Road-builder in Belize says landowner gave permission to excavate Mayan pyramid mound

The owner of a road-building company in Belize that has been blamed for the near destruction of one of the country's biggest Mayan pyramids says a landowner gave permission to extract the material.

Businessman Denny Grijalva says the landowner has allowed excavations on his property for more than a decade.

Archeologists in Belize and around the world have expressed outrage at the demolition of the Nohmul complex in northern Belize to extract crushed rock.

Grijalva says in a statement that the foreman at his De' Mar's Stone Co. picked the pyramid mound for digging out rock and workers excavated all day last Thursday. He says they stopped excavating the next day after several officials from the National Institute of History and Culture instructed them to stop.