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U.S. warns of kidnapping plot

LIMA – The U.S. Embassy in Lima on Thursday warned U.S. travelers of the risk of kidnapping at the famous tourist destinations of Machu Picchu and Cusco, according to an embassy message sent out on Twitter.

The message warned that, “The embassy has received information that members of a criminal organization could be planning to kidnap U.S. tourists at Cusco and Machu Picchu.” 

“The threat is credible and will extend through the end of February,” the U.S. Embassy in Peru reported on its website. 

The warning mentions a “kidnapping threat in the area of Cusco,” the former capital of the Inca Empire, located 1,165 km southeast of Lima. 

U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Leslie Goodman declined to comment on the warning,   including about the origin of the threat and the criminal or terrorist organization that is allegedly behind the plot. 

The diplomat said that no kidnappings had been reported leading up to the announcement.

“Trips by U.S. Embassy personnel to the Cusco region, including Machu Picchu, are currently prohibited, and official trips are being closely restricted as a result of this threat,” the embassy warning stated. 

Cusco and Machu Picchu are visited by thousands of U.S. travelers annually.

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