Home Headlines Dialogue with INAH fails and the entrance of Chichén Itzá is still blocked by vendors

Dialogue with INAH fails and the entrance of Chichén Itzá is still blocked by vendors

by Yucatan Times
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For the second consecutive day, the ejidatarios of Xcalakoop and Pisté maintained the blockade that prevents the arrival of tourists to the archaeological zone of Chichén Itzá, demanding the fulfillment of a petition requesting guarantees to be able to work and obtain profits from the use of the land.

Despite attempts by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to establish a dialogue with the protesters, there have been no results, as the handicraft vendors, tourism service providers and farmers from towns such as Pisté, San Antonio Nuevo, Xcalakoop and Ticimul are demanding the removal of the director of the archaeological zone, Marco Antonio Santos Ramírez, as well as his chief custodian, Arturo Gutiérrez, and other workers whom they describe as “the mafia of Chichén Itzá”.

The blockade began in the early hours of Monday, January 2, because, according to the protestors, since Santos Ramírez took office he has treated the merchants badly and prevented them from offering their products in this archaeological zone, which receives the most tourists during the year.

They installed blockades outside the town of Xcalakoop and at the height of the Colegio de Bachilleres de Pisté, on the Mérida-Cancún free highway. As a barrier they placed stones, branches, tires, other objects and their own bodies.

Unfair treatment for local merchants in Chichén Itzá

Celso Caamal, ejidatario of Xcalakoop, was among those protesting, explaining that for months the administration of the archaeological zone has been trying to relocate local merchants to build a handicrafts market on the grounds of the old Chichén Itzá airport.

This, he said, is an injustice in order to privilege the entrance of service providers and handicraft vendors from Quintana Roo and Valladolid, which would leave more than two thousand people and their families from the aforementioned towns without income.

They also denounced alleged acts of corruption on the part of the archaeological zone’s management, through supposedly exclusive tours for tourists staying at the Lodge and Mayaland hotels, which have their own entrance to Chichén Itzá.

Arturo Ciau, secretary of Indigenous Affairs of the Yucatán campesino organizations, denounced that on these tours, visitors are allowed to climb the steps of the Kukulkán castle and enter the subway passageway where the sacred jaguar statuette is located.

In order to attend to the requests, INAH tried to organize a dialogue table this Tuesday, but was unsuccessful, because only two of the 12 leaders who agree with the demonstration and the blockade were notified.

This action was taken by the majority of the protesters as an attempt to divide them and provoke confrontations within the protest, with the objective of lifting the blockade.

However, the ejidatarios of Xcalakoop and Pisté assured that they will not meet with INAH representatives until the removal of director Santos Ramírez is completed and they will not lift the blockade until there is a work table.

INAH responded that they will remain respectful of the demonstrations and will seek a work table in which practical and respectful dialogue prevails.

TYT Newsroom

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