Road contractors have destroyed the main ceremonial plaza of the Noh Mul archeological site, a structure representing more than 2,000 years of Mayan history.
The rock material was collected for road fill.
The once seventy-foot structure located near the villages of San Jose/San Pablo, just north of Orange Walk Town, has been reduced to a mere mound that archaeologist say while completely crumble into to rubble when the rainy seasons starts.
De’Mar’s Stone Company, which was contracted to construct and rehabilitate roads in Douglas Village in the Orange Walk district began excavating on May 9. It, however, was eventually stopped by representatives from the Department of Archeology on May 10, but by that time the damage had already been done.
The managing Director of De’Mars , Denny Grijalva, a political aspirant for Orange Walk Central constituency, was out of the country at the time of the excavation.
Grijalva, who reportedly claimed total ignorance in the matter, has agreed to cooperate with authorities and has stated that he will launch an internal investigation into the event.
While the ruin is located on private property, section 62 of the NICH Act protects all Maya ruins, irrespective of their locations.
The Noh Mul or “Big Hill” site consisted of two twin ceremonial clusters surrounded by several plazas and connected by a central causeway.
The site has been known archeologically for more than 50 years and has had archeological research conducted there by the Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
Dr. John Morris of the Archeology Department told local media that the event was the worst he had ever seen in his 25 years as an archeologist.
The Archeology Department explained that the structure was built from hewn limestone and may have taken over a thousand years to construct.
The incident has dominated the local media and has sparked the outrage of several NGOs.
It was also featured in several international publications such as Fox News and in articles written by the Associated Press, the Huffington Post and the New York Times.