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A picture speaks a thousand words.

Before …

… and after.

Earlier this year, archaeologists in Peru excitedly announced the discovery of another pyramid at the El Paraiso complex, thought to be at least 4000 years old and predating the pre-Columbian Inca civilisation. This week, Peruvian officials announced that real estate developers have completely demolished the site. Criminal complaints have been lodged against the companies responsible. It echoes similar destruction in Belize, where a 2300-year-old Mayan pyramid was destroyed for road fill.

Now, I’m not one for violence or revenge or any combination thereof, but I immediately recalled something I read in Mark Adams’s wonderful Turn Right at Machu Picchu (Amazon US/Kindle, UK/Kindle):

The sixteenth-century Spanish conquistador and traveler Cieza de Leon recalled that [Spanish merchants] who were killed after being robbed [by Manco Inca‘s rebels] were considered lucky. As for the unfortunate survivors, Manco’s insurgents allegedly “tortured them in the presence of their women, avenging themselves for the injuries they had suffered, by impaling them with sharp stakes forced into their victims’ lower parts until they emerged from their mouths.” A thriving bodyguard business soon sprang up.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Mes Aynak.