6The Monument to a Spanish Conqueror Built on the Graves of the People He Conquered
The Monument to Sebastian de Belalcazar is exactly what it says it is -- a monument to Spanish conquistador Sebastian de Belalcazar, who conquered Equador in 1553 and then Colombia in 1554. The statue was built in the 1940s in the Colombian state of Cauca, a state Belalcazar once ruled as governor. The statue depicts Belalcazar riding a horse that has just stepped on something, while the stone base of the statue depicts the logos of every gang in Popayan.
It's now more of a memorial to early '90s gangsta rap than anything.
So what's the problem? Two things:
One, like all conquistadors, Sebastian de Belalcazar was a Class A dick. One of his main goals in South America was to acquire all of its gold; particularly, Belalcazar wanted to find the fabled golden city of El Dorado and spend the rest of his days surfing on tidal waves of money. Unfortunately, Belalcazar did not find El Dorado, but instead found native Colombians. This was bad news for the natives, because when Belalcazar showed up in their village wearing his bathing suit and snorkel and did not find oceans of gold, he tended to take it out on them. He killed entire villages in rage (one of them solely inhabited by women and children) and enslaved most of the native men.
But the second problem is where they chose to put the statue honoring him: on top of a native Colombian burial ground/temple.
That hill there is El Morro de Tulcan, built somewhere between 1600 and 1500 B.C., and so far 60 graves have been discovered inside. The local people became aware of the temple in 1929 when construction revealed that the hill was artificial. But the hill was the most prominent point in town, and the townspeople weren't going to be stopped from lopping off the top of it to build a statue to a conquistador just because it would most likely open a portal to the seventh layer of hell.
It's important to note that they weren't aware of the bodies inside the temple until several years after they had built on top of it. It's also important to note that they now have known about the bodies for more than half a century and still haven't moved the statue, despite consistent demands from native Colombians for them to do so. But this doesn't mean that the government doesn't respect them. In fact, they originally planned to build a statue to native Colombians elsewhere in town (not on top of the temple, of course; don't be stupid, where would Belalcazar go?), but they never got around to it.
"In the meantime, just pretend that he's majestically apologizing, using the hill to spread his heartfelt regret."
5Mourners Honor a Car Crash Victim by Doing Doughnuts on a Highway
When a friend of street racer Cali Floyd was killed in a car accident, Floyd and fellow auto enthusiasts felt compelled to do something special for their deceased compatriot. But instead of building a roadside memorial or holding a vigil, the racers paid their respects by illegally stopping traffic on the interstate and swerving around like goddamn maniacs.
In 2012, Floyd and two dozen other drivers met at a predetermined spot along I-285 south of downtown Atlanta. They gradually slowed traffic to a halt by occupying all of the lanes with their vehicles. The front of the pack then broke off and began spinning doughnuts in the middle of the road as tribute to their dead friend. Yes, this is tantamount to holding an amateur knife-juggling service for someone who has been stabbed to death.
While an increasingly hostile audience begins sharpening their own.
This stunt not only backed up highway traffic; it also came dangerously close to necessitating a second impromptu doughnut memorial (see: one guy whipping around near the median with no hands on the wheel). After video of the memorial went viral, Atlanta authorities attempted to identify the drivers, but there's a good chance natural selection will run its course before any arrests are made.