South Bay Columbus statue vandalized again

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CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A Christopher Columbus statue was vandalized for the second time this year in light of Columbus Day Monday.

The statue at Discovery Park in Rancho Del Rey, a neighborhood of Chula Vista, was covered in red paint. In February, the word "genocide" was written in red paint at the base of the statue.

A Chula Vista police officer discovered the vandalism around 8 a.m. Monday. City crews were called to clean off the paint and CVPD is now investigating the incident as a crime, the department said.

Columbus statues have been the target of similar vandalism elsewhere in the country, with vandals appearing to make a statement about the explorer and colonist's treatment of indigenous peoples by painting portions of his monument's a blood-like red or spray painting phrases.

Some states, plus seven cities in California, are ditching the celebration of Columbus Day.

Others, including Italian-American groups, have said the holiday remains an important part of Italian-American heritage and that Columbus remains a highly notable historical figure worthy of recognition.

The statue was created in the 1990s by the sculptor Mario Zamora, according to the Smithsonian Institution's research system.

City crews are cleaning off the paint and Chula Vista Police Department officers are conducting an investigation into the crime. If anyone has information as to the suspect or suspects responsible for the vandalism, they are asked to call 619-691-5151.

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