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Chichén Itzá vendors file complaint with Human Rights Commission

Chichén Itzá, Yucatan — Disagreements regarding local Chichén Itzá vendors and its INAH representative have taken a legal turn. On Monday, a complaint by the vendors was filed with the Human Rights Commission of the State of Yucatán for alleged violations of their rights as indigenous peoples.

They were also requesting the dismissal of Marco Antonio Santos Ramírez, the Director de la Zona Arqueológica de Chichén Itzá.

The complaint was filed nearly a week after vendors took to protesting after the vendors say they were denied permits by the INAH director to continue selling their merchandise in the area and forced to relocate without notice.

Santos Ramírez is alleged to have fired back with warnings of slander since the protesters allege prohibited activities such as night tours and access to restricted areas.

Arturo Ciau, who represents the protesting vendors, says the road blocks are still in place and will remain until the director is dismissed.

On January 2, the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) released a statement that “around fifty people related to some of the countless groups that benefit from the operation of this important area of archaeological monuments, a World Heritage Site, including some ejidatarios, guides, and street vendors, blocked some access roads to the site’s facilities, challenging some of the management actions that the INAH has undertaken, for more than a decade, to ensure the proper functioning of the area for the benefit of the visiting public, particularly as regards regarding the regulation of informal trade that has invaded the area, always seeking that artisans and vendors can exercise their trade in the best way and without affecting the visiting experience.”

The federal agency added that the Archaeological Zone of Chichén Itzá in Yucatán remains open to the public during its normal hours and has not suspended its services despite the protests.