NewsCovering Colorado


Protesters call for removal of Christopher Columbus statue in downtown Pueblo

Protesters call for removal of Christopher Columbus statue in downtown Pueblo
Posted at 7:47 PM, Jun 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-28 23:16:30-04

PUEBLO — Activists gathered at the Mesa Junction Sunday to call for the removal of the Christopher Columbus statue.

The situation got heated as supporters and protesters clashed in an attempt to get the other side to understand their viewpoint. Activists feel the monument represents and idolizes the darkest piece of history.

"I don't know a lot of my history, I don't know a lot of where I come from. So much of that was robbed because of the father of colonization," said Randi Vigil. "It's about time that change actually happens and it's important because there is a shift that is happening in our country and the world right now. We need to stop idolizing false history, we need to stop idolizing murderers, and we need to stop idolizing colonizers."

While supporters of the statue say history can't be re-written and it's a piece of Pueblo's culture.

Patty Corsentino says her grandfather was one of the men who helped build the statue. She says the statue is a symbol of unity.

"I don't want it to come down because that's a part of my grandpa. And my grandpa, oh gosh he would be well over 100, but he would be so sad," said Corsentino. "It was the immigrants that built this city. It really was. The Italians, the Mexicans, the Slovenians and everyone. That's who built Pueblo and that is why we are proud."

But for some, the removal of the statue isn't a solution.

"I don't know what they are going to solve by removing the statue. It might make them feel better a little bit," said Michael Barnett.

If the statue is removed, some say it should be replaced with something that represents the people of the city.

"I think it can be something to honor the fallen, the colonized, the murdered and missing indigenous woman. It could be a Pueblo as a whole," said Vigil.

One thing both sides tried to convey, history can't be changed but we can learn from it.

Organizers say they will be on Abriendo Avenue every week calling for the statue's removal.