An investigation into the theft of carved stones from a pyramid in the town of Dzilam González is underway, according to INAH.
According to local sources, the removal of these archaeological artifacts occurred during daytime hours by men in pickup trucks belonging to the city.
When questioned, the men reportedly said they were taking orders from the town’s mayor, Christian Carrillo Baeza. However, this claim has not been independently verified.
Witnesses also claim that police officers at the station just down the street abstained from interfering or asking questions.
The pyramid remains are but one of the several Prehispanic structures in the community, all of which have been badly damaged by looters over the centuries.
Before the conquest of the Yucatán, Dzilam Gonzáñez belonged to a large post-classic chiefdom named Ah Kin Chel, with its capital likely in Izamal.
The archaeological remains found in Dzilam González were first documented by the renowned explorers John Loyd Stephens and Frederic Catherwood in 1843.
The whereabouts of the looted stones are yet to be established, but INAH said it will not stop until they have been found.
The sacking of archaeological artifacts is fairly commonplace in Yucatán. In 2022, Yucatán Magazine reported on the apparent theft of an ancient stela from the community of Granada in the municipality of Maxcanú.
These events share many similarities with those that recently occurred in Dzilam González as they took place in broad daylight by men in pickup trucks claiming to work for the government.