There has been a lot of social unrest in Peru as of late, in particular in the provinces. The working class, the poor and indigenous people have been justifiably unhappy with the neo-liberal free-trade policies of the government in Lima. The worst unrest happened in Bagua last month, but there has been widespread social unrest all over Peru recently.
Here are some pictures of the general strike in Cusco today:
During strikes there are typically demonstrations by the main government buildings and the roads are often blocked. For example, there has been an ongoing dispute in Sicuani that caused temporary chicken shortages here in Cusco, since trucks were not able to come from Arequipa.
Here in Cusco social unrest is very mild. Thanks to the tourism industry the standard of living in Cusco is much different from in the rural areas. If you live in Cusco, the reality is that you should plan for about 5-10 extra days of vacation every year.
Finally, during strikes here in Cusco you see Peruvian police (PNP) standing by everywhere, in case, you know, an ice cream vendor comes by 🙂