New Mexico statue defenders oppose 'pueblo revolt of 2020'
Some Hispanics and Native Americans in a New Mexico valley want to reinstate the statue of a Spanish colonial ruler that officials removed in June as anti-racism protests swept the nation.
Rio Arriba County authorities carried off the Juan de Oñate sculpture on June 15, fearing its destruction, as Native American activist group Red Nation planned a protest. It came down the same day a protester 60 miles (97 km) southwest in Albuquerque was shot by a man protecting another Oñate sculpture.
The death of unarmed black man George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in May sparked widespread racial justice protests. Demonstrators across the country have defaced or toppled dozens of statues of European colonizers, Confederate generals and figures who subjugated native peoples.
The Oñate statue was unveiled in 1994 in Alcalde, around 30 miles (48 kms) north of Santa Fe.
Red Nation organizer Elena Ortiz, of the nearby Ohkay Owingeh Native American community, declared its removal part of “the pueblo revolt of 2020,” comparing it to the 1680 indigenous uprising that drove Spanish settlers from the area.
8 July 2010