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  • The Catalan chancellor, Alfred Bosch, condemned the abuses committed against indigenous peoples of the Americas.

    The Catalan chancellor, Alfred Bosch, condemned the abuses committed against indigenous peoples of the Americas. | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 April 2019

Responding to the Mexican President’s request, the government of Catalonia deplored the atrocities committed during the invasion of the Americas.

The autonomous government of Catalonia, Spain, Thursday, condemned the abuses committed against the Indigenous peoples during the conquest of the Americas; this came in response to the President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO)’s request to Spain and the Pope for an apology for the historical Indigenous slaughter.

AMLO to Spain: 'Recognize the Open Wounds' of Mexican Conquest

The Catalan chancellor, Alfred Bosch, deplored "the death of millions of people and the disappearance of entire cultures" that produced the Spanish empire in the Americas during the sixteenth century, in a speech before Parliament

"I would like to include here some words in Spanish, seasoned to the Indigenous peoples of the Americas, to the countries of the American continent and, in particular, to a person who has requested it, the president of Mexico… that our condemnation of the abuses committed against the populations and the original peoples of America should never again repeat the barbarism, never again repeat the domination, never again repeat the atrocity," the Foreign Minister of Catalonia said.

On March 25, AMLO sent a letter addressed to the King of Spain, Felipe VI, and Pope Francis urging them to apologize to the Indigenous peoples for the genocide perpetrated during the conquest.

"There were massacres and impositions, the so-called 'conquest' was made with the sword and with the cross, then it is time to say 'let's reconcile', but first we ask for forgiveness," the Mexican president said through a video published in social networks where he announced the sending of the letter.

President AMLO said that his request didn’t seek to dig up old differences with Spain, but for that nation to recognize the ´invasion' and ´plundering´ that defined the colonization era in Mexico.

The Spanish government immediately and "firmly rejected" AMLO’s letter to King Felipe VI of Spain requesting that his government ask Mexico for forgiveness for the massive human rights violations inflicted upon “original peoples” during the conquest.

The government of Spain rejected AMLO's letter "with all firmness" in a statement.

"The arrival, 500 years ago, of Spaniards to the current Mexican lands can not be judged in the light of contemporary considerations. Our brotherly peoples have always known how to read our shared past without anger and with a constructive perspective," answered the Spanish authorities.

Historian Mercedes de la Garza, speaking with the Mexican newspaper La Jornada, said it would not be enough for Spain to apologize to Indigenous of Mexico, but all those who have mistreated Indigenous since the Conquest must also receive the apology.

“All those who enslaved (Indigenous) and tortured them during the colonization, independence, the Revolution and the 20th century must also ask for forgiveness to the Indigenous peoples of Mexico,” said Garza.

The expert in Mayan and Nahuatl cultures added that “All of them must ask for forgiveness ... because the Indigenous peoples have remained subdued (and) ... left in misery not only the conquerors but those who held power in the 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. Indigenous people are today still poor and abandoned.”

The Mexican head of state says he wants to make 2021 the "year of reconciliation" as it marks the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, and the bicentenary of Mexico’s independence that took place in September 1821.

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