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Talks with mediator stall in debate over Pueblo’s Christopher Columbus statue

pueblo columbus statue protest

PUEBLO, Colo. (KRDO) -- The city of Pueblo hired a mediator to try and find common ground between two groups debating the future of a Christopher Columbus statue, but it's back to the drawing board.

Pueblo Mayor Nick Gradisar said he's disappointed that no agreement could be reached between the two groups.

We've reported the ongoing saga surrounding a bust of Columbus outside of the Rawlings Library on Abriendo Ave. for weeks, but the debate over the statue isn't anything new. A group of protesters pushed a renewed surge toward its removal at the same time that protesters around the country decried statues of Confederate leaders.

The protesters say Columbus' abuse of indigenous populations shouldn't be honored, but counter-protesters say the statue should stay because of Columbus' historical significance to the city's Italian community.

Some of the protests have nearly turned into brawls, and Gradisar said the city has spent upward of $65,000 for extra police officers and equipment.

So the city hired Fred Galves to meet with representatives from both sides of the argument, including six members of Pueblo's Native American community and six members of Pueblo's chapter of the Sons of Italy.

Some people, including city council members Lori Winner and Mark Aliff, were skeptical that a long-term resolution would be reached.

Their predictions turned out to be correct.

Saturday morning, the two parties told Gradisar they couldn't reach an agreement over the Columbus statue, and they decided "continuing talks would not be productive." We're working on getting details of what proposals were discussed before the stalemate.

Gradisar did say that the mediation wasn't a waste, however.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed the two groups couldn’t reach an agreement, but after decades of protests, the talks produced a chance for everyone to sit down and express their views, pain, and heritage,” said Mayor Gradisar. “Mediation was worth it as it allowed both sides the opportunity to hear the pain and pride of Pueblo’s past.”

The city says it's going to keep looking for ways to help the groups reach a solution "that honors the history and contributions of both Indigenous People of Pueblo and Italian families of Pueblo."

Andrew McMillan

Andrew is the Digital Content Director for Learn more about Andrew here.



  1. We all know it’s not Native Americans that are offended by the statue! I say round up every liberal and hand them over to North Korea. It already has everything you’re all looking for. Stupid worthless liberals.

    1. Funny thing is there are 2 D60 teachers out there pushing their agenda, Communism, and they teach our kids. I have never seen so much racism like I do at these protests, and the most racists are the ones who put it on, rita martinez and her son tomas who is a social worker… the companies who employ them should be embarrassed to have them… tomas is the most racist person i have met there… talk about intolerance, it comes from them not the ones who oppose them,

  2. So as I previously stated, this would occur. Now what will happen is the Mediator will side with who paid for him to be involved, The city of Pueblo.

    The City will choose to not remove it, for whatever reason they could hold onto, because factual history can’t be accurately taught or honored, will be the ultimate result.

    But doesn’t it make us all feel warm and fuzzy knowing the city of Pueblo wasted this money for this mediator, so they could blame him for not being able to bring this issue to a resolution? The issue the City should have resolved on their own.

  3. Should be a simple decision……Pueblo you are either a America loving patriotic city that loves America and want to preserve its history and culture or you are with the marxist democraps who hate America, are white hating racists who want to destroy America, its history and culture.

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