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
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
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
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
Copan ruins 100 miles west of Tegucigalpa Monday in support of the same
Copyright 1998 The Associated Press.