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May 15, 2013

Wasn’t me? Denny Grijalva passes blame on Noh Mul destruction

Denny Grijalva

Denny Grijalva, the politically connected Orange Walk businessman in the very hot center of what has become worldwide condemnation of the destruction of Noh Mul, has been missing in action since Sunday. News Five attempted to contact him with no success, and we were told he was in Guatemala City and that he arrived back in the country today. And sure enough, late this evening, Grijalva sent out a release. In that release he neatly extricates himself from the issue, claiming that the foreman of his company, De’ Mar’s, identified material for the rehabilitation of roads in Douglas, but the Chairman of that village was not satisfied with the material. And as such, he obtained permission from a landowner to extract material from his property from which material has excavated for well over a decade. Grijalva claims that excavation began on Thursday and continued on Friday, when it was stopped by officials from NICH. Grijalva ends with his release by sharing the public’s concern over this, quote, ‘unfortunate incident.’ And he asserts that he is also launching an internal investigation. We note that at no time does Grijalva make any reference to Noh Mul or indeed to any Mayan monument. We also note that he does not take any responsibility, but shares it between his foreman, the Chairman of Douglas Village and the private landowner. Mike Rudon was at the site today and has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Commissioner of Archaeology Dr. Jaime Awe had seen the damage to Noh Mul only in pictures taken by his directors late last week. Today, he visited the area for the first time since Thursday and his dismay was palpable as he examined what is left of the structure which stood as the tallest monument on this large site.


Dr. Jaime Awe, Commissioner of Archaeology

“Looking at the images before on the photographs that our two senior archeologists had sent to me and said to me was one thing. And now seeing it first hand, like you said in 3D, is just gut-wrenching. It is obvious as you look at the stratigraphy there you can see that this was a big temple that was built stone by stone; that was carved out by the Maya from their own quarries in the past. Obviously that this was a prehistoric building. I think I have said before that it was a sad day for me and for Belize when we found out that this destruction had occurred.”


His worst fears were realized, if there was ever any thought to reconstructing the monument.


Jaime Awe

Dr. Jaime Awe

“If the question is whether we had any hope to reconstruct—cause that is all you can do here—what this building would have looked like, I can categorically answer that with a no. When I looked at it just now, it reminded me of the coring of an apple. When you core an apple, you cut out all the outside and what you are left at the end with is a core. So you have no idea of what the apple used to look like on the outside. So that’s that situation we have here. Can we come and do some excavations and still gather some data that would tell us the construction sequence of this building, the answer is yes. We can probably still come back and do that.”


News syndicates from across the world have joined in condemnation of those responsible for the destruction, as have the Ministry of Tourism and Culture and local organizations. Even Minister of Natural Resources Gaspar Vega has added his voice to the fray, pointing out that Grijalva did not have a permit to mine. While there is still uncertainty about the extent of punishment to fit the crime, Awe admits that the NICH Act is to an extent an antiquity, but they are serious about taking this issue as far as it can go.


Dr. Jaime Awe

“With me today, are detectives from the Orange Walk Branch of the Police Department as well as one of the police men. The officer in charge will be joining us later. The plan of action now is that we will prepare the necessary documents that then the police can submit and use to lay charges against those that are responsible for this destruction. I got a copy of the press release that was sent by Minister Vega and I noticed, like you pointed out, in the release it stated that Mister Grijalva did not have a mining permit to do mining on this location. And like I said, I am hoping in discussions with them that perhaps they can also look at the possibility of laying charges under their legislation. In terms of us at the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, we can apply the NICH Act for the destruction. So all these things…like I said, we are doing our investigation. We can assure you that within our ministry and, like I said too as the Ministry of Natural Resources has indicated, government at the Cabinet level has decided that we need to take action on this.”


