Paracas park rangers attacked by dynamite fishermen

Three park rangers of the Paracas National Reserve were brutally attacked yesterday as they attempted to arrest five men who had been dynamite fishing in the Independencia bay, in the south of the protected area, according to national parks service Inrena.

The rangers were making a routine patrol when they heard three detonations coming from the region of the Carhuaz beach. They immediately headed to the area and attempted to intervene.

When the officers approached, the five criminals attacked them with knives and sticks, leading to a confrontation that left several wounded.

Before fleeing, the attackers stole the rangers’ digital cameras that contained evidence of the crime, and slashed the tires of the rangers’ vehicle so as to immobilize it.

With defensive wounds to the arms and hands, the rangers sought help from a passing motorist, who drove them to Pisco police headquarters where they reported the incident.

Police joined with the rangers in returning to the scene of the crime, where they found over 100kg of dead fish washed up on the beach – clear evidence of the ecological crime that had taken place.

Park authorities and police are now actively seeking the perpetrators.  In Peru, dynamite fishing is classed as a serious crime, punishable with 3-15 years in prison and fines up to US$200,000. Possession of unregistered explosives is also classed as a crime of terrorism, and if convicted the perpetrators could face heavy sentences.

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