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‘Prison! Sacrifice!’: Angry crowd berates tourist who climbed protected pyramid in Chichén Itzá

Mexican authorities said that there was no damage to the Temple of Kukulcán, located in one of the most visited archeological sites in the country

On the left, the woman dances while another person tries to talk her down; on the right, the woman is attacked as she crosses the angry crowd.Photo: RR.SS | Video: RR.SS
Rodrigo Soriano

A tourist climbed the more than 90 steps of the Temple of Kukulcán, a landmark monument located in the world-famous archaeological site of Chichén Itzá, a former Maya city in Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula. During her ascent of the structure, which is off-limits to visitors, the crowd below began to berate her, with some people yelling “prison!” and other suggesting she should be offered up as a sacrifice to the gods.

After climbing down, several people began throwing water at her, shoving her and pulling her hair, as can be seen in a video released on Sunday.

The National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) said in a statement that the monument did not suffer any damage. The violator was handed over to the Ministry of Public Security, where she was expected to face administrative sanctions, although authorities did not quote any specific amounts. Federal legislation sets out fines ranging from 34,574 pesos ($1,768) to 172,870 pesos ($8,845) for these types of offenses.

Social media users have nicknamed the tourist Lady Chichén Itzá. The video footage shows her doing a little dance when she reaches the top, with the crowd screaming at her. The woman left the compound after security agents showed up at the scene.

Chichén Itzá is listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Attendance records kept by INAH indicate that it was the most-visited archaeological site in the country from January to September, having received two million tourists so far this year, according to preliminary figures. The second most popular site is Teotihuacán, in the State of Mexico, with 1.4 million tourists, followed by Tulum in Quintana Roo with almost a million visitors.

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