Indigenous Groups take over Copan Ruins

At 2:00 a.m. this morning, over three thousand natives, armed with sticks and stones arrived at the archaeological park of Copan Ruins to take over it and stop the entrance of national and foreign tourist as a pressure measurement for the government to fulfill a series of necessities they have been facing for several years now.
The government has to resolve in a short term the purchase of over 4,000 acres of land for 103 million lempiras as well as other demands from the Mayan Chorti indigenous population.

The representative of the Chorti, Oscar Acosta remembered that on September 9th of 2005, they also took over the park and with the previous government who purchased some other 4,000 acres of land and was distributed among the 48 indigenous communities.

Acosta also explained that on May 13th of 1997 they signed an agreement with the president back then for the purchase of 36,000 acres of land, but only 35% of that total has been recovered among other commitments signed by both parts.

“We want the land to cultivate it because we are dying of hunger” Acosta said after saying they have been seeding their basic grains on private lands where the owners have given them 30 days to abandon their lands before they will be evacuated.

They are also demanding the titles for their land that have been purchased previously and have no title in order to strengthen their trust fund which will be administrated by the Agrarian National Institute and the Maya Chorti National Council.

In these 48 indigenous communities where over 28 thousand people live, there are only eight health care centers and 1 public school in each community. Because of this, they are soliciting the government’s cooperation for the education.

They are also asking the minister of Tourism to assign 30 percent of the income of the Maya ceremonial center to go to their organization, and 60 percent of the staff to be indigenous at the Copan Ruins archaeological park and to have an indigenous representative in the administration area.

On the other side, the administrator of the Archaeological Park, Oscar Ruiz said, by closing the Archaeological Park great economic losses are already registered, the same with hotels and transportation.

The Copan Ruins Archaeological Park receives over 400 tourists a day. The cost to enter the park is 80 lempiras for national tourist and $15 for foreign tourists.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login