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Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2007, 07:27 GMT 08:27 UK
Diaz apologises for Maoist slogan
Cameron Diaz (right), wearing the controversial bag
Diaz was in Peru to record a TV programme about local culture

Actress Cameron Diaz has apologised for carrying a bag in Peru which featured a political slogan likely to be considered offensive by local people.

The Shrek star visited the historical Machu Picchu site with a green bag which had a red star and the words "serve the people" printed in Chinese.

It evoked memories of a Peruvian war against Maoist rebels in the 1980s and '90s, when up to 69,000 people died.

Diaz admitted she did not realise the slogan's "potentially hurtful nature".

"I sincerely apologise to anyone I may have inadvertently offended," she said in a statement released to the Associated Press.

"The bag was a purchase I made as a tourist in China."

She went on: "I'm sorry for any people's pain and suffering, and it was certainly never my intention to reopen what I now know is a painful wound in this country's history."

Cameron Diaz
Diaz wore the bag while sightseeing at the Incan city of Machu Picchu
And she spoke of Peruvians' beauty and warmth, saying she wished "for their continued healing".

Her appearance with the bag had drawn criticism from prominent local human rights activist Pablo Rojas.

"It alludes to a concept that did so much damage to Peru, that brought about so many victims," he said on Friday.

"I don't think she should have used that bag where the followers of that ideology did so much damage."

Diaz is currently being heard in cinemas around the world as the voice of Princess Fiona in animated film Shrek the Third.

She said she had been in the country to record a TV programme celebrating Peruvian culture.


VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Cameron Diaz walking around Machu Picchu



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