Long a New Mexico icon, Spanish conquistador faces attacks

FILE - In this Sept. 5, 2006, file photo, Jessica Lucero, left, dressed as the Fiesta Queen, and Jaime Dean, right, dressed as 17th Century Spanish conquistador Don Diego de Vargas, dance and sing at Santa Fe City Hall in Santa Fe, N.M. In recent years, the conquistador and all the effigies connected to it have come under intense criticism from Native American activists who say the image glorifies indigenous genocide and needs to be removed from schools, streets and seals. (AP Photo/Jeff Geissler,File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017 file photo, Edwin Quintana, left, dressed as a 17th Century Spanish conquistador, dances with fifth grader Kaylee Pacheco and other students at Tesuque Elementary school in Tesuque, N.M. In recent years, the conquistador and all the effigies connected to it have come under intense criticism from Native American activists who say the image glorifies indigenous genocide and needs to be removed from schools, streets and seals. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee,File)
In this Aug. 30, 2017, file photo, Edwin Quintana, second from right, dressed as a 17th Century Spanish, conquistador motions to a crowd of students at Tesuque Elementary school in Tesuque, N.M., during an annual presentation of Spanish colonial culture and history that honors conquistador Don Diego de Vargas. In recent years, the conquistador and all the effigies connected to it have come under intense criticism from Native American activists who say the image glorifies indigenous genocide and needs to be removed from schools, streets and seals. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Spanish conquistador, a New Mexico icon that has long been celebrated in art and honored at festivals as a homage to Hispanic heritage, is under attack.

A new generation of Native American and Latino activists in the state is demanding that conquistador images and reenactments be removed from schools, seals and celebrations. They say the figure's connection to colonialism and indigenous genocide makes the conquistador outdated.

Elena Ortiz of the Native American advocacy group Red Nation says activists want the conquistador expunged from public spaces to revise the region's narrative about itself. She says the conquistador glorifies indigenous genocide.

Some Hispanics say, however, that any removal of the conquistador is erasing history. Hispano Round Table of New Mexico chair Ralph Arellanes calls the protesters "ridiculous and crazy."

People also read these

2 injured, fire contained on docked Tahoe paddle...

Aug 17, 2016

Fire ripped through the second deck of a docked tourist cruise boat under repair at Lake Tahoe on...

Regulators study horseshoe crab survival in...

Aug 16, 2016

Environmental regulators studying the Delaware Bay harvesting of horseshoe crabs that are drained...

No oil leaks into Lake Tahoe from boat fire,...

Aug 17, 2016

The U.S. Coast Guard says firefighters protected Lake Tahoe's famously clear water as they quickly...

Rare Tyrannosaurus rex skull arrives at Seattle...

Aug 19, 2016

Paleontologists with Seattle's Burke Museum have unearthed the bones of a Tyrannosaurus rex that...

Officials: Zika found in South Beach; spraying...

Aug 19, 2016

Florida officials say South Beach has been identified as a second site of Zika transmission by...

Sign up now!

About Us

In The Headline sought to bring professionalism back into journalism, bringing you only the most exclusive and the most impactive news from all over the globe.

Contact us: sales[at]intheheadline.com