The deceptive advertising from the real estate company Arkasas, which was promoting for sale a piece of land with Maya vestiges, has stopped circulating on social media, and the property is no longer for sale as a protective measure for the Xkipché archaeological site, said the delegate of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH)-Yucatán, Arturo José Chab Cárdenas.
They are now proceeding with the investigation against the real estate company, with the possibility of applying a sanction against the company, which could be a written warning or a fine.
“Fortunately, the commercialization did not take place, since if the sale had gone through, the crime would have been greater because such a private initiative would have engaged in the commercialization and trafficking of archaeological monuments,” he added.
He criticized the real estate company for offering ruins in land trade transactions, knowing that “national heritage is not for sale.”
“Making deceptive advertising that offers archaeological monuments in the course of commerce is illegal; the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological, Artistic and Historical Zones prohibits this activity, since heritage is inalienable and cannot be subject to commercial transactions,” he emphasized.
After detecting the irregularity, INAH specialists carried out the corresponding inspection to guarantee the safeguarding of the site, belonging to the municipality of Santa Elena. The National Guard was notified, whose members carried out inspections on the site, in coordination with the specialists from the INAH-Yucatán Center.
Chab Cárdenas announced that next week, federal agency specialists will visit the site to conduct a lidar flight in the area to verify that no archaeological element has been moved.
He indicated that despite its great importance, INAH has no plans for tourism development, and “as long as the site is not altered or modified, it will remain closed to the public.”
Expropriation of the area, located on the old Muna to Santa Elena road, which has a central buffer zone of four hectares, is not expected. However, the surface area of influence is 19 hectares, which is part of the pre-Hispanic settlement.
The federal official expressed that the property can be sold in the transfer of ownership or sale, but not the archaeological monuments, as they are the nation’s heritage.
Like historical monuments, cenotes are not susceptible to commercial transactions and are also protected by Article 27 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States. “Similar to the sale of a piece of land with a cenote, the land can be sold, but not the cenote, as it is the property of the nation and is inalienable,” he reiterated.