Awe and his team plan to finish their assessment and to give the Police an official report by the end of this week. After that it is anybody’s guess how things will play out. Denny Grijalva, the man who stands to face the brunt of any prosecution, is a very well-connected member of the United Democratic Party. He has not been heard from since the destruction. Mike Rudon for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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24 Responses for “Wasn’t me? Denny Grijalva passes blame on Noh Mul destruction”

  1. Rod says:

    This man needs to be locked up for 10 years at lease for stupidity he makes the whole of Belize look like idiots but this is gall happening because of this corrupt pm and gov.

  2. junito says:

    Only the smuck smile on his face says its all. He is a scumbag from day 1. Living off everyone like a leech.

  3. trudy says:

    Grijalva is a not a flight risk; his flight is Guaranteed. Bond must be set unprecedentedly high once he has been taken into custody because as you know his lawyer will get him bail. Considering the irremediable damage to our heritage and patrimony, i am looking at seven figures for bail. if he runs he can leave that behind for the government coffers and to assuage in some measure our hurt.

  4. Storm says:

    Lying and denying — but Grijalva still must be charged and convicted, along with the conspirators he mentioned, his foreman, the head of the village, and the landowner. Also, the equipment operators and truck drivers.

    It’s a crime to damage the mounds wherever they are, even on private land. It’s no defense that others did it, because that would justify every bank robbery and murder, too! The scale of this crime was greater than anything I remember having been done, and I’m pretty old.

    LET’S SEE THE CRIMINALS WHO DID THIS LOCKED UP, THE SOONER THE BETTER! Grijalva has confessed publicly, now it’s just an insult to justice in Belize that he is walking among us.

    By the way, do you think the PM has heard about this crime? He has become irrelevant to the nation by his head-in-the-sand silence. Same for our Attorney General, Compol, and DPP. WE DEMAND ACTION!

  5. Nesher says:

    Rod, PLZ….dis silly man wont even spend a coupla hrs in jail. he knows too many secrets not to pull strings. u have to be realistic n face the sad truth cz not evn the bald head comment pan dis n he’s the leader of our country. wat does dat tell u????

  6. Buju says:

    Let me put it this way


    If you pass somewhere you will not know if it is a church or a hospital or a police station or a store by just looking at it – especially if the place is abondoned!

  7. star says:

    so to excavate you need a mining permission that means vega ministry had some to do with it as well.

  8. not again says:

    Nothing will happen to him every body covers each other in politics. Maybe later when they are not in power the pup will do something but, I dont think so. It is so sad that Mr. Grijalva is so stupid. Good thing he last. Mr. Awe please show the Belizeans that you will make this guy punish for violating our history and our future.

  9. Rough says:

    I though Mr Barrow would have been a good leader of this country. However, he is being controlled by his ministers. He just talk, talk and talk, using big words, but not no actions. Belizeans, wake up, rich are getting richer, Barrow and his loyalists are raping our resources and are getting away. If Mr Barrow is really serious, Belizean to the bone, he will lock up this man for 10 years.

  10. Rob says:

    Well my fellow Belizeans there you have it!!!… Arrogance!! Arrogance!!! NO LEADERSHIP… he passes the “buck” to his subordinates. Yeah rite!! …he mussy think everybody stupid as his followers who believe in him. But its money mein!! money!! Greed!!…

    Wake up and smaell the coffee BELIZE!!!

  11. Belmopaneze says:

    Insatiable greed is paramount in Belize today: this lying sack of excrement Grijalva is a crony of the real power behind the UDP throne, so you know he’ll only get a slap on the wrist! …His benefactor, the man who controls all of the North in the UDP, has pockets so deep that not even the usually verbose UDP leader can say anything! ….just like how he had to bend over and submit in the case of the illegal rosewood fiasco, he will have no choice but to bow down to the dictates of the defacto leader from the north, or risk losing complete control of his party! …that is all it amounts to! Greed on one hand, and self preservation on the other hand, but arrogance all around are sinking us deeper and deeper into chaos!

