Residents fed up with vandalism at Tomé Hill

tome

LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) – Massive crosses, cement shrines, graffiti and more have all been left on top of Tomé Hill.

It’s a site popular for pilgrimages on Good Friday. But, the town of Tomé is fed up with the unwanted shrines and vandalism left behind all year long.

“Little by little, it’s getting out of hand,” said Lawrence Sanchez, the former President of the Town of Tomé Land Grant.

Sanchez said visitors have left trash and pet waste. He said criminals have stolen their plaques signifying the historical site, they only have one left.

“Graffiti, or building any kind of structures or putting in, a plain old simple cross,” Sanchez said it’s all illegal.

The land for the town of Tomé was granted in the 1700’s. Twenty-three families settled there, but the three cross monument at the top of the private-owned Tomé Hill wasn’t created until 1947.

“Many individuals, neighbors had to get help to construct these crosses on Tome Hill,” said Rita Padilla-Gutierrez, the Vice President of the Town of Tomé Land Grant.

Gutierrez said the crosses were erected to pay homage to the soldiers who did not come home from World War II.

“We enjoy and promote and encourage folks to do a pilgrimage on Good Friday,” said Gutierrez.

But, both she and Sanchez said the three original crosses, are all they want and allow on top of Tomé Hill.

“That’s what it’s for, for the people to enjoy and do their pilgrimage and their religious thing, but let’s keep it the way it should be,” said Sanchez.

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