Saturday, February 4, 2023

Christopher Columbus says goodbye to the center of Mexico City

A Vandalized Statue Of Christopher Columbus On Paseo De La Reforma Avenue In Mexico City On September 28, 2020.  The Government Announced On Sunday, September 5, 2021, That The Statue Would Be Replaced In Honor Of Indigenous Women.  (Ap Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)
A Vandalized Statue Of Christopher Columbus On Paseo De La Reforma Avenue In Mexico City On September 28, 2020.  The Government Announced On Sunday, September 5, 2021, That The Statue Would Be Replaced In Honor Of Indigenous Women.  (Ap Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)
A Vandalized Statue Of Christopher Columbus On Paseo De La Reforma Avenue In Mexico City On September 28, 2020.  The Government Announced On Sunday, September 5, 2021, That The Statue Would Be Replaced In Honor Of Indigenous Women.  (Ap Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

A vandalized statue of Christopher Columbus on Paseo de la Reforma avenue in Mexico City on September 28, 2020. The government announced on Sunday, September 5, 2021, that the statue would be replaced in honor of indigenous women. ( Associated Press Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

A vandalized statue of Christopher Columbus on Paseo de la Reforma avenue in Mexico City on September 28, 2020. The government announced on Sunday, September 5, 2021, that the statue would be replaced in honor of indigenous women. ( Associated Press Photo/Marco Ugarte, File)

MEXICO CITY ( Associated Press) – Christopher Columbus said goodbye to the most emblematic avenue in Mexico City.

Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced that the statue of Columbus on the Paseo de la Reforma that was removed late last year — theoretically for restoration — would be replaced by a statue honoring indigenous women.

“Cologne, of course, she was a great universal character and we should also recognize her, but we believe that, in the center of our city, indigenous women should be recognized and therefore, this monument,” said Sheinbaum on Sunday, announcing are doing.

The decision joins a series of initiatives that have taken place this year aimed at rethinking and, above all, exactly 500 years of renaming events in Mexican history since the capital of Mexica, Tenochtitlan, was annexed by the Spanish. Fell in the hands.

The Columbus statue, donated to the city in 1877, has been a prominent landmark on the 10-lane boulevard that is one of the capital’s main arteries and a favorite target for protesters, who have often sprayed it with graffiti. who denounced the European suppression of Mexico’s indigenous civilizations.

The sculpture was taken back for its restoration last year, shortly before October 12, when Mexico and Spain celebrate Columbus Day as the “discovery” of the Americas. In the United States, this day is called Columbus Day (“Columbus Day”) because it was when the sailor arrived on the American continent in 1492.

When the statue was removed last year, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that, according to his data, it was brought down “to restore it” and the fact that it coincides with the October anniversary Was, “Misunderstanding should not arise.”

It now seems that his words were only intended to soften the issue that remains a matter of debate on both sides of the Atlantic, especially since the president urged Spain to apologize for the massacres committed during the Conquest.

The petition was criticized by Mexican academics and indigenous groups such as the Zapatistas, who considered it demagogic. However, there are academics who in recent years have chosen to review the stereotypes of history that have promoted racist attitudes and shy away from readings that divide the past between good and bad.

So far, the changes have been in form rather than substance. August 13, the fifth anniversary of the end of the Mexica Empire, was celebrated as the beginning of indigenous resistance and is still known as the “Sad Night”—the worst defeat suffered by Hernán Cortés in June 1520. was referred to in – renamed “Triumphant Night”.

Even in Spain it is not a dead issue for the most radical sectors of the country. The far-right Vox party, the third political force in parliament, said on its official Twitter account on the occasion of the fall of Tenochtitlan that “Mexico and all of America must thank the Spanish for bringing civilization and ending the rule of terror and barbarism to which they were subjected.

Instead of remembering the massacres and deaths from disease caused by the conquest, there were those who reacted in a more ironic way.

Rubén Rios Uribe, a deputy from Morena, the ruling party in the state of Veracruz, chose a few days later to put this message “for freedom and democracy” on his networks. “We have to invade Spain and bring them a republic. They can’t have a king in the 21st century.

The new statue to be placed on the Paseo de la Reforma this year will be called “Talali”, which means “earth” in Nahuatl.

The one in Colon will not be scrapped, but will be moved to a less prominent location in a smaller park in the Polanco neighborhood.

Nation World News Desk
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