From the archive, originally posted by: [ mmm ]
Priests to purify site after Bush visit
By Juan Carlos Llorca / March 9, 2007
GUATEMALA CITY –Mayan priests will purify a sacred archaeological
site to eliminate “bad spirits” after President Bush visits next week,
an official with close ties to the group said Thursday.
“That a person like (Bush), with the persecution of our migrant
brothers in the United States, with the wars he has provoked, is going
to walk in our sacred lands, is an offense for the Mayan people and
their culture,” Juan Tiney, the director of a Mayan nongovernmental
organization with close ties to Mayan religious and political leaders,
Bush’s seven-day tour of Latin America includes a stopover beginning
late Sunday in Guatemala. On Monday morning he is scheduled to visit
the archaeological site Iximche on the high western plateau in a
region of the Central American country populated mostly by Mayans.
Tiney said the “spirit guides of the Mayan community” decided it would
be necessary to cleanse the sacred site of “bad spirits” after Bush’s
visit so that their ancestors could rest in peace. He also said the
rites — which entail chanting and burning incense, herbs and candles
— would prepare the site for the third summit of Latin American
Indians March 26-30.
Bush’s trip has already has sparked protests elsewhere in Latin
America, including protests and clashes with police in Brazil hours
before his arrival. In Bogota, Colombia, which Bush will visit on
Sunday, 200 masked students battled 300 riot police with rocks and
small homemade explosives.
The tour is aimed at challenging a widespread perception that the
United States has neglected the region and at combatting the rising
influence of Venezuelan leftist President Hugo Chavez, who has called
Bush “history’s greatest killer” and “the devil.” Iximche, 30 miles
west of the capital of Guatemala City, was founded as the capital of
the Kaqchiqueles kingdom before the Spanish conquest in 1524.