Disrespectful, irresponsible, unforgivable, callous: are just a few of the words that several organizations have used to describe the destruction of the Nuh Mul archeological site; however, Denny Grijalva, the owner of the company responsible for the excavation has stated that the incident was not his fault.
He issued a statement on Wednesday explaining that the decision to use the material excavated from Nuh Mul on May 9 was that of the chairman of Douglas Village. Grijalva. Headded that it was his understanding that the chairman disapproved of the material his company was using for the road works and had obtained permission to extract the material from Nuh Mul from the site’s land owner.
He said that it was his duty to “explain” the sequence of events leading up to the incident and alleged that the practice of excavating from Nuh Mul had been ongoing for over a decade.
Grijalva maintains that once he was made aware of the situation he ordered that all operations at Nuh Mul cease, and the company’s equipment removed. He also numbered himself with those condemning the excavation and pledged to launch an internal investigation.
Since the discovery of the untimely demise of the central temple at the site last Friday, several NGOs including citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, the opposition Peoples United Party (PUP) and even the Vision inspired by the People (VIP) political parties have registered their disdain for the site’s desecration.
The Ministry of Tourism and Culture was among the first to express its disapproval, calling the situation an incomprehensible expression of disdain for the Laws of Belize.
The Belize tourism Industry Association (BTIA) in like fashion condemned the incident calling it complete disregard for Belize’s cultural heritage.
The Institute of Archeology’s Dr. Jaime Awe has said that while attempts can be made to salvage some remanence of the site, approximately 80 percent of the structure has been irreparably damaged, rendering it unsuitable for any purpose.