    There’s an appropriate saying that goes “Be careful what you ask for. you just might get it!”, but I’ll just finish by saying, unuh mih tink PUP bad, bad? well unu get the UDP weh unu mih want!

  12. More BS from BZ says:

    Surprised UDP has not passed a constitutional amendment authorizing Grijalva.
    The corruption officers dropped the ball, Grijalva should have waited until he had the UDP permit.
    Now he will have to pay some more fees to get out of this one, unless he does a McAfee.
    Speaking of McAfee, how is that murder case coming?

    Time for more Belize’s impotent justice?
    Yes! time to bust a tourist for a stick of weed; that will set things right.
    Maybe 2-50 tourists are needed, Noh Mul is a big site, a big sacrifice is needed.
    who will be the unlucky tourists? Or maybe PUP should take the fall, they are not doing anything except trying to get back in power.

    How do you spell Belize? c-o-r-r-u-p-t
    and why it will continue to be poor and untrustworthy.

  13. Mad says:

    GRIJALVA SHOULD BE BURIED UNDER THE RUBBLE HE CREATED. SHAME ON HIM. Shame he is pointing the finger at his foreman. Best solution, all should be charged with Grijalva taking the heaviest. And NICH should confescate all his machinery that were used to destroy the monument. How would Barrow like if we buldozz half of the assembly building in Belmopan? That’s what happened here. It is not a good image in the world. We use Maya sites as selling points to attract tourist to Belize. How can we say now come see our sites we are preserving when some idiots are out there destroying our advertisement right under the nose of this damn UDP.

  14. Phillipa says:

    Where are the lawyers no one jump to the aid of Mr. Awe to help him but they ready to jump to Calbe side, come on people wake up lets take Justice in our own hand after all its just us.

  15. busha says:

    ………… but not surprising, and no one will take the hit, and ALL of Belize will loose, par for the course really… ashamed to be Belizean toooo often.

  16. russell says:

    This people are arrogant,stupid and lack of pride…All of them should be punish severly not only the 5000 fee but more than that its a maya monument they destruyed and THAT! is not a joke…if not punish it gives the idea that anyone can destruy any ancient monument in belize….the archoelogical department should take action on conserving all and i said all sites.

  17. busha says:

    not surprising, and no one will take the hit, and ALL of Belize will loose, par for the course really… ashamed to be Belizean toooo often.

  18. fools says:

    Grijalva is a UDP Guatemalan. that is why he is laughing in your faces. look at the current ad for Guatemala tourism on international TV, it highlights all the mayan sites in the Peten area. on the other hand the world now knows that in Belize we use mayan sites for road fill..we give a man 5 years in jail to a stick of weed, 5 years to touch a womans bottucks, 7 years to steal abag of chips. but to bulldooze a mayan temple to the ground their is no charge, I am ashamed to be a belizean at this moment.

  19. Bmp Chic says:

    ANDDDDD this too will past away SAD fo us all we o is sit back an watch SMDH , the planes that land at night, the murderers that walk free, the hild molesters who smiles for he camera…..BELIZE our beautiful country

  20. raelly says:

    look at his stupid face laughing at belizeans

  21. Neville says:

    Whoever got the money gets the blame. They can’t be separated.

    Why hasn’t a single Belizean lawyer stepped forward to help right this terrible wrong?

  22. i agree says:

    By the way, do you think the PM has heard about this crime? He has become irrelevant to the nation by his head-in-the-sand silence. WE DEMAND ACTION! i agree with all your sentiments n believe he PM has to take action atleast to show some dignity and prevent future demolishments of our history and selling points within our country!!!!!

  23. orangewalkeno says:

    if u get caught with contraband flour they confiscate your vehicle,the bulldozer and all other machine equipment should already have been impounded and all deemed responsible behind bars.NO EXCUSES OR DELAYS PERIOD.

  24. Unbelievable says:

    I just learned about this today, I hope all these people and politicians are in jail now? I cant believe how stupid people are in Belize!

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