Disrespectful, irresponsible, unforgivable, callous: are just a few of the words that several organizations have used to describe the destruction of the Noh 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 Noh Mul on May 9 was that of the chairman of Douglas Village.
Grijalva underscored that it was to 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 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 Noh 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 the site should cease, and the company’s equipment removed.
He also numbered himself with those condemning the excavation and pledged to launch an internal investigation.
Since last Friday, several NGOs and political parties, including citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), Association of Protected Areas Management Organizations, the opposition Peoples United Party (PUP) and the Vision inspired by the People (VIP) and the People’s National Party have registered their outrage at 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 a 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 remnants of the site, approximately 80 percent of the structure has been irreparably damaged, rendering it unsuitable for any purpose.