The head of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) in Yucatán, Arturo Chab Cárdenas, said that anyone who attempts against the works being carried out in the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, is attempting against the realization of the federal project Tren Maya.
In a press conference called to explain the situation surrounding the blockade maintained by Tinum ejidatarios outside this site of pre-Hispanic vestiges, the official emphasized that the railway project that will run through five states in the southeast represents the largest project ever undertaken in the southeast of Mexico and for this reason it is important that it be completed by December 2023, as proposed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
He mentioned that as part of the works surrounding this project, the federation, through INAH, allocated an investment of 2.1 billion pesos for Chichén Itzá, an amount never before destined for an archeological zone.
This money, he explained, will be used in the construction of a Visitors’ Assistance Center (CATVI) located in the old airstrip of Chichén Itzá, the construction of a site museum and the exploration of the area known as “Chichén Viejo” or “Initial Series“, through the Program for the Improvement of Archaeological Zones (Promeza).
He said that all these works began six months ago and have had considerable progress during this time. However, since January 2, 2023 they have been paralyzed due to the blockades that groups of ejidatarios, artisans, vendors, tourist service providers and local farmers have maintained on federal highway 180 that connects Mérida with Valladolid.
The blockades began because the ejidatarios, mainly from Pisté and Xcalacoop, are demanding the dismissal of the director of the Chichén Itzá archaeological zone, Marco Antonio Santos Ramírez, as well as other specific requests including authorization to open a new parking lot in the archaeological zone, restrooms, street repaving and construction of metal domes, among other things.
For this reason, Chab Cárdenas indicated that for the past five days the work for the CATVI and the Museum, as well as Promesa’s explorations, have been paralyzed, due to the fact that the demonstrators do not allow anyone to enter the archaeological zone.
“Anyone who attempts against the closure, who does not allow the free transit of the workers of the archaeological zone, of INAH, of Promeza, of the street vendors, is an attempt against the Mayan Train”, he stated.
He reminded that since the beginning of the conflict the dialogue has been open for when the non-conforming parties want to dialogue and that is why the first meetings with ejidatarios have already been programmed.