A prominent statue of Christopher Columbus in Mexico City will be replaced by a memorial honoring indigenous women, according to city authorities.
On Sunday, Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo announced the plans for the replacement. The announcement came on the International Day for Indigenous Women. The statue is located at Paseo de la Reforma, one of the busiest spots in the city. According to Pardo, the statue will be replaced by a memorial honoring influential indigenous women in Mexico’s history. Pardo further added that “we owe it to them”. Mexican sculptor Pedro Reyes has been confirmed to be making the new memorial. The memorial is planned to be unveiled on October 12, known as Day of the Race in Mexico.
The statue of Christopher Columbus, built in the 19th century, has frequently caught the ire of protesters in recent years. The main criticism came from the explorer’s role in propagating colonialism in the land, which resulted in the oppression of the indigenous population. Most recently, in October last year, the statue was removed by city officials amid protests. Despite a planned restoration in works, there were speculations that the statue would not return to its place. Now, it has been confirmed.
The removal of the statue of Columbus is part of a larger phenomenon in Western countries. Since the Black Lives Matter protests in the USA last year, there has been a global reckoning against statues of people who propagated white supremacy, slavery, and colonialism. Numerous statues were toppled by the protesters, while many others were removed by officials.