Peru may seek to extradite the Greenpeace members accused of causing “irreparable” damage to the Nazca Lines world heritage site in a botched environmental protest.
The activists left behind an ineradicable trail of footprints in the delicate desert surface near the huge, iconic figure of a hummingbird, mysteriously etched into the white sand and preserved for more than 1,500 years.
Last week a Peruvian judge rejected prosecutors’ request to keep the suspects in the country to face questioning, citing incomplete information.
Diana Alvarez-Calderon, the Peruvian culture minister, said last night that the authorities will keep trying to hold the activists accountable for the damage, which has scandalised archaeologists.
“The damage caused is irreparable,” Ms Alvarez-Calderon said at a news conference. “We have to continue the process when a person is not in Peru – extradition if the judge decides so, or civil reparation.”
Peruvian officials have said they would seek charges for “attacking archaeological monuments,” a crime punishable by up to six years in prison.