By THE PULSE NEWS MEXICO STAFF
Opponents and critics launched a petition on Sunday, Sept. 12, demanding that the government of Mexico City restore the statue of Christopher Columbus on Paseo de la Reforma, the capital’s main avenue.
“We Mexicans, and particularly the inhabitants of the capital of the country, are outraged by the withdrawal of our historical heritage on the pretext of repairing it, but we consider it to be a populist decision,” reads the Change.org petition, which is currently being circulated on social media
Among the more than 10,000 people who had signed the petition by Sunday afternoon were federal deputy Margarita Zavala and her husband, former president Felipe Calderón, both from the opposition National Action Party (PAN).
The petition came after Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum announced last week that a statue of an indigenous woman, called Tlali, will replace the monument of Columbus.
The statue of Columbus has been embroiled in controversy since 2020, when the city government took it down two days before the Oct. 12 anniversary of Columbus’ arrival to the Americas, ahead of a citizen protest that sought to demolish the structure.
The monument dates from the 19th century and was crafted by French sculptor Charles Cordier.
The petition points out that as a national monument, its arbitrary removal violates the Federal Law on Monuments and Archaeological Zones, which places it under the responsibility of the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH).
Consequently, the petition states, the statue should be immediately returned to its pedestal, and the stipulated sanctions be applied to the guilty or guilty parties who removed it.
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) celebrated the replacement of the statue last week, saying that it constituted “a recognition of the cultural greatness of deep Mexico, from pre-Hispanic Mexico to its cultures.”
AMLO has a deep-rooted hatred for Spain and has repeatedly demanded that the European country ask for “forgiveness” for conquering indigenous cultures 500 years ago, even though today most Mexicans have at least some Iberian ancestry and Spanish is the official language of the country.
“AMLO’s administration only pays attention to a minority of the population that ideologically agrees with its revisionist vision of history, without considering that the monument has nothing to do with its ideology,” the petition’s text concludes.