Guatemala protesters attempt to overturn Columbus statue

In Guatemala, protesters have attempted to pull a statue of Columbus off his pedestal. They pulled a rope on the 9 metre high statue brought to Guatemala from Spain in 1896, but did not override it.

On social media, images of the moment are circulating:

The protest in Guatemala City coincided with the commemoration of the moment when Columbus first saw land in his search for an alternative route to India and thus discovered the American continent. According to tradition, that happened on October 12, 1492.

The protesters consider that the annual commemoration of that moment there is too little attention to the downside of Europeans arrival to Central America, among others. Indigenous residents were enslaved, exploited or died of the diseases brought by colonizers.

The protesters also deducted the head of a statue of former President Jose Maria Reina Barrios, who led the country from 1892 to 1898.

They also smeared that image with red paint:

One of the organizers of the demonstration, Daniel Pascual, told Reuters news agency that Columbus and the โ€œoppressive leadersโ€ who followed after him were โ€œinvaders and a continuation of the invasionโ€. He did distance himself to local media from the actions at the statues, which he said were not planned.

Guatemala City spoke after the protest of vandalism against historical heritage. The police are looking for the perpetrators by studying camera footage.