(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) wrote to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and U.S. Ambassador to Peru Krishna Urs calling for the safe and immediate evacuation of U.S. citizens who are still stranded in Peru, despite President Trump’s statement at a March 19 press conference that he was working with the Department of Defense to get them out of Peru.
Congressman Raskin wrote: “After writing to Secretary Pompeo earlier this week urging him to use Department of State resources to safely and immediately evacuate stranded Americans abroad, I am now demanding that Secretary of State Pompeo take personal responsibility for getting these people home safely. I am also demanding that the U.S. Ambassador to Peru Krishna Urs and the U.S. Embassy in Peru urgently contact these stranded Americans, monitor their condition, ensure they have access to all necessities, and deploy all available authorities and resources to bring them home. I have personally called and left a message for Ambassador Urs asking for the same.”
At least 22 American doctors and dentists, including two of Rep. Raskin’s constituents from Frederick County, are stranded in Cusco, Peru after attending a conference and touring in the country. Their flights home on March 17 were canceled after the President of Peru announced on March 16 he was closing Peru’s borders. These Americans have been told that they will not be able to leave Peru until possibly March 31 or beyond, although there are conflicting reports that chartered planes may be allowed to take our citizens home. These citizens are being forced to pay for their own extended hotel stay which is overseen by soldiers and police officer patrols.
These Americans are part of a larger group of our citizens stranded in Peru who registered appropriately for the STEP program as American travelers but have not received adequate help from the U.S. government.
A signed copy of the letter is available here.