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  • A man stands in front of the empty pedestal where it used to be a statue of Christopher Columbus, Mexico City, Oct. 13, 2020.

    A man stands in front of the empty pedestal where it used to be a statue of Christopher Columbus, Mexico City, Oct. 13, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/ @SinEmbargoMX

Published 13 October 2020
Opinion

Indigenous peoples remember October 12, 1492 as the day on which the colonial exploitation began in the Americas.

Mexico City's authorities removed Christopher Columbus statue from the Reforma Avenue after protesters threatened to knock it down during events marking the so-called "Discovery of the Americas" day.

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Today, the empty pedestal is surrounded by metal fences with graffitied signs that read, "Farewell, Genocide," "We have already overthrown you," among other messages.

The removal occurred on the eve of the traditional annual protest that takes place every October 12 to remember the explorer's arrival to the continent in 1492.

"We took the statue down to restore it," Mexico City's Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum said, as she did not rule out the possibility of the colonizer's figure returning to the Reforma Avenue.

The monument "could have been a target of banditry acts, as it has happened in some U.S. cities," President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) added.

The navigator's expeditions financed by the Spanish Kingdom opened the doors to the European conquest of the American continent.

Most Latin American countries used to celebrate America's discovery, but Indigenous Peoples have helped turn the date into a day of protest against genocide and colonial oppression.

AMLO urged the Spanish monarchy and the Catholic Church to apologize for the "atrocities committed in the centuries that followed the Columbus' arrival."

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