Posted February 15, 2013
North Colonie district officials were made aware
this afternoon of a report by the U.S. Embassy in Peru of a
potential kidnapping threat targeting American tourists by a
criminal organization in the Cusco and Machu Picchu regions in Peru.
Currently, there is a group of 22 Shaker High School students and
four chaperones in Peru on a foreign language department trip.
The district immediately began gathering
information on the situation, placing calls to the U.S. Embassy in
Peru, Congressman Paul Tonko’s offices and Interact Travel Inc., the
company that helped organize the trip itinerary.
This was a security message issued for U.S.
citizens by the U.S. embassy in Peru and not an alert or warning
issued by the State Department, which would indicate a much more
serious level of concern, including prohibition of travel by
North Colonie Superintendent D. Joseph Corr,
Shaker High School Principal Richard Murphy and district officials
met with the students’ parents on Friday evening at Shaker High
School to inform of the latest information and address their
questions and concerns. Based on consultation with Congressman
Tonko’s office, the tour guide company and the students’ parents,
the decision was made to continue with the trip itinerary as
planned. Parents were also given the option of withdrawing their
child from the trip, however at this point; no one has chosen to do
The district has been in constant contact with
the trip’s chaperones and they are maintaining a high level of
vigilance. They have expressed that the students are in good spirits
and are enjoying the trip.
The safety and security of students remains
North Colonie’s upmost concern and the district will closely monitor
the situation throughout the duration of the trip.
The students are scheduled to return home on