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Well, this stinks.
Peruvian police on Tuesday said all but one of the six tourists accused of damaging the ruins at Machi Picchu and defecating at the site would be deported, while the remaining visitor will be prosecuted.
They were arrested Sunday following allegations that they damaged a portion of one of the world’s most visited tourist attractions, and left feces in the sacred Temple of the Sun.
The suspects initially faced up to four years in prison, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported Tuesday before news surfaced that officials would deport most of them instead.
“The six tourists are being detained and investigated by the public ministry for the alleged crime against cultural heritage,” Cusco’s chief of police said.
“The six tourists are being detained and investigated by the public ministry for the alleged crime against cultural heritage,” said Wilbert Leyva, the Cusco regional police chief, according to a local news outlet cited by the AFP.
According to Leyva, officials discovered the group — from Chile, Brazil, France and Argentina — in a restricted portion of the temple, where they also found part of a stone wall that had “broken off” and cracked the floor. Officials reportedly also found feces in the temple.
An Argentine man will remain in Peru after admitting to a lead role in the alleged vandalism, the news outlet reported.
The Temple of the Sun is said to be one of the more sacred sites at the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, where worshippers would make offerings to the sun.
Several areas of the semicircular Temple of the Sun are said to be off-limits to visitors, the AFP reported. It is thought to be one of the most sacred sites at the Incan citadel of Machu Picchu, where worshippers would make offerings to the sun.
Machu Picchu is the top tourist destination in all of Peru and is designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. More than a million people visit the centuries-old stonework annually.
A spike in tourism has raised concerns about damage to the site.