Mexico will replace the statue of Christopher Columbus with that of an indigenous woman


Mexico City has just taken a major step in recognizing the indigenous community after removing a statue of Christopher Columbus and announcing plans to replace it with that of an indigenous woman. It comes as many US states, including Hawaii and Alaska, and 130 cities have chosen to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day in place of Columbus Day. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced on International Indigenous Women’s Day (September 5) that the statue of Christopher Columbus on Paseo de la Reforma would be replaced with a statue honoring indigenous women. The statue was removed last October ahead of Columbus Day on October 12 (which many celebrate as “Dia de la Raza”) for restorations. The location of the statue was popular for indigenous protests against European colonization of indigenous communities. When the statue was removed, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said of Columbus’ arrival that “it is a very controversial date and lends itself to contradictory ideas and political disputes”.

Mexican sculptor Pedro Reyes will design the new statue of an Olmec woman, El Universal reported. The Olmecs are considered one of the oldest civilizations in Mesoamerica and lived in Veracruz and Tabasco. “It is very important to dedicate a monument to indigenous women and the Earth, because if anyone can teach us to take care of this planet, it is our indigenous peoples, and that is precisely what we must relearn”, Reyes told the publication. .

The new statue, “Tlali,” could be ready around the Dia de la Raza date this year, according to Sheinbaum. Tlalli, means earth in Nahuatl, and, according to Reyes, it will represent women, “we all come from the earth and we all return to it, and it is the earth that should be in our minds. and not just in the past.

“Of course we recognize Christopher Columbus, but there are two visions: there is a vision of the discovery of America, the vision of Europe, because in Europe they discovered America, but here There were already millennial civilizations, and there is another vision from here, that indeed a European arrived in America. It was the meeting between two places and then the conquest came,” Sheinbaum said.

“We owe them and we exist because of them,” Sheinbaum said of Indigenous people. “This is the story of our country and our homeland. “The statue of Christopher Columbus, which was donated to the city, will be moved to a less visible location in a small park in the Polanco neighborhood. Sheinbaum said it was not an attempt “to erase history” but to deliver “social justice”.


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