The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) suspended the restoration and research works in Chichén Viejo (Old Chichen-Itzá), one of the 13 housing complexes in the south of the Chichén Itzá archaeological zone, due to a conflict with a family owner of a hotel who opposes the project.
A federal official, who asked for anonimity, said that the owners of a Barbachano family hotel closed access to Chichén Viejo, causing problems and delays, as the INAH and the federal Ministry of Culture intend to reopen the site on September 2. next.
The source stated that the problem with the family, owner of land in archaeological regions of Yucatan, would jeopardize the opening of the pre-Hispanic city.
The director of the Chichén Itzá archaeological zone, archaeologist José Francisco Osorio, confirmed the conflict, but assured that it could be resolved soon. “We are in negotiations. At the moment, the entrance to the archaeological zone of Chichén Viejo is suspended,” he admitted.
Since last Thursday employees of the Hotel Hacienda Chichén, owned by the mentioned family, closed access to the archaeological zone of Chichén Viejo.
In addition, they stuck a banner on the trees with a notice: “Private property. The invaders will be prosecuted according to the law.”
This measure makes it difficult for INAH researchers, restorers and employees to continue the final work in that housing complex, where an elite figure of the Mayan culture lived.
The Barbachano family has a great presence in the state, where it is one of the most important figures in the tourism sector. The hotel businessman Fernando Eugenio Barbachano denounced in March 2022 assaults by armed people in two of his most emblematic hotels in Chichén Itzá.
In 2010, the government of Yucatán bought 205 acres of the Chichén Itzá archaeological zone from the Barbachano family at a price of 220 million pesos. For the INAH, this purchase represented an important step to lay new foundations for the enjoyment of the site and the Mayan culture by national and foreign visitors.
San Miguel Times