As reported by the Bogotá Government Secretariat, Around 11:20 on Saturday night, a group of people who gathered at the Los Héroes monument in the north of the Colombian capital set the statue on fire representing the Liberator Simón Bolívar.
In the entity they indicated that the Mobile Anti-Riot Squad (Esmad) of the Police had to intervene and the tranquility of the place was restored.
The event contrasted with the massive attendance of protesters who peacefully protested on the eighteenth day of the national strike against the government of President Iván Duque.
“After more than 12 hours of peaceful protest, vandals set fire to the Heroes monument. The Esmad intervenes ”, they published on their official Twitter account, along with a video of the moment of the conflagration.
After this act of vandalism, the protesters dispersed from the place and before midnight on Saturday the situation was under control in the place, as reported by the Secretary of Government.
In photographs it is observed that despite the conflagration, the sculpture in honor of the Liberator was apparently not seriously damaged. However, we will have to wait for the evaluation made by experts on this monument.
In the first photographs of the sculpture, after the attempted burning, it is not observed that it has suffered considerable damage.
Hours earlier, a group of protesters who were at the monument tried to knock down the statue, although they were unsuccessful.
During the eighteenth day of demonstrations in the framework of the national strike in Colombia, thousands of citizens gathered at the monument that commemorates the ‘heroes of Independence’ of Latin America, within which a small group tied a pair of rope to the bronze statue with the intention of knocking it down.
In images, the moment in which the group of protesters pull the ends of the ropes tied to the bust of Simón Bolívar on top of his horse Palomo without succeeding in dethroning the statue that crowns the monument located at the intersection of Calle 80 with the North Highway.
“We need more rope”, mentions one of the protesters who allegedly wanted to knock down the figure in tribute to the former president of Gran Colombia, while thousands of citizens protested peacefully against the Government of Iván Duque and of police repression.
After a few tries, the subjects gave up this purpose, which has been replicated in cities such as Cali, Valle del Cauca, with the bust of Sebastián de Belalcázar and in Popayán (Cauca) with the statue of Francisco de Paula Santander as a symbolic act against history.
The massive demonstration that took place this afternoon at the monument to Los Héroes was characterized by good behavior of the thousands of citizens who expressed their dissatisfaction between harangues and artistic bets that were shared hundreds of times through social networks.
Santander statue in Popayán.
The statue of Francisco de Paula Santander, in the roundabout of the National Institute of Secondary Education, Inem de Popayán; and the sculpture ‘Edifiers of Peace’, at the entrance of the Cauca Police command, joined this Friday to the already long list of monuments demolished in the framework of the national strike, which has been taking place in Colombia since last April 28.
The events were recorded around noon, while the inhabitants of the capital of that department participated in a series of sit-ins with which they sought to show their discontent after the accusations that They point out to the Police of that city of raping a minor under 17 years of age, a fact that later led to suicide.
The procedure was very similar to that used in the other eight cases of demolished statues: a group of protesters pull on ties tied to the head of the character in question while one or more more push him from the pedestal to knock it down. Once it hits the ground, the crowd celebrates.
After falling, several protesters took the opportunity to paint both the statue of Santander, which is at least 50 years old, and its pedestal with spray, getting to write the words ‘Negrero’, ‘Narco Estado’ and ‘Esmad Violador’ in the latter.
The facts have already been addressed by the Mayor of Popayán, which, through a message published on Twitter, indicated that, “We reject the attacks that the heritage of the city is suffering, which affects the historical memory through acts of violence that do not contribute to the free development of the protest”.
As we said, the one in Santander is not the first statue to fall during the protests. That title falls on the monument to the Spanish conqueror Sebastián de Belalcázar, demolished by indigenous Misak in Cali during the early hours of April 28. That same day, they knocked down the bust of the founder of Neiva, Diego de Ospina and the statue of former president Misael Pastrana, precisely in that city.
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