Peruvian prosecutors on Monday withdrew their request to have two journalists jailed while they are investigated over a Greenpeace action at the ancient Nazca lines site in December that angered many Peruvians.
Rodrigo Abd, a photographer with The Associated Press, and Herbert Villarraga, a video journalist who works for Thomson Reuters, will instead be able to travel freely during a 120-day preliminary investigation, Judge Leodan Ayala ruled.
Both traveled to Nazca last month to tell prosecutors that they were on assignment at the December 8 action and were neither members of the environmental group nor participants.
Their names had been found by police investigators in the logs of the air charter company that flew them over the lines to record images of the pro-renewable energy message that 20 Greenpeace activists had spelled out with yellow fabric letters in the dark sands beside the iconic figure of a hummingbird.
Authorities are seeking criminal charges against the Greenpeace activists for alleged irreversible damage to the lines, mysterious figures, or geoglyphs, etched in Peru’s southern desert by a pre-Columbian civilization.