Indigenous groups in Honduras carried a "death sentence" on the famous explorer Christopher Columbus after a mock trial
for crimes they say he committed more than 500 years ago.
Columbus was "charged" with genocide and robbery in connection with his first landfall in the Americas in 1492, the anniversary
of which fell on Monday.
painting of the explorer - showing him in his 15th century cap and tunic - had nine arrows shot into it by three Indian archers.
|Removing the arrows from their target|
Known as Columbus Day in the United States and Hispanic Day in Argentina, 12 October was a public holiday across the Americas.
But for many of the continents' indigenous inhabitants, the anniversary of the first European arrival on their continent
is no cause for celebration.
Old wounds, modern grievances
For the leaders of the 2,000 or so Indians gathering in the Honduran capital, Tegucigalpa, Columbus' arrival marked the
beginning of 500 years of genocide and theft at the hands of European conquerors.
sentencing of Columbus for these alleged crimes follows similar demonstrations in 1997, when activists tore down a statue
of he adventurer that stood in the centre of Tegucigalpa.
|A Lenca tribesman guards the statue of Honduran hero Lempira Eroe|
This year, they plan to replace it with a statue of an indigenous chief who was killed fighting the Spanish invaders.
The protests are intended to draw attention to contemporary grievances.
leaders are demanding the return of ancestral lands they say were seized from them by force and the fulfilment of government
promises of aid for their impoverished communities.
|Anti-Columbus demos in Chile|
BBC Americas analyst James Read says that if Columbus were able to speak in his own defence, he might argue that he was
being sentenced for the crimes of those that followed him, rather than for his own.
BBC News | Americas | Christopher Columbus - on trial
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