Mexican president apologises to Indigenous for Spanish conquest

Marking the 500th anniversary of the autumn of the Aztec capital to Spain, President Lopez Obrador asks for forgiveness.

Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has requested the nation’s Indigenous Mexica Peoples for forgiveness for the abuses inflicted on them in the course of the bloody 1521 Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire.

Lopez Obrador on Friday spoke in entrance of a giant duplicate temple constructed to commemorate 500 years because the fall of the traditional Aztec capital Tenochtitlan to Hernan Cortes, the chief of the invading Spanish forces and the armies of his Indigenous allies.

Cortes and his allies defeated the Aztec leaders and the Mexica individuals who lived in Tenochtitlan, which later grew to become Mexico City. They then looted and razed the town, ushering in three centuries of Spanish domination.

“Today we remember the fall of the great Tenochtitlan and we apologize to the victims of the catastrophe caused by the Spanish military occupation of Mesoamerica and the territory of the current Mexican Republic,” Lopez Obrador mentioned.

Lopez Obrador has mentioned the Spanish monarchy and Roman Catholic Church ought to formally apologise for the atrocities dedicated in the course of the conquest.

Workers construct a duplicate of the Aztec Templo Mayor, with a picture of the pre-Columbian God Quetzalcoatl adorning the encompassing buildings, at Mexico City’s foremost sq. the Zocalo, August 9, 2021 [File: Eduardo Verdugo/AP Photo]

The left-wing president on Friday repeated earlier criticisms that colonialists narrated historical past at their comfort.

“The conquest and colonisation are signs of backwardness, not of civilisation, less of justice,” he mentioned.

Lopez Obrador has repeatedly blamed colonial-era abuses when setting out the origins of inequality and corruption in Mexico. Surveys present many Mexicans think about themselves to be of mestizo heritage, a mix of European and indigenous roots.

Areas with excessive concentrations of Indigenous individuals are typically extra impoverished, and thus nearer to the electoral base of Lopez Obrador, who has pledged to place Mexico’s poor first.

As the anniversary approached, Lopez Obrador stepped up criticism of Spain and different European international locations, together with Austria, whose former ruling household, the Habsburgs, additionally sat on the head of a French-imposed Mexican Empire within the 1860s.

Last 12 months, he pressured a Vienna museum to lend Mexico a bejewelled feather headdress, thought-about one of the vital pre-Hispanic artefacts.

The headdress is alleged to have been worn by Aztec emperor Moctezuma earlier than he was toppled by Cortes.

Despite a go to by Lopez Obrador’s spouse Beatriz Gutierrez to the Austrian capital, the Mexican request was rebuffed.

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