LIMA – Six tourists, including a French woman, have been arrested over accusations that they damaged Peru’s cultural heritage by defecating in a sacred temple at the iconic Machu Picchu sanctuary.
“The six tourists are being detained and investigated by the public ministry for the alleged crime against cultural heritage,” Cusco regional police chief Wilbert Leyva said on Monday, quoted by the local Andina news agency.
The tourists were arrested on Sunday (Jan 12) after park rangers and police found them in a restricted area of the Temple of the Sun, an important site at the Inca citadel.
Leyva said authorities had come across a “fracture” in a piece of stone that had “broken off a wall and caused a crack in the floor”.
Cultural authorities from Cusco, the region where Machu Picchu is located, said faeces were found in the Temple of the Sun.
The group was made up of one French, two Brazilians, two Argentines and a Chilean, according to police.
They face at least four years in prison if found guilty of damaging Peru’s heritage.