621-369 or (5184) 231-474, and is open Monday through Friday, excluding U.S. and Peruvian holidays, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. 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 at http://lima.usembassy.gov/ . 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.

U.S. Embassy La Paz, Bolivia Information

You can contact the American Citizen Services Unit at the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia, via e-mail at consularlapaz@state.govor by telephone at 591-2-216-8246 during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 591-715-33713 after hours and on weekends. The U.S. Embassy is located at 2780 Arce Avenue in La Paz, Bolivia, and is open to the public by appointment on Monday through Thursday from 08:00 to 12:30, and Thursdays from 14:00 to 16:00. You can schedule a non-emergency appointment by visiting this website.

The Embassy operates two Consular Agencies in the cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, Bolivia. These agencies can also provide assistance to U.S. citizens. The Santa Cruz Consular Agency is located on Roque Aguilera Avenue #146 (3rd ring). You can contact the Santa Cruz Consular Agency by telephone at 591-3-351-3477, during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.). The Cochabamba Consular Agency is located in Edificio Saal, Avenida Pando 1122, 1st Floor. You can contact the Cochabamba Consular Agency by telephone at 591-4-411-6313, during regular business hours (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.). If you wish to visit the Consular Agencies for a non-emergency matter, please schedule an appointment.

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