Protests halt train to Machu Picchu

From Times Wire Reports

Protesters piled rocks and trees onto roads and forced the closure of a tourist train to the famed ruins of Machu Picchu to demand that Peru scrap two new laws allowing more development near archaeological and historic sites.

Police were escorting tourists along the streets of the Inca capital of Cuzco and working to clear roadblocks, a police official said. He said officers had fired tear gas at about 200 protesters who stormed Cuzco’s airport, which authorities shut down hours earlier as a precaution.

PeruRail, which operates the only train line to Machu Picchu, announced the suspension of service. The rail line had also been blocked Monday by farmers upset over a free-trade deal with the United States.