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Archeologists Protest the Destruction, Commercialization of Mexico’s Cultural Heritage

Mexican archeologists and researchers are finally saying enough to the over-commercialization and destruction of sites recognized by Mexico’s constitution as national patrimony after years of abuse and mistreatment.

From Elton John performing a concert (click on video above) at the steps of the Temple of Kulkulkan to Jennifer López shooting a video at the same site, private concerts, events, and other forms of commercialization have become a mainstay in recent years, something that many consider desecration.

Felipe Echenique, spokesman for the National Union of INAH Investigators, says such abuse has long been the norm, but began proliferating under Salinas de Gortari, seeing a steep increase with the ultra-right PAN administrations of Vicente Fox and Felipe Calderón.

It was Fox, who in 2004 ignored protests and allowed a Wal-Mart store to be built down the street from Mexico’s biggest pyramids in Teotihuacan.

INAH archeologists say an even more egregious development is taking place in Tzintzuntzan, the ancestral capitol of the P’urépecha nation in the state of Michoacan, where a museum is currently being constructed just feet from the yacatas, the distinctive circular temple mounts, or pyramids, unique to P’urépecha sites.

"We know that when the Spanish would arrive to Indigenous communities, they’d build churches on top of their main buildings. Now it appears that these [INAH] government officials are saying the Spanish conquest is not yet over," said Echenique.

"It’s not only that they’re not complying with the law, but it’s continuing the vengefulness of Mexico’s ultra-right against Mexico’s history; erasing memory."

There are more 200,000 pre-European contact Indigenous sites under the domain of INAH, Mexico’s National Institute of Archeology and History.

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(Source: thinkmexican)