Mexican villagers bulldoze 18th century chapel; officials file criminal complaint over loss

Mexican officials have filed a criminal complaint after villagers in the central state of Tlaxcala bulldozed a chapel from the 1700s.

The small Chapel of Holy Christ was originally built during colonial times by the Franciscan order and added on to in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The head of the historical monuments department said Tuesday that he doesn't know why residents in San Pablo del Monte tore down the chapel late Saturday and early Sunday. Arturo Balandrano said the perpetrators could face three to 11 years in prison.

Local media quoted villagers as saying the chapel was falling apart and calling it not that old.

The destroyed chapel stood in front a much larger, newer church that residents built about a decade ago in an exuberant mix of styles.