Mexico's President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest
Mexico’s President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest

Mexico’s President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest

Trista - April 2, 2019

Mexico’s President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest
Cristóbal de Olid led the Spanish soldiers with Tlaxcalan allies in the conquests of Jalisco in 1522. Unknown Aztec scribes / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain.

5. It May Be a Merely Symbolic Gesture

After all, the Spanish conquest happened 500 years ago, and its empire fell nearly 300 years ago. Politically, the memory of the Spanish conquest does not hamper relations between Mexico and Spain. However, it may not be coincidental that 2019 marks exactly 500 years since Hernan Cortes arrived in 1519.

Mexico’s President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest
Felipe VI of Spain. Cristina Cifuentes – Inauguración de FITUR 2018 / Wikimedia.

4. Spain is Rejecting Calls for an Apology

Spain’s present king, Felipe VI, had nothing to do with an event that happened five centuries ago. He is calling for a “constructive perspective,” saying, “The arrival, 500 years ago, of Spaniards to present Mexican territory cannot be judged in the light of contemporary considerations.” He believes that both Mexico and Spain can read their histories without anger.

Mexico’s President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador participated in a traditional indigenous ceremony at the Zocalo, in Mexico City in 2018. AP Photo / Marco Ugarte / CTV News.

3. Amlo Himself Has Apologized to the Indigenous Peoples

Amlo’s political career has long had the betterment of Mexico’s indigenous peoples as one of its highest priorities. Recognizing that the legacy of colonialism continued long after Spanish rule ended, he stated that he intends to apologize to Mexico’s indigenous people, as well.

Mexico’s President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest
Mexican President known as AMLO based on his initials. UNOPS.

2. He Declared 2021 as the Year of Historic Reconciliation

2021 marks exactly 500 years since the fall of the Aztec Empire. However, many skeptics wonder whether there is actually anything to reconcile. After all, history has moved forward, and Mexico, Spain, and the Vatican are all on friendly terms. However, the plight of Native Americans in the United States shows that generational trauma does continue to affect people for generations.

Mexico’s President is Asking for an Apology from King Felipe VI and the Pope 500 Years After Historical Conquest
AMLO at Zocalo in 2012. Eneas De Troya / Wikimedia Commons.

1. The Call is For Personal and Cultural Reconciliation

Maybe Amlo recognizes that the key to ending the social ills that have long plagued Mexico, such as the war on drugs, increasing crime, and poverty lies in creating a culture of peace and reconciliation. His call for an apology may be less a political maneuver than it is an attempt to make reconciliation the new trademark of Mexico and the means of bringing it into a new era.

 

Where Did We Find This Stuff? Here Are Our Sources:

“The Rise of Mexico’s Andres Lopez Obrador,” documentary. Now This World.

“The Spanish Empire, Silver, & Runaway Inflation: Crash Course World History #25.” Crash Course.”

“Battle of Tenochtitlan.” Encyclopedia Britannica.

“New Spain.” Wikipedia.

“Mexican Inquisition.” Wikipedia.

“Demographics of Mexico.” Wikipedia.

“Mexico indigenous people: Pope Francis asks for forgiveness.” February 16, 2016. BBC News.

“Mexico demands apology from Spain and the Vatican over conquest.” March 26, 2019. BBC News.

“AMLO asks Spain to apologize for the conquest: Spain says definitely not.” March 25, 2019. Mexico News Daily.

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