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NM’s COVID-19 Spike, an In-Depth Look at Monuments, Statues and Conquistadors

This week on New Mexico in Focus… Correspondent Russell Contreras speaks with Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez, a New Mexico native who is now an assistant professor at Arizona State. As co-editor of the book “Querencia: Reflections on the New Mexico Homeland,” and as a Chicana who is critical of monuments to Spanish conquistadors, she is working on a biography of controversial conqueror Don Juan de Oñate. 

NMiF host Gene Grant interviews the two candidates in New Mexico’s First Congressional District race: Rep. Deb Haaland, the Democratic incumbent, and challenger and Republican Michelle Garcia Holmes. This week’s NMiF contains an excerpt of that conversation; the full hour-long special, which aired on NMPBS last week, can be seen in its entirety at the VOTE 2020 page on 

Gene Grant and The Line opinion panelists look at Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s new set of restrictions brought about by the rise in COVID-19 cases across the state. She’s announced new orders that will go into effect on October 16, and there might still be more to come. The Line also debates the handling of a controversial situation over a monument in Santa Fe’s Plaza that culminated in the obelisk’s destruction on Indigenous Peoples’ Day. For their final topic, The Line panelists discuss the constitutional amendment that aims to reform the Public Regulation Commission and also look at contributions to state legislative campaigns. 

Host: Gene Grant

In Focus Interviews:
Don Juan de Oñate Biography 
Correspondent: Russell Contreras 
Guest: Vanessa Fonseca-Chávez, assistant professor of Hispanic and Indigenous studies, Arizona State University  

Congressional District 1: Candidate Conversation Excerpt 
Rep. Deb Haaland (D), Congressional District 1 
Michelle Garcia Holmes (R), Congressional District 1 Candidate

The Line Opinion Panel:    
Dede Feldman, former state senator  
Tom Garrity, The Garrity Group PR  
Steve Terrell, retired reporter, Santa Fe New Mexican