Spanish colonial monuments fuel race strife in US Southwest

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RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press RIO RANCHO, N.M. (AP) — Statues of Spanish conquistador Don Juan de Oñate are now in storage after demonstrators in New Mexico threatened to topple them. Protesters in California have pulled down sculptures of Spanish missionary Junipero Serra, and now schools, parks and streets named after Spanish explorers are facing uncertain futures. As statues and monuments associated with slavery and other flawed moments of the nation's history come tumbling down at both the hands of protesters and in some cases decisions by politicians, the movement in the American Southwest has turned its attention to representations of Spanish colonial figures long venerated by some Hispanics but despised by Native Americans. Protesters say figures such as Oñate, who led
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