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Opinion: I’m An American Stuck In Peru, On Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Outbreak : NPR

Dylan Baddour is a freelance journalist covering South America who is now stuck in Cajamarca, Peru, because of the coronavirus outbreak.

It was time to give up our adventure and head home to Texas. Every village in the Peruvian highlands was buzzing with talk of the spreading coronavirus. South American countries were starting to close their borders. So my partner, Pu Ying Huang, and I headed out of the Peruvian countryside and into the small city of Cajamarca, where we hoped to quickly find a flight home. But when we got there at night on March 16, it was too late. Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra had just declared a total quarantine for 15 days, halting all air and land transportation, even taxis.

With fewer than 150 cases of coronavirus identified at the time, the Andean country was immediately going into lockdown to stem the spread of the virus. (As of Tuesday, Peru — with about 32 million people — has identified 395 infection cases and five deaths from COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.) Coronavirus Live Updates Suddenly, we were among the thousands of Americans stuck in Peru.

Source: Opinion: I’m An American Stuck In Peru, On Lockdown Amid Coronavirus Outbreak : NPR

Peru and U.S. Close to Signing Deal to Counter Chinese Influence

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru and Washington are in the final stages of talks on a deal to promote American investments in the South American country as part of a U.S. initiative to counter Chinese influence in the region, a Peruvian diplomat told Reuters.

The United States launched its “Growth in the Americas” initiative in 2018 to bolster private-sector investments in energy and infrastructure in Latin America after China invited countries in the region to join its global Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

So far, the United States has signed memorandums of understanding within the Growth in the Americas framework with Argentina, Chile, Jamaica and Panama. Chile, Jamaica, Panama and Peru have also signed MOUs with China to join the BRI. “The Trump administration is interested in balancing Chinese influence in the region a bit,” Cecilia Galarreta, the director of North American affairs in Peru’s foreign ministry, told Reuters on the sidelines of an event on Thursday.

Source: Peru and U.S. Close to Signing Deal to Counter Chinese Influence in Region

Machu Picchu Monday

Happy Holidays to all! Still pretty busy here, but it’s all good.

Here’s a few more from Machu Picchu…