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Christopher Columbus statue in Santo Domingo. 
The Christopher Columbus statue in Santo Domingo. Photo: EFE

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

Activists gathered in front of the Columbus monument in Santo Domingo and show their disproval of celebrating the "Día de la Hispanidad."

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Activists rallied on Tuesday, Oct. 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 claim and criticism for the celebration of “Columbus Day,” demanding the removal of the monument to Columbus from its emblematic point in the Dominican capital.

During the protest it could be read "we don't want Columbus here," on signs carried by the attendees. This anti-colonialist demonstration is the first to be held in the Dominican Republic and be carried out 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 native 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 least defends its culture, and it is necessary to decolonize it so that the Dominican people respect their identity... and so that they stop worshipping the role played by Christopher Columbus."

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

In the United States, Mexico City, Bogotá, Arica and other cities of the global south, pushback is being generated around some monuments that recall and exalt difficult moments in the history of the continent. The historical narrative of the "conquest" or "discovery" of America denies the identities and rights of Indigenous people, and the "decolonization" movement is gaining strength.


 

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