Dozens of people came to the spot where the statue stood in Cathedral Park until it was taken down in June. They’re demanding the return of the statue of the Spanish Conquistador who led the reclamation of the Santa Fe territory after the Pueblo Revolt of the 1680’s.
A rosary was conducted for today’s vigil and was organized by two Spanish organizations. Organizers say they’re frustrated the mayor and city council removed the statue and are keeping it in an unknown location.
These groups say they feel disrespected the statue was removed without public input. “We were hoping, we were able to inform people that the mayor and the city council of Santa Fe do not support our culture and our traditions. Which is displayed by their action,” says Virgil Vigil.
Mayor Alan Webber had said the decision to remove the statue was out of concern for public safety and had to be done immediately. He also adds the decision stemmed from protests and counter-protests surrounding the Juan de Oñate statue outside the Albuquerque museum, which was also taken down.
Webber says the city of Santa Fe had similar threats of protests and counter-protests. KRQE News 13 reached out to the city to ask what they plan to do with the statue, but did not hear back.