EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) - Tribal officials at the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo in the Lower Valley are scrambling to clean up a statue that was vandalized overnight, on the eve of Columbus Day.
The damage was discovered on the Nestora Piarote statue on Tigua property early Monday morning. Red paint was splattered down the front of the statue and a red cross was propped on the front.
According to a spokesperson with the FBI, the agency is investigating the vandalism as a possible hate crime.
The spokesperson released the following statement:
As soon as the El Paso FBI was notified about alleged vandalism and destruction of property involving the Noestora Piarote Memorial located adjacent to the Ysleta del Sur Cultural Center on the Tigua Reservation, Special Agents from our Civil Rights Squad immediately were dispatched to the area. Because the El Paso Police Department initially responded to the crime scene, the FBI has been in contact with EPPD and will continue to coordinate our investigative efforts with the EPPD's Special Investigations Unit.
The community should rest assured the FBI is committed to aggressively investigating all potential hate crime matters. If anyone has any tips or information, they are encourage to contact the FBI 24 hours a day at telephone number 915-832-5000.