So I had to read John Sauven’s* blog post about how sincerely, deeply, utterly sorry he is about the Nazca lines and how strongly he hopes Peru will just take his word for that and stop bothering them.
Words are never enough, he says in the title, and yet they seem to be all he’s offering.
Words are not enough. I know that. But I want to start by saying how deeply disappointed and sorry I am for the activity undertaken in the name of Greenpeace at the Nazca lines in Peru last week during the climate talks.
The place chosen for holding a banner showed a regrettable disregard for the culture of Peru and the importance of not going to fragile and culturally important sites without authorisation. Greenpeace International’s Executive Director, Kumi Naidoo, has this week met with the Peruvian Minister of Culture, who is responsible for the site, to offer an apology. Kumi has assured the Minister that we will fully participate in any investigation into the activity.
“Fully” of course meaning “not including telling Peru who was involved in the ‘activity’.” (Note the evasive word. Trespass, invasion, damage – those would have been better words.) “Fully participate” meaning “in whatever sense we mean by ‘fully’ and not at all what Peru might mean by it.”
In short, he’s basically told an untruth right at the outset. They’re not fully participating.
Greenpeace International is conducting an investigation into how it was possible for this to have happened. The result of this investigation will inform changes that Greenpeace will make to try and ensure something like this can never happen again.
Like the church, like the military, like the universities. But they committed a crime. They don’t get to keep the investigation in-house. Sure, they need to look at their own organization to find out why someone agreed to such a bad move, but they don’t get to be in charge of the whole investigation, and they shouldn’t be stonewalling.
The first comment says that nicely.
The phrase “hold the people responsible accountable” has been tossed about by Greenpeace, without ever defining what that means. Will you turn them over to Peruvian authorities, or will you just withhold their team T-Shirts? You say words are not enough. When will you actually offer more than words? If it was oil rather than footprints spread out over the sacred desert site, would Greenpeace accept an apology from BP or Haliburton?
Would they and should they? No and no.
*Sauven is the executive director of Greenpeace UK.