On Monday, the Santa Fe Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held its mayoral candidate forum with incumbent Mayor Alan Webber, City Councilor JoAnne Vigil Coppler, and Alexis Martinez Johnson. At the virtual event, Webber was challenged on his failure to protect the 153-year-old Soldiers’ Monument, which was destroyed in October 2020 by domestic terrorists, many affiliated with anti-Hispanic hate groups.
“To be absolutely clear, there was no order from the mayor to stand down,” Webber erroneously claimed when being called out by Johnson and Vigil Coppler.
However, that is a lie. On October 14, 2020, joined by Police Chief Andrew Padilla, Webber defended the Police Department’s decision to “stand down” and allow the riot, saying, “The choice to not incite more violence was the correct one.”
None of the domestic terrorists involved in the destruction of the monument faced jail time, with District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altweis claiming the move was “restorative justice.”
“It is clear that order came from the mayor,” Vigil Coppler said during the forum. “We just saw our culture, our meaning, our tradition, what we used to mean on the Plaza just fade away, and no one has really been punished for that.”
Unable to contain himself, Webber fired back at the City Councilor, condescending her with, “I would expect Councilor Vigil Coppler to know more about how the city works than to say something as blatantly false as that.” He added, “The mayor does not order the police chief or any police officer to stand down. That is simply false and inaccurate.”
Martinez Johnson said, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists,” regarding the anti-Hispanic terrorists who toppled the monument. “No matter if you want the obelisk to stay or to go, I am talking about outright lawlessness.” She added, “I don’t care what any political party you are from, lawlessness is wrong.”
“Everyone around here should be aware that a giant monument in the middle of our Plaza came towering down in the middle of the day by a mob,” Martinez Johnson said in response to a question regarding crime.
Webber then continued to tout his endorsements from far-left politicians, including Sens. Martin Heinrich and Ben Ray Luján, who have been political allies of the embattled mayor for years.