On Friday April 19th 2013, Thierry Jamin and the Spanish archaeologist Daniel Merino Pánizo went to the Ministry of Culture in Lima where they deposited a letter addressed to the Vice-Minister of Culture, Mr Rafael Varon in which the two researchers explained how suprised they were that they have not receive any answer regarding the appeal that they have formulated on December 2012 against the Resolución Directoral of December 5th which denied them the possibility to continue their research work in Machu Picchu. The official period of time allowed by the law to answer this kind of appeal was of 30 business days. Time far exceeded. They will get an answer really quickly after this visit…
Indeed, on April 23rd 2013, a new scandal broke out against Thierry Jamin. In its national edition, the newspaper “El Comercio” publishes an article on page A12 : “Francia revela que falso arqueólogo pretendía excavar en Machu Picchu. Advierten que el francés Thierry Jamin, quien quería buscar la tumba de Pachacútec, no tiene formación científica”.
According to this article. the General Director of Culture of Cusco, David Ugarte Vega Centeno has just declared that the “French citizen Thierry Jamin who pretended to excavate Machu Picchu, searching for the tomb of Pachacutec, is not an archaeologist and has no scientific training”. This information would have been sent to him by the French Ministry of Exterior Relations which wanted to alert the Peruvian authorities about the risk for the city of Machu Picchu. Mrs Véronique Gervais from the Direction of Research and Scientific exchanges of the French Ministry would have meet with the Ambassador of Peru in France and would have share this information with him.
Quoting David Ugarte, “the French services of the Foreign Affairs have sent a letter to the Peruvian authorities in which they warn that Thierry Jamin is considered as someone who could harm our heritage and alter the French-Peruvian relationships in terms of archaeology.”
The article from “El Comercio” continues by claiming that “the French Ministry supports the position assumed by the Regional Direction of Culture of Cusco which has denied the request from Thierry Jamin to do the excavations in Machu Picchu.”
Using this so-called information from the French authorities, David Ugarte Vega reitarate his diffamatory attacks against Thierry Jamin and justifies the refusal from the Regional Direction of Culture – Cusco to grant him a permit allowing him to continue his research in Machu Picchu “We say that he is an adventurer who was posing as an archaeologist and who had for only intent to loot Machu Picchu. Today, we were given reason. We must alert the regional authorities and the media so they won’t be suprised by this “explorer” who wanted to put pressure through the press.”
We have investigated and contacted all the parties involved. The whole affaire was just a huge manipulation orchestrated by the officials of the Regional Direction of Culture – Cusco, with the goal to discredit Thierry Jamin and his group and to justify the refusal from the local authorities to grant them a permit to pursue their research in Machu Picchu. We are going to demonstrate it…
On April 25th 2013, the newspaper “El Diario el Sol del Cusco” choose the following title for it front cover : “David Ugarte dijo que hará respetar los derechos del Cusco. DRC no teme denuncia de huaquero francés.” As always, the author of the article, the “journalist” Grimaldo Zúniga C. keeps insulting the French researcher.
In an article published on four columns by “El diario el Sol del Cusco” the same day, Grimaldo Zúniga and David Ugarte continunue their operation of intoxication and diffamation against Jamin. For the Regional Director of the Ministry of Culture – Cusco, David Ugarte, the complaint deposited in front of the judges against him by the French explorer does not scare him. Quite the contrary! “He reaffirms that he is a simple adventurer and huaquero which, without any professionalism nor any equipment, claims to surprise everyone so he can be allowed to perform excavations in Machu Picchu.”
In December 2013, the Regional Director of the Ministry of Culture – Cusco, David Ugarte Centeno would be finally destituted because of several scandals (http://issuu.com/letracierta/docs/letracierta_cusco_028/10) has reiterated his attacks against Thierry Jamin : “I reiterate my comments by saying that he is an adventurer, not an archaeologist, and I have an information coming from France and the UNESCO in which large authorities report that this person does not have any recognized level of study, and now this gentleman says he is not an archaeologist but a geographer. Then a geographer is going to do some excavations?”.
In its multiple statements, David Ugarte Vega Centeno said that he had receive a supposed letter from the French government alerting the Peruvian authorities about Thierry Jamin: “To assert that” assures Ugarte “we show an official document from the French Government and when the court will call me I will come and demonstrate what I just said and then I hope that this guy will not come out free from Cusco.
Threats in good and due form, relayed by the newspaper “El Comercio” on April 25, 2013, on both its front page and on page 02.
But David Ugarte never showed these supposed documents. And for a good reason: they do not exist! He was bluffing!
The Regional Director of Culture – Cusco, only had what was an internal mail, written by the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to his counterpart in the Ministry of Culture. The French government had therefore never sent any letter to the Peruvian authorities against Thierry Jamin. Quite the contrary!
Facing such a strong controversy generated by David Ugarte, the French authorities, in the person of Mr Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, finally decided to put things straight.
On 29 May 2013, Mr Fabius sent a letter to Thierry Jamin in which he categorically denied all information published in Peru against him. In a language sometimes diplomatic, the French Minister said that the controversy was due to “a misinterpretation of information by the Peruvian media” …
In general, it must be said, the attitude of the French authorities during the whole period of the polemics has been the very discreet to say the least… One would have expected a little more support from France when facing such violent attacks. In Lima, archaeologists of the French Institute of Andean Studies (IFEA) have been very critical. For them this case involving Thierry Jamin was trouble. It could endanger the intercultural relations between France and Peru. At the same period of time (March 2013), an auction in Paris of a hundred Peruvian pre-Columbian objects, despite the opposition of the Peruvian authorities had already somewhat altered the bilateral relations between the two countries.
To appease the controversies Thierry Jamin decided in July 2013 to drop the charges for slander he launched a few months earlier against David Ugarte Vega Centeno, Fernando Astete Victoria and Piedad Champi Monterroso.
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