This is Yaxchilán, the archaeological site that reopens after months closed due to violence in Chiapas


The residents of the area have opened Yaxchilán and two ecotourism centers known as ‘Nueva Alianza’ and ‘Escudo Jaguar’.

The residents of Frontera Corozal, in the municipality of Ocosingo, in the southern Mexican state of Chiapas, reopened this Tuesday the archaeological site of Yaxchilán and two ecotourism centers, closed due to the presence of organized crime since October 2023.

Esquivel Cruz González, commissioner for dialogue with the Government of the state of Chiapas, detailed to EFE the reasons and the work they carried out to achieve reopening and provide security to the inhabitants and tourists who visit the area.

“The insecurity problem was due to the actions of a criminal group in the Lacandon community, and the town had to rise up (in arms) on October 11, 2023, to guarantee our own security,” he narrated.

He recalled that for this reason it was decided to close the archaeological site, “both on the internal and external side of the locality, to be able to contain and control the actions that were against the people,” he specified.

Why was it decided to reopen the Yaxchilán area?

The decision to reopen was made by agreement of the communal assembly, held last March 9. It was determined to open the doors again to the community, and with it the two ecotourism centers ‘Nueva Alianza’ and ‘Escudo Jaguar’, as well as the archaeological site of Yaxchilán.

For the population, these five months were difficult, as María Jiménez, receptionist of the tourist site, told EFE, who remembered the terror generated by the violence orchestrated then by criminal groups.

“We are going to get up little by little, but every beginning is hard,” recognized the Ch’ol woman.

She also remembered that, at first, it was difficult to return due to fear, as she acknowledged that in the environment “there were many threats, shootings, but then it normalized, there were cancellations, money returns, it was distressing,” she said.

For his part, Aurelio Álvaro Jiménez, secretary of the Yaxkin Lacandonia society, pointed out that the tourist activity they have been carrying out for 40 years is important, as it helps to preserve the jungle and the archaeological site.

In view of the above, the residents invited citizens to visit the area, as they now have a security protocol that allows residents and visitors safe mobility in the territory.

“In Frontera Corozal at this moment it is the best place in terms of security, because we have a community guard, both at the entrance of the town and on the border with Guatemala,” he assured.

The also indigenous Ch’ol, Cruz González, mediator in the dialogue, detailed that surveillance is highly controlled and affirmed: “we have a firm commitment to be able to rise to the occasion.”

Frontera Corozal is located in the Lacandon jungle, on the border with Guatemala, with the only division being the Usumacinta River.

It has an area of approximately 300,000 hectares, with a population of 9,000 Ch’ol-speaking inhabitants, its productive activity is the cultivation of corn, livestock, and tourism.

For more than 47 years, the archaeological site in southern Mexico has only closed its doors due to COVID-19, in 2019, due to flooding, in 2020; and for security reasons due to the war between criminal groups, in 2023.

Source: El Financiero