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Christopher Columbus Monument removed in Mexico City ahead of Día de la Raza

BY STAFF of Latin America News Dispatch in 12/10/2020.

MEXICO: Mexico City’s government removed a statue of Christopher Columbus from the city’s Paseo de la Reforma in the early hours of Saturday, ahead of planned protests for Oct. 12, when Mexico observes Día de la Raza (Day of the Race). The protests included calls to tear down the statue. In a press conference on Saturday, Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum claimed that the city removed the statue for routine restoration and denied that the decision was motivated by the planned protests. But she added that the time it will take to restore the monument can be an opportunity for a “collective reflection” about what the statue means. She also left the door open for the possibility that the statue will not return to Paseo de la Reforma. The statue was originally placed there in 1877.

The first celebrations on Oct. 12 to commemorate the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas took place in the United States in the late 18th century. In Mexico, the date was declared Día de la Raza in 1917 by President Venustiano Carranza. The observance goes by other names in countries across Latin America, such as the Day of Indigenous Peoples and Cultural Dialogue in Peru, the Day of the Encounter of Two Worlds in Chile, the Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity in Argentina and Indigenous Resistance Day in Nicaragua and Venezuela.

A few days before this year’s observance, Mexican First Lady Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller delivered a letter written by her husband to Pope Francis, requesting an apology from the Catholic Church for its role in the atrocities against Indigenous peoples committed during the conquest of the Americas.

Fonte: https://latindispatch.com/2020/10/12/christopher-columbus-monument-removed-in-mexico-city-ahead-of-dia-de-la-raza/