Controversial sites in Santa Fe vandalized

New Mexico News

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Vandals are hitting the streets of Santa Fe again, in the fight over what should happen to monuments that could be considered culturally insensitive. Monday was the 341st anniversary of the Pueblo Revolt and vandals struck a couple of monuments around the city. Supporters of the monuments said the mayor isn’t doing enough to protect them.

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“Our mayor seems to agree with the philosophy with the people that come in and vandalize our town, they spray painted this, they think that this is a symbol of oppression and evil and it’s not,” said Eli Bransford with Union Protectiva.  

Vandalism that took place throughout Santa Fe Monday included people defacing the Cross of the Martyrs and vandals putting red handprints on the barriers covering the monument outside the federal courthouse. Rags with the year 1680 on them were also placed near where the obelisk used to stand in the plaza.

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Mayor Alan Webber said backers of the monuments then scrawled graffiti supporting Don Diego de Vargas. Mayor Webber said this is not what Santa Fe is about. He still won’t say if he’ll remove the various monuments and statues in question, pointing once again to a drawn-out process he launched last year. 

“Go to the city of Santa Fe website and look at something called CHART. CHART stands for culture, history, art, reconciliation and truth, and it is a process for people to get involved in their own community’s future,” Webber said.

Webber said in the future he’d like to see more monuments honoring teachers and farmers instead of warriors or generals. No one was cited or arrested in Monday’s wave of vandalism. As far as the vandalism on the Cross of the Martyrs, the city cleaned that up Monday when it was reported. The city also says anyone with information about the vandalism is asked to call Detective Cyle Drury at or call 505-955-5325.

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