San Cristobal de las Casas

The statue of Diego de Mazariegos was toppled on the Christopher Columbus quincentennial, on 12 October 1992. He has been awarded monumental status for his pivotal role in the colonisation of the Chiapas region of Mexico.

According to Thomas Benjamin (Professor of Latin American History at Central Michigan University), “One marcher knocked the statue off its base with a sledgehammer, and the crowd then beat it into fragments… After surviving five centuries of systemic violence and exploitation, the natives of the highlands of Chiapas destroyed the premier symbol of their oppression.”

Sam Durant, San Cristóbal de las Casas, 1992, (2018) Graphite on paper, 193 x 134.6 cm. © Sam Durant, Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo. Photo: Makenzie Goodman