October 13, 1998

A man removes arrows from the
portrait of Christopher Columbus

Honduras Indian groups symbolically "execute" Columbus

                  TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras (AP) -- A Honduran Indian-rights group
                  wound up a three-month symbolic trial of Christopher Columbus
                  Monday by finding him guilty of crimes against humanity and
                  `executing' a painting of the explorer with arrows.

                  The navigator credited with discovering the Americas was found guilty of 10
                  charges, including kidnapping, rape, slave trading, invasion, murder, torture,
                  genocide and cultural genocide against the Indian peoples of the hemisphere.

                  "Columbus and his crew committed innumerable crimes against our Indian
                  ancestors and there is no statute of limitations on those crimes ... He is guilty
                  and will receive and exemplary punishment," said Oswaldo Martinez, an
                  organizer of the event.

                   About 2,000 protesters watched as four archers representing Indian ethnic groups
                   fired their arrows at Columbus' portrait in a downtown Tegucigalpa square after a jury
                   of ten academics, activists and Indians announced their unanimous guilty verdict.

                   The trial was convened by the Committee of People's and Indian Organizations and
                   timed to coincide with the 506th anniversary of Columbus' first landing in the
                   Americas, celebrated in Latin America as the Dia de la Raza holiday.

                   Columbus was "defended" by a lawyer in the proceedings.

                  The Tegucigalpa protesters demanded more government aid to Indian
                  groups and thorough investigations in to the unsolved murders of 43 Indian
                  leaders in Honduras in the last six years.

                  Indians of the Chorti ethnic group continued to block tourist entrances to the
                  Copan ruins 100 miles west of Tegucigalpa Monday in support of the same

                     Copyright 1998   The Associated Press.