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Indigenous protesters in Colombia have toppled a statue of Spanish conquistador Sebastián de Belalcázar in the south-western city of Popayán.

Police looked on as members of the Misak community used ropes to tear down the equestrian figure of de Belalcázar, who founded the city in 1537.

Indigenous leaders said he represented five centuries of genocide and slavery.

Popayán’s mayor said it was an act of violence against a symbol of a multicultural city.

De Belalcázar led numerous expeditions in north-western parts of South America, founding also what is now Ecuador’s capital Quito.

The Misak community blames the conquistador

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