Officials lodge criminal complaints against two firms after building at El Paraiso, one of Peru's oldest archaeological sites, destroyed

Real estate developers using heavy machinery tore down a 20ft (6m) tall pyramid at one of Peru's oldest archaeological sites, cultural officials have said.

Rafael Varon, deputy minister of cultural patrimony, told reporters on Wednesday that the destruction occurred over the weekend at the ruins of El Paraiso, a few miles north of Peru's capital, Lima.

He said his agency has lodged criminal complaints against two companies for the damage – identified as Alisol and Provelanz – and has moved to seize the equipment used. People who answered the telephone at both companies said no one was available to comment.

Peru's tourism ministry says El Paraiso was built some 4,000 years ago and was a religious and administrative centre, long before the rise of the Inca culture encountered by the Spanish conquerors.

Marco Guilen, director of an excavation project at El Paraiso, said the people who tore down the pyramid "have committed irreparable damage to a page of Peruvian history".

"We are not going to be able to know in what ways it was constructed, what materials were used in it and how the society in that part of the pyramid behaved," said Guilen.

Varon said people apparently working for the two companies tore down one pyramid and tried to destroy three others, but were stopped by witnesses.

Mayor Freddy Ternero of San Martin de Porres, the town where the ruins are located, said the pyramids were sited in agricultural fields and were not guarded, though he said the minister of the interior sent police to protect it after the incident.

VIDEO Developers destroyed 4000 years old ancient Peru Pyramid

Responses to "Pyramid in Peru torn down by developers"

  1. Anonymous says:

    I am not a proponent of capital punishment. But I am willing to make exceptions. Wanton destruction of these sites for the sole purpose of money is sacrilegious. I do not think I would object to a firing squad for the people who ordered the destruction.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Shoot 'em!! Have no sympathy for these bastards!

  3. Steve says:

    Force the directors of the companies to rebuild the pyramid. By hand. By themselves.

  4. Unknown says:

    This is a serious travesty and the people responsible should definitely be held accountable. Not just the workers who did the actual destruction but the bosses/owners/shareholders of these companies also need to be held accountable. They can't undo what was done but VERY SEVERE fines should be charged and the money used to guard, study and protect the other 3 pyramids there from ever being "developed" Enough money to make it a protected area and to pay for many years of study of the site. Also the workers and their bosses and the owners of these companies especially should all be made to do community service that directly benefits the town of San Martin de Porres and the pyramid site in particular.

  5. Unknown says:

    @Steve...that would be fine as a punishment, but, it wouldn't replace what was lost.

  6. Unknown says:

    Both companies should have all assets seized and the owners banned from starting any other company.

  7. Steve says:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  8. Steve says:

    Comment removed due to typos. Try again:
    @shadowheart: No, it wouldn't replace what was lost, but at least it would provide something visually similar, as in museum reconstructions; not the same but better than a blank space as there are almost certainly good enough photos to ensure the new pyramid at least gives an impression of the original.
    More importantly it would deter anyone else from similar vandalism. Fines don't matter if you have enough money, but forced manual labour is just as hard even if you're incredibly rich. Also importantly, it is not penalising the workers who really had no choice.
    Watching the two workers reconstructing the pyramid could also become a tourist attraction

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