Saturday, July 25th, 2015. Aaron Humes Reporting: The Institute of Archaeology is preparing to evict Santa Cruz, Toledo resident Rupert Myles from his property near the Maya archaeological site of Uxbenka and may charge him with criminal destruction of a Maya site under the laws of Belize.
Maya villagers of Santa Cruz led by their alcalde detained Myles last month but 13 of them plus spokeswoman for the Maya Leaders Alliance Cristina Coc were charged with unlawful imprisonment and other charges in court.
Institute director Dr. John Morris says they have been discussing with the village how to demarcate the boundary with Santa Cruz and the planned Uxbenka Archaeological Reserve, which encompasses five square kilometers including the village itself.
Myles upset those plans when he and his common-law wife who is from the village planned to build their house on top of one of the mounds located inside the proposed boundary, bulldozing a path up to the structure.
The IOA was never able to contact Myles personally but under the NICH Act it has power to evict and sanction him as it did Denny Grijalva, accused of bulldozing the Noh Mul monument for road fill in Orange Walk.
He says there was no calculated ignorance of the matter as Maya leaders allege; the process to formally evict and charge Myles takes time.
The Toledo Alcaldes Association released a statement reminding that the Santa Cruz 13 will be going back to the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court next Tuesday.
The association is asking that everyone is treated equally under the law, including the Maya: “Once more, the Alcaldes from the Maya villages and the Maya people remain resolute in their position to stand with the women, men and children of Santa Cruz in calling upon the Prime Minister and government authorities to offer all Belizeans, including the Maya people, full protection of their rights and to be treated with justice and respect.”
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