In Mexico City, the Columbus statue was removed last year before Oct. 12 for restoration work, according to The Associated Press. After, graffiti covered metal barriers that surrounded the area, reading in Spanish, “Christopher Columbus killer!! We’ve already knocked him down!!”
Monuments to Columbus, the Italian navigator who sailed to the Americas on behalf of Spain in 1492, have drawn objections and protests for at least a century, with many describing him as a founding father of colonialism in the Western Hemisphere and the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
In the United States, a growing number of states, cities and towns have moved to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead of Columbus Day, a federal holiday — sometimes inspiring a backlash.
The moves follow longstanding calls by Native American groups, which argue that Columbus’s travels led to the genocide of Indigenous populations in the Americas, to recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
Last year, protesters around the world damaged statues depicting Columbus after demonstrations against the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis grew to focus on monuments that were seen as symbols of white supremacy and oppression.