Tuesday, January 31, 2023 – A Polish man was beaten by fellow tourists who were outraged after he climbed up an ancient Mayan temple in Mexico.
Pawel Tomasz was taken into custody Saturday, Jan. 28, and held for 12 hours at a police station in Tinum, Yucatán.
Tomasz was fined 5,000 Mexican pesos (about $263), according to José Chab, director of the Yucatán National Institute of Anthropology and History.
Video footage showed Tomasz walking down the steps of the Temple of Kukulcán as the tourist shouted at him in disgust.
As he got to the foot of the stairs, one of the tourists appeared to punch Tomasz in the chest.
Two security guards had to escort Tomasz away from the scene.
As he was being led away, a second tourist approached him from behind and hit him on the head with a stick.
Tomasz then reached for his head in pain as security intervened.
Another tourist stepped in and reprimanded the Polish man, pointing towards the temple and telling him, “Are you stupid?”
Tomasz had walked up the temple to “take photos and share them on social media” and was forced to delete all of them, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History,
“Tourists must respect the security measure of the (National Institute of Anthropology and History) in the archeological zone to preserve the cultural heritage of Mexico, take care of visitors and enjoy that Mayan legacy,” Chab said, as quoted by El Universal newspaper.
Tomasz is the second person in two months to be arrested for a trek up the steps of the Temple of Kukulcán, which is known to locals as El Castillo.
Abigail Villalobos, of Tijuana, Mexico, was met with obscene yelling from visitors, who also doused her with water, after she was forced to walk down from the temple on November 20.
She was caught dancing on the temple and taking photos before the enraged crowd chanted “jail, jail, jail” and told the guards to “lock her up.”
Villalobos was arrested and fined 5,000 pesos (around $257).
In a January 2021 incident, a woman scaled the Pyramid of Kukulcán and sparked outrage when she was caught scattering the ashes of her late husband.
Climbing the 82-ft pyramid at the Chichén Itza archaeological site – formerly one of the most important centers of the Mayan civilization – has been outlawed since 2008.
Fines for climbing the temple can range from $2569 to $5138, depending on the damage caused to the structure.
Article 47 of the Federal law on Archaeological, Artistic and Historic Monuments states that a punishment of one to ten years in prison can be handed out if a person is found liable.
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