Orange Walk BTIA – Press Release on Noh Mul Archaeological Site
Orange Walk Town, May 14th, 2013 – The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter is saddened, disappointed and outraged at the senseless act of ignorance in relation to the destruction of the tallest mound at the Noh Mul Archaeological Site in the Orange Walk District.
This devastation, which was caused by heavy equipment owned by a local road construction company, has irreversibly damaged the main ceremonial temple at Noh Mul, which is located a few miles outside of Orange Walk Town. Noh Mul (Yucatecan Maya for “big hill”) had been one of the ancient monuments with the greatest tourism development potential in northern Belize. Unfortunately, such progress has been severely hampered due to the ignorance and greed of certain individuals, who do not seem to value our Mayan heritage or the endless natural richness of our country.
A senior Government official stated to BTIA-OW: “Orange Walk is the worst culprit when it comes to the wilful destruction of ancient monuments and archaeological sites. More sites have been destroyed in Orange Walk by the Ministry of Works and others for road fill material than in any other part of the country.”
Such occurrences are simply unacceptable and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It is also obvious that a concerted and sustained education and awareness building campaign is necessary in order to prevent the continued wilful destruction of our cultural heritage.
We agree with the statement by the Ministry of Tourism & Culture, the Belize Tourism Board and the National Institute of Culture & History that “Cultural landmarks such as Noh Mul are sacred artifacts of Belizean history and should be protected at all costs.”
The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter appeals to the Government of Belize, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the Orange Walk Police Department to remain steadfast in their efforts to levy charges on the persons responsible so that they may be penalized to the fullest extent of the law. The Belize Tourism Industry Association Orange Walk Chapter will be closely following this case to ensure that it remains at the forefront of the public’s consciousness.