Story at a glance

  • Protests after the death of George Floyd have led Americans to question statues, monuments and other landmarks with ties to a racist past.
  • Alongside symbols of the Confederacy, protesters have also targeted remnants of Spanish colonization.
  • In New Mexico, Native Americans have held protests demanding the removal of statues of conquistadors.

As Confederate statues have come down across the United States in recent weeks, a statue of a Spanish conquistador came down alongside them. 

A statue of Juan de Oñate y Salazar, a Spanish conquistador that led a massacre of Native Americans in 1599, was temporarily removed in June after protesters tried to bring it down during a demonstration, according to local news outlets.  


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“It’s a win,” Luis Pena, who started a petition to remove the statue, told The Guardian. “Symbols are important, they shape the way we ingest the world … In reclaiming these symbols, we get a chance to tell a side of history that has been left out of the books.”  

Later that day, protestor Scott Williams was shot and injured during the demonstration, and police have since arrested Steven Ray Baca for aggravated battery with the use of a firearm. 

“We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence," police Chief Michael Geier said in a statement. "If this is true [we] will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution.”


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A few days later, a statue of Don Diego de Vargas was removed from a park in Sante Fe, New Mexico. 

"It is time to stop celebrating violence and it is time to celebrate the reconciliation in our future," Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said in a statement. "We need to take an honest look at all of our history, move forward with truth and reconciliation, and create a better future based on our shared values."

As with the removal of Confederate monuments, the move has been met with pushback. The Sante Fe New Mexican reports a new online petition is asking the city to "stop erasing our Spanish history and culture."


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WHO: THERE'S NO EVIDENCE WEARING A MASK WILL PROTECT YOU FROM CORONAVIRUS 

FAUCI PREDICTS ANOTHER CORONAVIRUS OUTBREAK IN THE FALL WITH A 'VERY DIFFERENT' OUTCOME

MICHIGAN BARBER WHO DISOBEYED STAY-AT-HOME RESTRICTIONS ORDERED TO CLOSE SHOP

TEXAS REPORTS SINGLE-DAY HIGH IN CORONAVIRUS DEATHS TWO WEEKS AFTER REOPENING


 

Published on Jun 24, 2020