Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has described this Monday, October 12, as a “very controversial” date and has insisted that next year Spain must apologize to indigenous peoples for the 500 years of the conquest of present-day Mexico.
“It is a very controversial date of confrontation of ideas and also of political confrontation, “said the president in a press conference after being questioned about the demonstration that was called this Monday to knock down the statue of Christopher Columbus in the center of Mexico City.
Although the capital’s government removed said statue this weekend to restore it, the Mexican president, of the leftist National Regeneration Movement (Morena), called for “resolve these differences peacefully and not take it out on statues and sculptures. “López Obrador has stressed that Columbus’s deed “is a process that is still under debate” and has asked that “everyone look for information” on October 12.
The president has expressed that this Monday “surely in Madrid there is a ceremony”, in reference to the celebration of the National Holiday of Spain, and recalled that during the Government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero (2004-2011) he was on October 12 in these festivities. “This date is commemorated there, not here. But it is important that what happened be known or have information about what happened in this meeting, discovery or whatever it may be called, “said López Obrador.
Next year will be the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Hernán Cortés
In that sense, he has insisted that both Spain and the Mexican State must “offer apologies to the native peoples to achieve reconciliation.” next year, when it’s 500 years old of the conquest by Hernán Cortés. “It is thought that all this happened a long time ago and has been forgotten, but no. It is better for all of us with humility to offer apologies to the native peoples and for a new stage in our relations to begin,” López Obrador stressed.
In your opinion, when last year he sent a letter to King Felipe VI of Spain demanding an apology for the conquest “his intentions were misinterpreted”, and he has proposed that “it be re-analyzed so that this ceremony will take place next year.” He considers that it is necessary to make “a commitment of non-repetition, that atrocities are never committed again” and say “no to colonialism, no submission and no denial.”
In addition, he stressed that wants to vindicate the “greatness” of the pre-Hispanic peoples to discredit the vision of “savages and barbarians” that exists “in the textbooks of some countries.”
Plan to commemorate the 200 years of the independence of Mexico
Recently, López Obrador presented a plan to commemorate in 2021 the 200 years of the independence of Mexico (1821), the 500 years of the conquest of present-day Mexico (1521) and the 700 years of the founding of Mexico-Tenochtitlán, present-day Mexico City (1321).
With this great ceremony on the horizon, last week the president sent his wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, to Paris and Rome to “get” codices and other historical pieces related to the conquest with the intention of exhibiting them in Mexico next year. In addition, he sent a letter to the President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella, to lend Mexico the Florentine Codex and the Codex Cospi, and a letter to Pope Francis for the Catholic Church to also offer a “public apology” to indigenous peoples for the “atrocities” of the conquest.