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During a Facebook video recording in front of Mayan ruins, President Lopez Obrador says Spain, Pope should apologize to 'original people' for Conquest 'massacres'.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) announced in a Facebook video that he had written letters to King Felipe VI of Spain and Pope Francisco requesting them to ask Mexico for forgiveness for the massive human rights violations against “original peoples” during the Conquest.
Standing in front of the Comalcalco Mayan ruins located in his home state of Tabasco alongside his wife Beatriz Gutierrez, the president said: "I sent a letter to the King of Spain and another letter to the Pope to make an account of grievances and that they apologize to the original peoples for the violations of what is now known as human rights."
AMLO went on: "There were massacres, impositions, the so-called Conquest was made with the sword and with the cross. The churches were built above the temples, our patriotic heroes were excommunicated, the fathers of our homeland were Hidalgo and Morelos," referring to Mexican independence leaders, Miguel Hidalgo and Jose Morelos who also served as president.
Lopez Obrador and Gutierrez say they want to make the year 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.
"It's time to say, let's reconcile but first ask for forgiveness. I’m going to ask forgiveness. I'll do it also because after the colonization there was a lot of repression of the original peoples."
Spain replied promptly saying it "firmly rejected" Lopez Obrador’s request.
The foreign affairs ministry said it "deeply regrets that (the letter) has been made public." The ministry ended by saying: "The government of Spain reiterates its willingness to work together with the government of Mexico and continue to build the appropriate framework to intensify the relations of friendship and cooperation existing between our two countries, which allows us to face the future challenges with a shared vision."
The Holy See has yet to release a response to the president’s ask on its official website.