Developer destruction of Pre-Inca pyramid goes unpunished

On the afternoon of Saturday 29th June Estequilla Rosales, vice president of the heritage association Kapaq Sumaq Ayllu, heard a noise coming from the far side of the archaeological site she has been helping to protect. The Peruvian 45-hectare complex of El Paraíso is a national cultural heritage site and one of the largest and oldest in Peru.

The area of the archaeological complex of El Paraiso which was completely destroyed by developers. Image: Peruvian Ministry of Culture

What Estequilla heard was the sound of heavy machinery in the process of destroying one of the eleven archaeological mounds registered on the site, beneath which lay the remains of a pre-Inca pyramid, up to six metres high.

“I was desperate, and climbed the hill to tell the watchman to call the police”, remembers Estequilla ” Now I feel calmer, but when it happened, I felt a deep pain, as this is part of my country, they are destroying my identity, my culture and this is an act of treason against our nation.”
Growing real estate speculation

The Archaeological Complex of El Paraiso, one hour northwest of Lima in the county of San Martin de Porres, is located in an area where there is growing real estate speculation. Discovered in the 1950s, the occupation period for El Paraíso was relatively short, lasting approximately 300 to 400 years, from 3790 cal BP to 3,065 cal BP. However, the area surrounding the site was gradually being bought up as private property and now its limits are hard pressed by plots and fields.

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