Greenpeace Activists Damage Nazca Lines, Peru Seeks Criminal Charges

AP reports environmentalists in trouble following stunt at archaeological treasure.

So much for responsible treatment of the planet.

Peruvian officials were furious with Greenpeace activists who they said left footprints in the desert when the famous Nazca lines are. The Nazca lines are a UN world heritage site.

Associated Press (AP) reported that the environmental activists went into a prohibited area near the lines and laid out cloth lettering to spell out, “Time for Change! The Future is Renewable.” In a video posted at The Guardian, one of those activists said they chose the Nazca lines and blamed climate change for the disappearance of the Nazca culture.

However, Peruvian officials denounced the act.

“It’s a true slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred,” Luis Jaime Castillo, the deputy culture minister, said, according to AP. Castillo said not even presidents were allowed to go where the activists trespassed without permission and “special shoes.”

“They are absolutely fragile. They are black rocks on a white background. You walk there and the footprint is going to last hundreds or thousands of years,” Castillo said. “And the line that they have destroyed is the most visible and most recognised of all.”

Peru was seeking criminal charges and demanding the names of those involved.

BBC News reported that Greenpeace responded saying, “Without reservation Greenpeace apologises to the people of Peru for the offence caused... We are deeply sorry for this.” The statement also admitted the act looked “careless and crass” and the organization was willing to face “fair and reasonable consequences” in Peru.

— Julia A. Seymour is Assistant Managing Editor for MRC Business at the Media Research Center. Follow Julia A. Seymour on Twitter.