Cities and countries around the world have been grappling with the white supremacy that has shaped so much of the world we continue to live in today. Part of that movement has been the taking down of controversial statues that glorify this racist history.

From New York to London to Bogotá – and now Mexico City – statues of colonizers, warmongers, and conquistadores have been taken down. In some instances, the spot where those statues once stood remains empty but officials in Mexico announced that this iconic Indigenous woman would have a statue built in her honor and placed where the former 143-year-old statue of Christoper Columbus once stood.

Mexico City is replacing a 143-year-old Columbus statue with one of Indigenous woman.

Mexico City has taken down a 143-year-old statue of Christopher Columbus – which was located on the city’s most iconic street – in preparation of replacing it with a figure more in line with today’s community. The move was announced by Mexico City’s Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum on Monday and has been met with mixed reactions from the city’s residents.

She said that relocating the statue was not an attempt to “erase history” but to deliver “social justice.” The mayor added that the Columbus statue “would not be hidden away” but that the civilizations which existed in Mexico before the Spanish conquest should receive equal recognition.

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