Peruvian authorities remain furious over recent damage to the area of the Nazca Lines in southern Peru caused by Greenpeace protestors.
As reported by the Inquisitr, earlier this week over 20 activists from Greenpeace trespassed near the hummingbird Nazca Lines in Peru to put down a protest banner. The banner read, "Time for change! The future is renewable. Greenpeace." Their banner was an attempt to increase pressure on negotiators that are meeting in Lima. However, what they accomplished was an intensely angry reaction from the Peruvian government for stomping all over an ancient landmark.
At the time, the Peruvian government was seeking the protestors to press charges, and also indicated that they would be executing lawsuits against Greenpeace.
The Nazca Lines in Peru are immense depictions of animals, including a monkey and a hummingbird that are etched into the arid ground in Southern Peru. The lines represent a vital part of the country's heritage. Visits to the Nazca Lines, which can only be realized fully from the air -- something that makes them special since they were created between 1,500 and 2,000 years ago -- are supervised extremely closely. Visiting ministers and presidents have to get special permission and receive special footwear to venture anywhere near the area where the Nazca lines are cut into the ground, according to the BBC News.
The Peruvian Culture Minister called the actions of the Greenpeace protestors a "slap in the face at everything Peruvians consider sacred."
Greenpeace quickly issued an apology, saying that they are deeply concerned about any "moral offense" they caused to the Peruvian people. Greenpeace explained that they intended to draw attention to climate change on the environment without affecting that same environment.
"Without reservation Greenpeace apologizes to the people of Peru for the offence caused... We are deeply sorry for this. We fully understand that this looks bad. Rather than relay an urgent message of hope and possibility to the leaders gathering at the Lima UN climate talks, we came across as careless and crass. We have now met with the Peruvian culture ministry responsible for the site to offer an apology. We welcome any independent review of the consequences of our activity. We will co-operate fully with any investigation."
Despite that statement, however, the New York Times reported today that the Peruvian government couldn't care less about apologies.
Luis Jaimie Castillo, the vice minister for cultural heritage, said that the Greenpeace activists walked more than a mile over pristine ground to place the gigantic banner next to the hummingbird Nazca Lines, an area where unauthorized entry is forbidden by Peruvian law.
"We are not ready to accept apologies from anybody. Let them apologize after they repair the damage."
The vice minister went on to say that the damage might not be able to be repaired.
"The hummingbird was in a pristine area, untouched. Perhaps it was the best figure. This stupidity has co-opted part of the identity of our heritage that will now be forever associated with the scandal of Greenpeace."
Despite saying that Greenpeace would "fully cooperate with authorities," a spokesman in Lima said that all the activists had fled Perua after the incident and Greenpeace refuses to give their names to government officials.
[Image via NBC]