The authorities of Peru have assured Tuesday that they were taking all measures to protect the environment and the historic places during the rally self-motoDakar-2019 which will be held in January. “We are working in coordination with the ministry of Environment and the ministry of Culture to train drivers. There will also be ongoing monitoring to provide a warning in the event of a problem,” said Patricia Hurtado, coordinator of the government commission for the rally.

According to the official, the inspection tours were carried out along the route to put in place measures to protect ecosystems and archaeological sites, very numerous in Peru. In total, 23 protected areas have been defined, in which no competition will be scheduled. In the previous editions, ecologists and archaeologists had already voiced their concerns over potential damage to the environment or the cultural heritage of pre-hispanic.

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The Dakar, which will be held from 6 to 17 January, has already made its first two victims in Peru: the minister of Culture, Patricia Balbuena, and his deputy, Luis Villacorta. Both have been forced to resign two weeks ago after the revelation that a company of the latter had been awarded a contract by the department to assess the 44 archaeological sites to determine whether they may be affected by the event.

“We are working in coordination with the ministry of Environment and the ministry of Culture to train pilots”

Patricia Hurtado, official of the peruvian government

The authorities have also reiterated the economic benefits that were expected. “The investment for the realization of this event is $ 12 million, but the economic impact is estimated at 60 million, or 50% more than last year,” said Marisol Acosta, Promperu , a promotion agency of the ministry of foreign Trade.

For the first time in 41 years of history the Dakar will take place in a single country. Chile and Argentina have both renounced to host stages of the rally due to austerity measures, and Bolivia is not succeeded to find an agreement for the route with the organizer, the French company ASO . In 2012, Lima had been the arrival point of the competition, and the starting point in 2013 and 2018.

About 5000 kilometers, of which 70 % in the sand, the Dakar-2019 will have to leave the peruvian capital, and will cross the southern regions of Ica, Arequipa, Moquegua and Tacna, the latter to the border of Chile. The event, created in 1978, had been forced to leave Africa for security reasons, which caused the cancellation of the 2008 edition, and to relocate in South America from 2009.