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Security message issued for U.S. Citizens in Peru hits close to home

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Albany/HV: Security message issued for U.S. Citizens in Peru hits close to home
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A group of students from Shaker High School on a class trip to Peru is exercising extra caution. This, after the United States Embassy in Lima issued a threat of kidnapping to all Americans visiting the country. Karen Tararache has more on how officials back home are easing the fears of the group and their families.

LATHAM, N.Y.--"I will be on twitter most likely. I just want to see if my friends are tweeting if they're ok or not," said Shaker High School sophomore, Christian Schupp.

He wasn't the only one closely monitoring the whereabouts of his friends, adding, "Yeah it's pretty scary, I sit next to one of the kids in global class and he's a pretty good friend of mine."

On Wednesday, twenty-two children and four chaperons left for their class trip to Peru. On Friday, the US Embassy in Lima issued a Security Message about a potential kidnapping threat in the areas of Cusco and Machu Picchu.

"I believe the Department of State, in its assumed responsibility, acted accordingly. They advise members traveling from the U.S. of these given warnings," Congressmen Paul Tonko stated.

Parents immediately met with North Colonie's Superintendent and Shaker High's Principal to discuss the threat level and if the trip should cut short.

Congressmen Tonko added,"There was no recommendation for evacuation, the warnings are routinely offered, or when supposed threats have been made it's the responsibility of the department is to share that information."

While the children have not been withdrawn from the trip thus far, they have all been enrolled in the STEP program.

"The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program enables those travelers to network with the dept with the agency so they can be updated as to any risks or occurrences out there, its a tracking system that is very helpful," Congressmen Tonko explained.

With the four chaperons maintaining a high level of vigilance, the group is set to return home on February 22nd as planned.

"I hope all the Shaker kids make it back ok and everyone in Peru is safe," Christian Schupp said.

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