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U.S. ends kidnapping alert for Peru's Machu Picchu

• Reuters/Reuters
The State Department lifted a kidnapping alert for U.S. citizens traveling to Peru's awesome Machu Picchu ruins and the surrounding Cusco region after a review of the threat, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday.

Last month the U.S. Embassy restricted official travel to Machu Picchu and said it had information that a criminal group was plotting to kidnap U.S. tourists there.

Though it did not mention a motive for potential kidnappings, the warning was widely interpreted as linked to Peru's renewed attempt to crack down on coca growing in a slew of jungle valleys known as the VRAEM controlled by a remnant band of Maoist Shining Path rebels.

Peruvian officials, including President Ollanta Humala, said at the time they did not think the embassy's February kidnapping alert was credible.


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