|Gonzalo Jimenez de Quesada stands in all his glory on the Plaza Rosario. Thief, mass-murderer, committer of cultural genocide...and hero.|
Bogotá, in contrast, just renovated a statue of conquistador and founder of Bogotá Jimenez de
|A heroic Quesada painting hangs |
in the presidential palace.
We try to respect human rights. Quesada hung his own soldiers, because, to avoid starvation, they killed and ate horses.
Today, Colombia venerates indigenous artworks in museums and cultural sites. Quesada stole indigenous peoples' gold and emerald treasures and sent them to Europe.
Not satisfied with his treasures, in 1568 Quesada set off on yet another conquering expedition, this time to Los Llanos, in search of gold. He started off with an army of 1,500 Indians and 400 Spaniards, of whom only 4 Indians and 64 Spaniards returned home.
Quesada doesn't seem to deserve much admiration. But there he is glorified on the plaza Rosario and in the presidential palace. And I haven't heard anybody, including even indigenous people, question the situation.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours