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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Far-Right Gunman Shoots Protestor at Reinstallation of Conquistador Statue in United States

By Saurav Sarkar

“Democracy Now!” reported that a gunman wearing a red “Make America Great Again” cap shot and injured a protester at the reinstallation of a statue of Spanish conquistador Juan de Oñate on September 28. The shooter, identified by the Albuquerque Journal as Ryan Martinez, was detained after attempting to flee the scene.

Oñate, who was New Mexico’s first colonial governor, ordered a massacre in 1599 that killed up to 1,000 Indigenous people. Ironically, the person shot at the protest is Indigenous, stated the report.

“I’m very, very concerned with what’s transpired here today,” said County Manager Jeremy Maestas to the Albuquerque Journal. “The county… definitely supports people expressing their opinions through their First Amendment right, but we do not by any means condone people expressing that when they’re causing hurt or harm to other people physically.”

This is the second time since 2020 that someone has been shot at a protest in New Mexico over an Oñate statue, reported the Albuquerque Journal. Some, like Rio Arriba County Commissioner Alex Naranjo, see the conquistador as “one of our founding fathers.” But others, like Jennifer Marley, say he “stood for violence, for genocide, for rape.” Marley was in attendance at the protest as a speaker.

Saurav Sarkar is a freelance writer and editor who covers political activism and labor movements. They live in Long Island, New York, and have also lived in New York City, New Delhi, London, and Washington, D.C. Follow them on Twitter @sauravthewriter and at

Credit Line: from the Globetrotter News Service

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