Church of Hocabá YUcatan (Archive)

Three ancient bells from the Templo de San Cristóbal church, close to the main plaza of Hocabá, were stolen in broad daylight only using a ladder.

Hocabá is located 55 kilometers (34 miles) Southeast from Merida.

This crime not only attempts against the town’s security, but also harms the sovereignity of the Nation and its cultural assets. These bells have a significant historical value for the people of Hocabá municipality. Eulogio Dzib, mayor of the city, is now taking actions.

The bells, made of valuable metal alloys, are now probably melted or sold to collectors. According to the Religious Constructions Catalogue of Yucatán, these bells probably date from the XVII century, but this information cannot be confirmed now that the bells are missing.

Templo de San Cristóbal church, Hocabá, Yucatán (Photo: Milenio)


Other Church Bells Thefts

It’s not the first time a bell is stolen in this municipality, according to the residents of Hocabá, some months ago, a bell from the San Francisco church was stolen, also close to the city hall.

This bell was out of service for the last 40 years, ever since it was struck by lightning. On August 2014, it disappeared a few days before the San Francisco de Asís celebrations, while the public illumination system was being changed.

According to the residents, everyone in town knew the identity of the criminals, but they refused to denounce them, fearing the consequences. Some say that the police officers already knew the thieve’s identities but they were concealed.

Some years ago, Alfonso Martín rescued another bell, the most ancient bell in Yucatán. It was molten by Governor Antonio Vozmediano in 1591 for the Monjas Concepcionistas de Mérida convent. This bell is now exhibited in this convent.