An indigenous group in Peru has filed the first ever Quechua language complaint to the Peruvian NCP against Marriott International Inc. The complaint alleges that Marriott International Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide LLC has destroyed an ancient Inca temple, exhumed human remains from an attached cemetery, and conducted unauthorized excavations in an archaeological site in order to build a hotel of the Marriott family of hotels. The complainants request that Marriott withdraw from the hotel project and return all Incan artifacts removed during the construction. The complainants further ask for the reconstruction and restoration of the Inca site where the hotel is being built.
In 2016 before the complaint was filed, the Peruvian Ministry of Culture had already issued a stop order against the project, stating that it, “after inspecting the site multiple times, determined that the execution of civil works was causing serious harm to the archaeological site, which was registered as part of the Cultural Heritage of the Nation and Humanity.”
On 18 February 2019, the Peruvian NCP admitted the complaint for consideration.
In October 2019 the Peruvian NCP issued an initial assessment rejecting the complaint on three primary grounds: lack of substantiation; existence of parallel proceedings, and failure to establish a link between the company and the impacts. The complainants feel the NCP concluded that the complainants could not claim on behalf of the Quechua people and that Marriott did not violate the Guidelines because the hotel never started operations. The complainants are deeply disappointed with the result because they feel:
a) The NCP has discriminated against them alleging that the Quechuas do not have a religious belief.
b) The NCP has imposed on the complainants an impossible requirement: to submit documentary proof that they have received a power of attorney from the eight million people who form the Quechua nation.
c) The NCP should have accepted the participation of the union Unite Here as co-complainant.
d) The NCP is non-neutral, as the hotel exploration began under an investment promotion agreement signed between Proinversion (the pro-investment agency that fulfills the role of the NCP) and the developer (Inmobiliaria R&G) in 2014. In addition, the head of the NCP is a former employee of the bank which financed the project (Banco de Credito del Peru). Moreover, the father of the NCP head is a real estate consultant that at the time of the proceedings spoke to the press in favour of this hotel.