LOS ANGELES | A man has been seriously injured by gunfire during a protest against a statue Monday in New Mexico (southwestern United States) and the police will investigate the information involving a group of self-defense, according to the authorities.
Protesters in Albuquerque demanded the removal of a statue of the Spanish conquistador Juan de Onate, first governor of the State in the colonial era, have been reported in the media.
While they were trying to topple the statue, a small group of members of a far-right militia moved in and clashes broke out, according to theAlbuquerque Journal.
“The individuals heavily armed, which are displayed in the event in is self-designating as a “civil guard” were there for a simple reason: threatening the protesters, to make a display unauthorized use of force, non-regulatory,” said the governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham, in a statement posted on Twitter.
“There is absolutely no place in New Mexico for any so-called “militia” that is seeking to terrorize the Neo-Mexican”, she continued.
Images broadcasted in the local media show police arrested two armed men in camouflage.
According to police, the condition of the victim is deemed to be critical, but stable, and the incident came to an end in the quiet.
During the wave of protests against racism and police violence triggered in the United States and around the world by the death of George Floyd, an African-American unarmed asphyxiated by a white policeman on the 25th of may, a number of statues and monuments related to colonialism and slavery have been brought to the ground.
In Albuquerque, the statue has been temporarily removed for reasons of public safety, has gazouillé the mayor of the city, Tim Keller.
The police investigation, “information concerning a possible liability of self-defence groups in the violence”, announced in a statement released on Twitter, the chief of police of the city, Michael Geier.
“If it is proven, they will be held accountable according to the law in its entirety”, including the federal law on hate groups, he added.