Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Man shot during protest of installation of statue of Spanish conquistador

ESPAÑOLA, NM (AP) — A suspect was arrested after he allegedly shot and injured a person during a protest on Thursday in Española, where officials plan to place a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate, they said.

According to Rio Arriba County police officials, Ryan Martinez, 23, was arrested after the shooting outside the county offices, where protesters gathered and remained after the installation of the monument was canceled.

According to the authorities, they are not immediately looking for others involved in the incident.

The wounded man was shot in the upper body and was treated at a local hospital, police officials said.

The names of the injured man and the suspect have not been released at this time. According to the authorities, the motive of the incident is not clear.

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According to the Albuquerque Journal, there was an altercation between activists protesting the installation of the statue.

Oñate, who arrived in what is now New Mexico in 1598, is recognized as a cultural figure in the communities of the Upper Rio Grande region whose ancestors can be traced back to Spanish settlers. But he was also ridiculed for his cruelty.

Among Native Americans, Oñate is known for ordering the right leg of 24 captive tribal warriors to be amputated after his soldiers invaded the “heavenly city” located on a mesa in Acoma Pueblo. That attack was caused by the death of Oñate’s nephew.

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In 1998, someone cut off the right foot of the statue of Oñate near Española.

A bronze statue of Oñate of a caravan of Spanish settlers has also sparked protests since it was installed in the late 1990s.

Critics say the statue glorifies white supremacy and in recent years have called on Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller to remove it.

Nation World News Desk
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