Damn kids! As if Peru was not having a hard enough time already, what with huge mudslides currently devastating the north of the country, in the early hours of Friday morning tourism police (Poltur) in Cuzco caught a group of thirteen tourists – including eleven Argentine nationals, a Colombian and a Peruvian – painting graffiti onto the walls of one of the city’s historic colonial houses.
Officers from Cuzco’s Poltur surprised the group of young people, all of whom were reportedly around the age of 25, around 3:30am on Calle Tecsecocha, a street situated in the city’s historic center. According to the authorities, the tourists were using “a kind of permanent marker, with which they were leaving their signatures and other graphics” on the wall of the private property.
The offenders were immediately transferred to the local police station and, according to El Comercio de Cuzco, they had smiles on their faces during their arrest. Some members of the group allegedly even challenged the police officers. Perhaps unsurprisingly, many suspect that the tourists were under the influence, although whether they had consumed alcohol or drugs has not been disclosed.
The group was later released by Cuzco’s Public Prosecution Office after giving statements, and it seems like most of them got away unscathed: only four of the members assumed responsibility for the graffiti.
The four vandals – all Argentine citizens – were made to pay compensation, but only for damages caused to private property, so it seems they should count themselves lucky: during 2016, at least twenty people, tourists and Peruvians alike, were arrested and accused of attacking the cultural heritage of the city, Peru’s Incan capital.