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Protesters want Manzanero concert at Chichén Itzá canceled

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Armando Manzanero is a leading romantic singer and composer. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Mérida, Yucatán — About 100 unionized technical and administrative workers at INAH are protesting the upcoming Armando Manzanero concert at Chichén Itzá, saying that the Mayan archaeological site should not be used for commercial purposes.

The workers are asking for federal and state intervention to cancel the Feb. 3 concert, which is called “Celebrating Armando Manzanero Live from Chichén Itzá.”

They backed up their protest by citing Article 39 of the General Law of Cultural Rights, which prohibits profiting from cultural heritage. Their grievance is directed at anthropologist Diego Prieto Hernández, INAH’s technical secretary, who made the call to OK the concert.

“We can’t let archaeological zones and cultural heritage keep being used for profit-making events, so this is a national protest, where we as INAH workers are protesting against this event,” said Hernández. INAH is the federal body charged with protecting Mexico’s cultural heritage.

Hernández also announced that the union’s National Congress agreed to hold demonstrations in all 32 states to oppose using archaeological zones anywhere in Mexico for private profit, risking the structures left by indigenous ancestors.

British singer Elton John performs during his concert at Pyramid Kukulcan in 2010. Photo: Getty

Impact studies indicate that sound equipment and metal structures damage the fragile archaeological remains.

The archaeological site has been concert-free zone since stage gear partially collapsed at an Elton John concert in 2010. Around the world, concerts often are staged with ancient sites as a backdrop, especially since Yanni at the Acropolis in Greece hit the charts in 1994.

Manzanero, 81, previously performed at Chichén Itzá, when Placido Domingo headlined in 2008. Manzanero traced his ancestors to the indigenous Maya, and is a Mérida native.

Both a singer and a prolific composer, Manzanero’s most famous works include “Voy a Apagar la Luz” (“I’m Going to Turn Off the Lights”), “Contigo Aprendí” (“With You I Learned…”) and “Adoro” (“I Adore”). Many songs have made their way into the repertoire of the likes of Elvis Presley, Andrea Bocelli, Tony Bennett, Perry Como and Luis Miguel.

Part of the concert’sbox office income is earmarked to environmental organizations, rural entrepreneurs in southeast Mexico and to people with hearing loss. Tickets have been available to the general public since Oct. 27.

Source: La Verdad

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