Greenpeace is a hard-core environmental group that first become known for trying to stop whaling activities by direct interference with the whalers. But that was decades ago. And now it has pulled a stunt against another culture that has destroyed its credibility forever.
Peru Plans to Charge Greenpeace Activists for Damage to Nazca Lines
By WILLIAM NEUMAN DEC. 14, 2014
CARACAS, Venezuela — President Ollanta Humala of Peru criticized the environmental group Greenpeace on Saturday for not respecting his country’s archaeological heritage as authorities said they intended to seek criminal charges against several activists who damaged the fragile desert around the Nazca Lines.
Greenpeace stirred up a storm of controversy in Peru last week after a group of about 12 activists on Monday entered a protected area around the famous lines to place a sign promoting renewable energy on the ground. The sign was meant to attract the attention of world leaders who were in Lima for a United Nations summit meeting on climate change.
Officials said that the activists walking over the fragile desert ground left marks that cannot be removed. The Nazca Lines were created over 1,000 years ago, and include enormous figures of birds, mammals and geometric shapes etched into the earth.
Mr. Humala said Greenpeace had “simply come to trample on” the country’s heritage. “We must simply spread the word, alert the world,” Mr. Humala said. “Watch out at the Taj Mahal, watch out at the pyramids in Egypt, because we all face the threat that Greenpeace could attack any of humanity’s historical heritage.”
He said that he hoped that prosecutors and the courts would take action against the activists.
In a strange twist, a judge on Saturday rejected a request by prosecutors to detain the activists or keep them from leaving the country, saying that prosecutors had failed to provide their addresses. But the request by prosecutors appeared to be too late anyway, since Greenpeace had said a day earlier that the activists had already left Peru. Luis Jaime Castillo, the vice minister for cultural heritage, said in a telephone interview that the authorities still intended to pursue criminal charges against the activists.
He said that he had met with several Greenpeace members in Lima on Thursday. The group included one of the activists who took part in the incident at the Nazca Lines. He identified the activist as Mauro Fernández, who appeared in a video taken during the stunt and posted later online.
Mr. Castillo said that he asked for the names of the other activists who participated in the stunt, and that Mr. Fernández told him that he could not remember their names.
That appeared to fly in the face of pledges by Greenpeace to cooperate with the authorities. Mr. Castillo said officials suspected that some members of the group had visited the site on a previous occasion to prepare for the stunt.
Greenpeace has issued a statement apologizing for the incident. A Greenpeace spokesman could not be reached for comment on Saturday.
The ground around the lines consists of white sand topped by a layer of darker rocks. When the activists entered the area they disturbed the top layer, exposing the sand below.
As word spread about what Greenpeace activists had done, hundreds of angry people went to the organization’s Facebook page to express their outrage at its sheer hypocrisy.
Here are some more pictures of the defilement of the Peruvian site:
Assuming that the site suffered damage that cannot be repaired, then Greenpeace itself should also be damaged beyond repair. Shut it down!