A tourist has got herself in trouble by climbing Mexico’s Castillo de Kukulcán. Climbing the pyramid has been banned since 2008. Footage of the incident shows a crowd at the bottom calling for her to be jailed. Some even chanted “sacrifice, sacrifice.”
A woman has angered a crowd, dancing down the Castillo de Kukulcán, one of the most important ancient structures in Mexico. Either oblivious or uncaring of the ban on climbing this monument, which is located in Chichén Itzá (southeastern Mexico), and which is one of the new seven wonders of the modern world, the woman can be seen confidently posing at the top of the steps (then being booed by onlookers).
She then, in a viral video, posted to TikTok with the caption “this is why you don’t disrespect Mayan Pyramids”, can be seen reaching the bottom of the stairs, with chants ringing out including “carcel” (jail) and “sacrifice” because “this woman does not respect the rules.”
WATCH: Angry crowd calls for woman to be jailed as she climbs Mayan Pyramid
The mob also sprayed the lady with water as she left. You can be fined between US $2,558 ($3,846 AUD) and US $5,115 ($7,691 AUD) for climbing the pyramid (depending on how much damage you are deemed to cause).
On social media, commenters shared their own stories of the site (you used to be allowed to climb the steps, it seems), and also took it upon themselves to create an angry digital mob of their own, throwing their own barbs and criticisms.
“Our Spanish class took a trip there about 15 years ago, high school, we were told to only climb 5 steps because of possibly falling,” one TikTok user wrote.
“Yes, people used to climb these years ago, I get it but at the same time there were deaths by people falling every year,they’re also unstable to climb,” said another.
Yet another said: “We used to go every year & we would climb up & they also allowed us to go inside one of the tunnels which led to a shrine of a panther with Jade eyes.”
In terms of criticism, one TikTok user chided: “For people saying ‘well, you were allowed to climb before’, they stopped it because all those climbs not only was dangerous but it damaged the foundations. I personally prefer to preserve the Chichen Itza.”
The poster of the video, @angelalopeze, wrote: “Yep… erosion, graffiti, and safety are the reasons we can’t climb anymore!”
According to Merco Press, “In previous incidents, INAH reported that they would be punished according to the Federal Law on Archaeological, Artistic and Historic Monuments and Zones which, in Chapter VI, establishes penalties and sanctions against those who damage or exploit archaeological monuments without authorization from the Institute.”
Merco Press also reports: “INAH authorities have yet to report the incident, and the crowd continues to demand jail and expulsion from Yucatán ‘and if she is from abroad, she should leave Mexico,’ shouted those present.”
As for the Mayans, they were well known for human sacrifices, generally via beheading, with images of human sacrifice often sculpted into the steps of Maya architecture. So perhaps this tourist should consider herself lucky to only get away with a fine, if it even comes to that…