‘Conquistador’ image on New Mexico water tank targeted

New Mexico

A seal of Bernalillo, New Mexico, with a Spanish conquistador helmet and a colonial ax sits on a town water tank along New Mexico Highway 550 on Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Roger Fragua, a Jemez Pueblo member and executive director of the nonprofit group Flower Hill Institute, sent a letter to the town of Bernalillo on June 17, 2020, asking the mayor to talk about the large depiction on the state highway that runs through many Pueblo lands. Many Native Americans find conquistador imagery offensive. (AP Photo/ Russell Contreras)

BERNALILLO, N.M. (AP) — A Jemez Pueblo activist wants a New Mexico town to confront a conquistador image on a water tank.

Roger Fragua, executive director of the nonprofit group Flower Hill Institute, recently sent a letter to the town of Bernalillo asking to the mayor to talk about the depiction.

Fragua says the axe under the conquistador helmet is offensive to some Native Americans.

Bernalillo Mayor Jack Torres says he’s open to beginning talks.

The move comes after Albuquerque and officials in Alcalde removed statues of Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate amid demands from protesters to have them toppled.

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