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‘The Equestrian’ Don Juan de Oñate statue vandalized at El Paso International Airport

EL PASO, Texas -- The somewhat controversial statue "The Equestrian" that adorns the entry to the El Paso International Airport has been vandalized with spray paint.

The discovery was made a day after dueling city protests took place with both pro-police and anti-police factions.

The phrase "Your god is not my god," was graffitied in Spanish along with other phrases and obscenities.

The statue is of Don Juan de Onate depicted as a Spanish conquistador.

Onate traveled through the Borderland in the late 1500's and early 1600's.

Martha Vera, the Honorary Consul to Spain in El Paso, is proud of Onate's exploits and is disheartened by the vandal's act.

“It saddens me terribly that to see that our statues, that our history is being defaced,” said Vera.

The Honorary Consul to Spain also remarked that “without Don Juan De Onate coming through here, there would be no Hispanics, no Catholics. Who knows if we would of even had an El Paso."

But UTEP Assistant Professor of Communications Frank Perez has a contrarian view.

"This idea that we owe Onate this debt of gratitude for founding the city, I would say is pretty erroneous," Perez contends.

Perez, who has co-written a book on Onate's travels throughout the southwest, also maintained that "we can't give Onate a pass. He is responsible for the deaths of over 800 Acoma Indians including 300 women and children."

Information on Perez's book "Deconstructing Eurocentric Tourism and Heritage Narratives in Mexican Communities, Juan de Onate as a West Texas Icon" can be found by clicking here

Wil Herren

Wil Herren is an ABC-7 reporter who covers both news and sports.



  1. If the woke leftists want to get rid of the Robert E. Lee and Christopher Columbus statues then might as well get rid of this one and all similar. The conquistadors ruined and eradicated whole Indian civilizations like the Aztecs and Incas. Enough said.

    1. No my friend. Eradicated? No. Aztecs became Mexican. Incas were already on the way out by the time the conquistadors were here. Mixed races now. Those mestizos are still here. Most of the Hispanics in Central and South America have mixed blood. Still here. French, German, Italian, Anglo, African etc. Still here. Not eradicated. The mystery does exist in many on how indigenous populations became spread out. They’re still here but in different locations and cultures. Yes the conquistadors did conquer and kill hundreds of thousands of Indians. No question. But eradicated? No. Their own nations keep them in social chains. Stole their lands, keep them from living their own destinations. But those are not the conquistadors. It’s their own people doing that.

  2. IF you ignorant humans have a desire to see the world as it was and as it is, make an effort to study world history from scratch. Read books or listen to some of the most learned people who have spent a lifetime observing and investigating the who, the where, and the why. Professors like Dr. John Henrik Clark, and many others who not only talk the talk but walk the walk. Racism is alive and well as much as it was thousands of years ago. My brother Negros and Africa have been marginalized and robbed of their true identity and knowledge for thousands of years. Study Eygpt and you will readily see that those Africans were way ahead in thinking and doing thousands of years before any other humans emerged from caves and mud huts. The WASP later emerged to steal, plunder, and murder all over the world. The difference between a Spaniard and a WASP is not just language, It is the religion they practice. You are worried about a statue of a Spaniard yet no one has destroyed or defaced Mt Rushmore. My comments are not here for a debate, they are here for me to teach. Those young UTEP so-called professors of Hispanic history are only swayed by the money they make off books they can sell. They lack a lifetime of actual field study so they can learn only half of what really occured.

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