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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Drone photographer at Chichén Itzá in hot water

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A man flying his drone over Chichén Itzá is facing charges from authorities. Photo: Reddit

The photographer who flew his drone over Chichén Itzá early one morning will answer to authorities who are taking legal action against him.

For his troubles, César Mendiburu achieved an unusual and striking shot of the temple of Kukulkán from the sky. He also found himself at odds with the federal agency in charge of the country’s heritage sites.

Mendiburu, who posted the photograph on Reddit, wrote: “Took this aerial (and probably illegal?) picture of Chichen Itza Mexico last weekend.” He apparently was correct in his assessment of the image.

The device the Cancun resident used, according to the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), is special photographic equipment. So he should have filed proper paperwork and paid 10,227 pesos to shoot video, or 5,113 pesos for stills.

INAH’s legal liaison José Arturo Chab Cárdenas told El País that the federally owned archaeological zone is subject to several federal laws. And Mendiburu’s photograph is illegal, because it was shot at a time when the archaeological zone was not open to the general public.

Staying at a nearby hotel, the photographer said he had gotten up at 5 a.m. to take the snapshot. Mendiburu told Verne that he acted that early in the morning to avoid breaking current rules.

“I did it very early before they opened the area,” he said via email. “As far as I know, there are no laws on the use of drones in federal areas.”

But INAH sees it differently.

“… It’s trespassing . . . it’s like breaking into a museum in the wee hours of the morning,” said Chab Cárdenas.

Source: El Pais

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