Mérida, Yucatán — Police prevented protesters from planting a ceiba tree at the foot of the Francisco de Montejo monument, which the group said celebrates Spanish dominance over the Maya.
The peaceful demonstration was carried out on the Paseo de Montejo, where a statue of one of the city’s founders has presided for nine years. The boulevard itself is named for the same Spanish conquistador who founded the city in 1542.
The tree, considered sacred in Maya culture, would have symbolically replaced a symbol of aggressions to which the Maya people were subjected by the European conquerors.
Police interrupted the protest on the grounds that no permission was granted to plant a tree on the public space.
Authorities have kept a closer eye on public demonstrations since pro-abortion activists defaced a monument celebrating motherhood.
For almost an hour, protesters and police officers mediated. Protestors chose to leave the tree in a bag at the foot of the monument instead.
The monument was erected in 2010 by former Mayor César Bojórquez Zapata. Activist Martha Capetillo Pasos complained that the statue came at the end of his administration with no public input.
“It is clear that we are doing it under protest,” said Capetillo Pasos, while the plant was placed. Subsequently, people withdrew from the site.
With information from Desde el Balcon