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Sunday, December 4, 2022

Rule-breaker who climbed Chichén Itzá pyramid fined US$250

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Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Carlos Rosado van der Gracht
Born in Mérida, Carlos Rosado van der Gracht is a Mexican/Canadian blogger, photographer and adventure expedition leader. He holds degrees in multimedia, philosophy and translation from universities in Mexico, Canada and Norway. Sign up for the Yucatán Roundup, a free newsletter, which delivers the week's top headlines every Monday.
Chichén Itzá. Photo: Carlos Rosado van der Gracht / Yucatán Magazine

The woman berated by fellow tourists and detained by authorities for illegally climbing Chichén Itzá’s Kukulkán pyramid is reported to have paid a fine of only 5,000 pesos, roughly US$250.

The woman, now identified as Abigail Villalobos, 29, was taken to the nearby community of Tinum (not Piste as previously reported) where she was given the fine. 

A disrespectful tourist took her lumps after dancing on the pyramid at Chichén Itzá. Photo: Tik Tok @angelalopeze

According to Mexican law, the fine was missing a digit. The financial penalty for violating ordinances at heritage sites is officially 100,000 pesos or roughly US$5,000.

It is unclear if the fine paid in Tinum was to the local jurisdiction, or if federal charges may still be brought against the rule-breaker. 

News of the 10,000-peso fine has caused outrage on social media as many commenters feel Villalobos should be made an example of.

“If all that happens is that the pays 10,000 pesos, then the message the INAH is sending is that the cost for breaking the law and going up the pyramid is 10,000 pesos… and this will keep on happening. She really should do prison time,” Maria Tún, of Piste, wrote on Facebook. 

Earlier: Tourists boo rule-breaker who climbed Chichén Itzá’s famous Kukulkán pyramid

The outrage felt against the tourist has largely been inflamed by the fact that not only did she illegally climb the pyramid, but also did a defiant dance when she reached the summit. 

Villalobos is a Mexican citizen, not Spanish as she had been seen saying on the video as she was being escorted out. The home state of the tourist has not been disclosed as a measure to protect her privacy. 

Tourists misbehaving is no rarity at Chichén Itzá, Mexico’s most-visited archaeological site. Photo: Courtesy

INAH authorities have not commented on whether they will pursue direct legal action against Villalobos.

“People, even on holidays, have to understand that actions have consequences and that the law is the law. If she is let off with a slap on the wrist, it’s really sending the wrong message,” said Chetumal-based lawyer Raúl López. 

Just like a woman who pulled a similar stunt earlier this year, on social media, Villalobos has earned the hashtags #LadyKukulkan and #LadyChichenItza.

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