Antonio de Montesinos held it down in the New World and defended the rights of the indegenous people. He was truly ahead of his time. This statue located in Santo Domingo’s colonial section is dear to my heart. I used to go play and ride my bike there all the time.
The stone and bronze statue was a gift from Mexico and was made by artist Antonio Castellanos in 1982, a year before my birth.
Below is Montecino’s famous quote, which as you could imagine enraged the Spanish King and all of the aristocracy at the time. #Legendary.
"Tell me by what right of justice do you hold these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? On what authority have you waged such detestable wars against these people who dealt quietly and peacefully on their own lands? Wars in which you have destroyed such an infinite number of them by homicides and slaughters never heard of before. Why do you keep them so oppressed and exhausted, without giving them enough to eat or curing them of the sicknesses they incur from the excessive labor you give them, and they die, or rather you kill them, in order to extract and acquire gold every day."
Photography by Ruddy Harootian