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  • Access for tourists to Machu Picchu was restricted due to the protest.

    Access for tourists to Machu Picchu was restricted due to the protest. | Photo: EFE

Published 13 July 2017

Workers prepare for a national strike against the government of Kuczynski in Peru.

Peruvian workers in Machu Picchu blocked the entrance to tourists at the landmark site Wednesday, blocking the trains taking people back and forth from the archaeological site, to demand the government of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stop the planned new airport in the area.

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Thousands of tourists were stranded on both sides, and the PeruRail company, which is owned by a British organization, said its services would be suspended until Thursday.

Construction of the Chinchero airport was scheduled to begin in February but has since been delayed due to protests. Cusco residents believe the construction will be a detriment to the region's economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism, adding that the US$509 million project will put a financial burden on taxpayers.

More than 1,000 members of the police had been sent to the region, according to Andina news agency.

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The workers also joined Thursday's strike called by almost 20,000 teachers demanding higher wages and investment in education.

The teachers entered their third week of strikes with a national protest of education workers to also demand the government postpones pedagogical evaluations scheduled for next week.

Alfredo Velasquez, Secretary General of the Education Workers' Union said the previous government had agreed to increase wages, but the current president instead of raising salaries, increased work hours, from 30 to 32 hours a week.

The union says the ministry of education has stalled all dialogue and called on the government to reach an agreement as soon as possible, saying they will continue the strike until they reach an agreement with the government of Kuczynski.

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