SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Two public statues of conquistador Juan de Oñate in New Mexico are drawing renewed attention and criticism as memorials erected in honor of Confederate leaders and other historical figures worldwide become a focus of protests.
More than 1,500 people have signed a petition calling for the removal of an Oñate statue on the outskirts of Española in northern New Mexico.
Activists are calling on Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller to remove another Oñate likeness from a caravan of colonists set in bronze outside a city museum.
Oñate arrived in present-day New Mexico in 1598. He is celebrated as a cultural father figure but also reviled for his brutality.