Mexico City to move statue of former Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev

A huge poster of former Azerbaijian President Heydar Aliyev in the country's capital Baku on May 22, 2012.

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – A diplomatic row has erupted between Mexico and Azerbaijan over a controversial statue of former Azeri leader Heydar Aliyev.

After protests from human rights groups, Mexico City agreed to move the life-size bronze statue of the former president from a park on the capital city’s main avenue to a different location, the Associated Press reported.

The problem, according to the BBC, is that Azerbaijan paid for renovations to the park and the oil-rich nation is now threatening to cut investment in Mexico.

Azerbaijan has invested about $4 billion in Mexico, Fox News Latino reported.

The statue of the authoritarian leader, who ruled the Caucasus republic between 1993 and 2003 and has been accused of crushing dissent during his time in office, was unveiled last August.

The monument of Aliyev, sitting in a chair in front of an enormous marble map, caused much bemusement among local residents and outraged human rights groups who said it was inappropriate to honor a leader guilty of human rights abuses.

The Associated Press said the new location for the Stalinesque statue will be decided this week.