Historic sunken ship carrying Maya slaves discovered in Yucatan

Photo: (Yucatàn a la mano)

Mèrida, Yucatàn, (July 07, 2021).- Investigations in the field and in archives of Mexico, Spain, and Cuba, showed that this ship called ‘La Unión’ exploded in 1861 and it remained hidden until it was discovered in 2017.

Underwater archaeologists from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) found new evidence about a ship that was wrecked four kilometers off the coast of Puerto de Sisal, in Yucatán.

Descubren barco usado para traficar esclavos mayas – Pedro Canché Noticias
Photo: (Pedro Canche Noticias)

“The moment it leaves the Port of Sisal the boiler explodes. When we dived we found that the cauldron and the chimney are fragmented, it was a super important piece of information, in which the historical part of the references coincided and what we were seeing in the underwater archaeological context ”, declared Helena Barba, an underwater archaeologist at INAH

Descubren restos de un barco que transportaba esclavos mayas de México a  Cuba | Cubanos en México
Photo: (Cubanos en Mèxico)

In the historical manifestos, it was also discovered that this ship traded with Maya slaves, those who participated in the caste war with which it was intended to free Yucatan from Mexican territory.

“They were sent to Cuba and there they ended up dying very soon, precisely because of the conditions of slaves, they basically did not receive a salary, they were captives who went to do forced labor in the sugar cane estates,” said the archaeologist.

Descubren "La Unión", un barco que transportaba esclavos mayas en Yucatán |  Video | CNN
Photo: (CNN)

The evidence indicates that, in addition to the slaves, there were also first-class passengers, whose names are already sought.

“We are in the search of the cargo manifest to know the name and surname of these passengers and to locate the families of those captives,” he continued.

Descubren los restos de un barco que transportaba esclavos mayas a Cuba
Photo: (El Confidencial)

In addition to this Spanish steam, the ‘Adalio’ was also found, an English steamship that sank 2 kilometers away, built between 1807 and 1870, prior to the boiler fume engine.