Six tourists are arrested for trespassing and defecating at Machu Picchu in Peru
- Six tourists were arrested on Sunday afternoon at Machu Picchu in Peru
- Group included one French, two Brazilians, two Argentines and a Chilean
- Police say they went into a restricted area and knocked over part of a stone wall
- Officers also say fecal matter was found, and accuse the group of defecating
Six tourists face jail after being accused of defecating in a sacred temple at Machu Picchu, one of the seven new wonders of the world.
The group were reportedly arrested on Sunday after park rangers found them in a restricted area of the Temple of the Sun, a key part of the iconic site.
‘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 told the local press.
Six tourists have been arrested for ‘damaging Peru’s cultural heritage’ by trespassing at Machu Picchu and knocking over part of a stone wall, leaving a mark in the ground (right)
The top cop said a ‘fracture’ had been found in a piece of stone that had ‘broken off a wall and caused a crack in the floor.’
And the region’s cultural authorities said faeces were found in the Temple of the Sun, parts of which are off-limits to tourists for preservation reasons.
Police said the group comprised one French tourist, two Brazilians, two Argentines and a Chilean.
Police say they also found fecal matter in the area, and suspect some of the group of defecating (pictured, the fallen stone)
They face at least four years in prison if found guilty of damaging Peru’s heritage. When the site was an Inca citadel, the Temple of the Sun would have been used to make offerings to the sun god – the civilization’s most important deity.
The arrests follow announcements from the Peruvian government that they would plant one million trees around the historic site to protect it from mud slides.
The area is at risk of mudslides due to heavy rainfall in winter.
President Martin Vizcarra said the pledge was ‘a commitment from the government, the region, the municipality and all the citizens who want to protect this world wonder’.
Measures were also recently announced to better protect three key areas of the site, the Temple of the Sun, the Temple of the Condor and the Intihuatana Stone.
Machu Picchu is believed to date back to the 1450s and to have been used for some 80 years before being abandoned during the Spanish conquests.
The group – which includes one French, two Brazilians, two Argentines and one Chilean – were arrested at the Inca site (file image) on Sunday afternoon