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They demolish the statue of Ponce de León in Puerto Rico the same day that the King arrives

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The historic neighborhood of Old San Juan dawned this Monday full of police officers who prevented the passage to some of the busiest streets in the center of the capital of San Juan de Puerto Rico

. At first it was thought that the commotion was due to the celebrations of the fifth centenary of the city, until the news spread: the statue of the Spanish conqueror Juan Ponce de León -located next to that of Christopher Columbus, in a square in the historic center- was on the ground and split in two.

The act of vandalism took place during the early hours of Sunday to Monday , hours before Felipe VI arrived in the city of San Juan.

The King will remain here until Wednesday, for a trip in which, in addition to celebrating the 500th anniversary of the founding of the capital, he seeks to strengthen bilateral trade and strengthen political, historical and cultural ties.

The mayor of San Juan, Miguel Romero, who this Tuesday will deliver the keys to the city to the King, lamented the event and pointed out that the statue will be placed in time for the arrival of Felipe VI . «The base is going to be prepared, the bolts and it is a matter of reassembling it. It's not complicated at all,” explained Romero, while pointing out that “people can protest and express their opinions, but there shouldn't be room for criminal acts.”

The mayor also stated that an investigation has been launched to identify those responsible, who belong to the group Fuerzas Libertarias De Borikén, which has acknowledged responsibility for the events.

«Given the supposed visit of the King of Spain, Felipe VI, to Puerto Rico and the escalation of gringo invaders seizing our lands, we want to send a clear message: Neither Reyes nor gringo invaders; Boriken is ours. Juan Ponce de León, who was the first governor imposed by the tyranny of Spain more than 500 years ago, represents the worst,” he claimed. And he added: «Juan Ponce de León was the ringleader of the crushing of our Taíno ancestors who resisted under the leadership of Agüeybaná El Bravo. The story has not been told well but the generation that is not left behind comes to its rescue and we will fight proudly as the original peoples of Borikén.”

, days before the commemoration of his arrival in America. Days later, in La Paz (Bolivia), a group of activists renamed the Plaza de Isabel de Castilla. They called it Plaza de la Chola and they put a pollera -the traditional skirt worn by indigenous women- on the statue of Isabel la Católica.

Don Felipe arrived in the city of San Juan de Puerto Rico late this Monday night in Spain. He was received at the foot of the track by the mayor of the city and the Governor, Pedro Pierluisi. He then held a meeting with the Spanish community, which in Puerto Rico amounts to some 8,000 people.

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