The equestrian statue of the Spanish conqueror Sebastián de Belalcázar, erected in the Colombian city of Popayán, was torn down during a protest by the indigenous people. The authorities have already announced the immediate recovery.
The Mayor of Popayán, Juan Carlos López Castrillón, has condemned the attack by the Misak indigenous group, who demolished the statue. “We defend social protest and it is legitimate. We all have the right to protest. What we reject is violence,” López said, according to the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo.
The Colombian Academy of History has also condemned the demolition of the statue erected on December 28, 1939, stating that “it sympathizes with the sense of marginalization of the Misak community given the unequivocal interpretation of history”.
“The slender statue by Spanish sculptor Victorio Macho on the indigenous sanctuary of Tulcán, a hill that Payanese archaeologists have been studying since 1957, is a testimony of the times and must therefore be accepted,” the academy said in a statement.