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article imageRiot Breaks as Police Clears Archaeological Site of Squatters

By Adeline Yuboco     Dec 24, 2010 in World
Lima, Peru - Thousands of squatters armed themselves with rocks and clubs during a clearing operation instigated by the government at an archaeological site located near the capital of Lima last Friday.
The operation took an hour to complete involving 2,000 police officers and one helicopter, resulting to the arrest of 50 individuals, Police Colonel Roberto Lujan told reporters. Many of the other squatters fled to the hills surrounding the Pachacamac site in the aftermath. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.
About 4,500 individuals coming from the slum districts in Lima were lured to the archaeological site after being promised by land traffickers that they can live there. According to Jose Caycho, one of the leaders of the squatters who began to take up residence here, their decision to settle here is because of their ineligibility to apply for state housing programs. "All we want is a house to live in," he goes on to say.
Denise Pozzi, Director of the Pachacamac Museum, implored for better security measures on the site to prevent future incidents like this from happening. This was echoed by Culture Minister Juan Ossio Acuna who is now calling for stiffer punishments to be implemented to those that instigate occupation of the said archaeological site, which is considered as a primary tourist attraction.
The Pachacamac site comprises a total of 465 acres of ancient ceremonial grounds and ancient ruins where archaeologists believed that the indigenous people of Lima, Wari, Ichma, and Inca performed human sacrifices and other religious offerings and ceremonies. In November, archaeologists unearthed 6 mummies of children and 6 dog mummies.
More about Archaeological site, Pachacamac, Squatters lima, Housing program
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