After 10 Years Columbus Gets A New Home in Boriken

Borikén (UCTP Taíno News) – Ten years ago the United Confederation of Taíno People and its member organizations in Borikén (Puerto Rico) – Consejo General de Tainos Borincanos and the Caney Quinto Mundo – launched a protest campaign against the Mayor of Cataño and his plan to erect a giant monument to Columbus in the town. Defiant in the face of a barrage of letters and phone calls demanding an end to the project, the Mayor vowed to find to see the project to completion. The project failed after the town could not raise the funds to erect the statue. A decade later it seems the project may finally see completion and give the 310 ft. Columbus a new home on the island.

After years of sitting in pieces in a Cataño park the 2.4 million dollar statue is said to be moving to Mayaguez where it will be installed at a port run by management company, the Holland Group. According to the Mayor of Cataño, the company plans to install the bronze and steel statue in time for the city’s hosting of the Central American and Caribbean Games in July 2010.

Local Taíno community members were dismayed by the announcement.

Roger Guayakan Hernandez, a representative of the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) in Borikén notes “this is just another example of the misinformation that continues to be promoted concerning Columbus and his presence in the Caribbean. Columbus is no hero. This is an insult to indigenous peoples everywhere”.

Hernandez reports that calls to the company to discuss local community objections to the proposal have not been returned. The UCTP plans to work with local groups and individuals in a follow-up to the 1998 campaign to call for an end to the project.

UCTPTN 08.20.2008

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