Protests for the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue hit the Dominican Republic

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Activists gathered on Tuesday, October 12, under the statue of Christopher Columbus located in front of the Primate Cathedral of America in Santo Domingo.

The reason for the rally was to make a symbolic demand and criticism for the celebration of “Columbus Day,” demanding the removal of the Columbus monument from its iconic point in the Dominican capital.

During the demonstration, we could read “we do not want Columbus here”, on signs carried by the participants. This anti-colonialist demonstration is the first to be held in the Dominican Republic and to take place in a peaceful manner.

The act served to affirm the rejection of the celebration of the “Día de la Hispanidad” and to recall that for this group, the celebration of October 12 commemorates a genocide and the beginning of the extermination of the indigenous populations.

Maribel Núñez, activist of Acción Afrodominicana, said in a conversation with EFE that the Dominican Republic “is the whitest country in the Caribbean, the one that defends the least its culture, and it must be decolonized so that the Dominican people respect their identity … and cease to venerate the role played by Christopher Columbus.”

Between manifestos, harangues and traditional music, the demonstrators had to disperse because of the rain which began to fall a few minutes after the start of the event.

In the United States, Mexico City, Bogotá, Arica and other cities in the south of the globe, a pushback is occurring around certain monuments that recall and exalt difficult moments in the history of the continent. The historical narrative of America’s “conquest” or “discovery” denies the identities and rights of Indigenous peoples, and the “decolonization” movement is gaining momentum.

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