Mexico City is replacing a statue of Christopher Columbus with that of an Indigenous woman. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum held a news conference on September 5th, the International Day of Indigenous Women saying, “We owe it to them. We exist because of them. It is the history of our country and our homeland.”
Originally a statue of Columbus stood in the Mexican roundabout Paseo de la Reforma. Last year, the statue was removed for restorations according to The New York Times. The statue was covered in graffiti reading in Spanish, “Christopher Columbus killer! We’ve already knocked him down!” The Italian navigator is seen as the father of colonialism in the Western Hemisphere and that of the trans-Atlantic slave trade route.
The support for Columbus is practically nonexistent in Mexico. Most Indigenous People and Native Americans believe he was largely responsible for the genocide of Indigenous people in the Americas, which is absolutely true. That sentiment is shared with some Americans as cities across the U.S. (Los Angeles, Dallas, Denver, and Phoenix) have moved to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of the federal holiday of Columbus Day.
Back in Mexico City Mayor Sheinbaum said that the Columbus statue will be moved to another neighborhood, which still gives his statue a place to land when they should give him not an inch of space anywhere in Mexico or the rest of the world. The new statue, designed by sculptor Pedro Reyes, could be up as soon as October 12, also known as Día de la Raza aka a day to recognize the legacy of Indigenous cultures and unfortunately that of Columbus himself.
Hopefully, all celebrations of Christopher Columbus will be a thing of the past with not a statue in sight.