Maya site destroyed for paddock

In short news around the world the story of Sr. Maldonado is told, a land owner who bulldozed an ancient Maya site near the village of Chicxolub in Yucatan. While many people are understandably shocked by the simple fact that a Classic era Maya site has been lost, some of them accuse Sr. Maldonado. This also due to the detail, that many newspapers don’t quote him, when he was saying “Nobody told me, that this was an archeological site.”

He bought the part of land three months ago. You may not imagine it as a site of free standing temples or ruins, it was rather overgrown and seemed as mere jungle. His actions have to be understood as a simple mistake. If someone wants to look for a responsible party, we should have a look at the officials, that didn’t tell him, what he was buying. Also in Yucatan, there is the Registro Público de la Propiedad where you have to register to own an property. If only they would have known about site, which was registered in another office.

There are still hundreds of registered ancient Maya sites, that are overgrown and have yet to be examined. To protect them against the same mistakes, bureaucracy has to look for some synergies between the different offices. But we all know bureaucracy…

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