Cameron Diaz, a Hollywood actress, appears to have committed a major fashion faux pas in Peru.
The actress may have inadvertently offended Peruvians who suffered decades of violence from a Maoist guerrilla insurgency by touring here Friday with a bag emblazoned with one of Mao Zedong’s favorite political slogans.
While exploring the Inca city of Machu Picchu high in Peru’s Andes, Cameron Diaz wore over her shoulder an olive green messenger bag emblazoned with a red star and the words “Serve the People” printed in Chinese on the flap, perhaps Chinese Communist leader Mao’s most famous political slogan.
While the bags are marketed as trendy fashion accessories, the phrase has particular resonance in Peru, where the Maoist Shining Path insurgency brought Peru to the edge of chaos in the 1980s and early 1990s with a campaign of massacres, assassinations and bombings. Nearly 70,000 people were killed during the insurgency.
A prominent Peruvian human rights activist revealed the actress should have been a little more aware of local sensitivities when picking her accessories.
About the bag’s slogan, Pablo Rojas revealed, “It alludes to a concept that did so much damage to Peru, that brought about so many victims. I don’t think she should have used that bag where the followers of that ideology” did so much damage.”