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You're reading: Mexicans puzzled by Azerbaijan leader monument
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The Stalin-esque, bronze statue
of Geidar Aliyev, the late authoritarian leader of the Caucasus
republic, carries a plaque calling him “a brilliant example of infinite
devotion to the motherland, loyal to the universal ideals of world
peace.” The monument erected in late August shows Aliyev sitting in a
bronze chair in front of what appears to be an enormous, white marble
map of Azerbaijan.

“It is really out of
place,” said Miguel Angel Mendoza, an 18-year-old high school student
who was walking past the monument to the longtime ruler, who led Azerbaijan first as Communist Party boss during Soviet times and then as president from 1993 to 2003. “Why couldn’t they put up a monument to somebody who did something good?”

It turns out that Azerbaijan
contributed much of the 65 million pesos ($5 million) it cost to
renovate not one, but two Mexico City parks, allowing it to put
monuments in both. Critics say that Aliyev, who stifled dissent,
shouldn’t be on a boulevard decorated with statues to Mexican and
foreign heroes.

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