Protesters set fire to a statue of the pioneer Borba Gato in the south of São Paulo; watch video – Young Pan

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Monument, which still stands, was already aimed at honoring a historical slave figure; activists celebrated the act on social media

Reproduction/TwitterStatue of Borba Gato in the south of São Paulo catches fire

On the day demonstrations against the president are held Jair Bolsonaro (no party), a group of 15 people set fire to a statue in honor of the pioneer Borba Gato on Avenida Santo Amaro, in the south of São Paulo. The police were unable to say whether the group would participate in the protest scheduled for 3 pm, with a concentration on Avenida Paulista. However, the vilification of monuments that pay homage to slavery symbols is part of the action of some leftist groups. The statue of Borba Gato had already been seen since last year, when the group Black Lives Matter, after the death of George Floyd, began to topple statues of historical personalities considered racist.

“Manuel de Borba Gato made his name and fortune in the second half of the 18th century, traveling through the Brazilian hinterlands in search of indigenous people to enslave. He was also a fugitive from the law and a gold smuggler,” says historian Laurentino Gomes. Ten meters high, the statue in honor of the pioneer was inaugurated in 1963. On social networks, leftwing activists and activists or from identity movements celebrated the act against the memory of Borba Gato. The fire has been contained and the statue remains standing.