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Last Updated: Monday, 12 March 2007, 03:26 GMT
Mayas to cleanse site after Bush
Indigenous men  put the finishing touches on a welcoming carpet in Chimaltenango, west of Guatemala City
Some Mayan groups prepared to welcome Mr Bush
Maya leaders have said they will perform a ceremony after US President George W Bush visits an ancient site during his trip to Guatemala.

Mr Bush is due at the Mayan ruins of Iximche, some 80kms west of the capital, Guatemala City, on Monday.

His arrival brings him to the fourth nation in a five-state tour of the Latin American region.

But Maya leaders said they will have to perform a special cleansing ceremony to clear bad energy left by his visit.

"No, Mr Bush, you cannot trample and degrade the memory of our ancestors," indigenous leader Rodolfo Pocop said, adding, "This is not your ranch in Texas."

Mr Bush is due to visit farm co-operatives and education centres in the Chimaltenango district.

Mr Bush is expected to be welcomed with native dances and to get a guided tour of the ruins of what was the capital of the Kaqchikel Maya people before the 1524 Spanish conquest. But after he leaves, Maya protesters said they would hold a ceremony to restore peace and harmony to the area.

"We reject this portrayal of our people as a tourist attraction," Morales Toj said.

"We will burn incense, place flowers and water in the area where Mr Bush has walked to clean out the bad energy," he said.


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