Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador on Monday said he wrote a letter to the King of Spain and Pope Francis to urge them to apologize to indigenous Mexicans for the “abuses” committed during colonialism.
“I have sent a letter to the king of Spain and another to the pope calling for a full account of the abuses and urging them to apologize to the indigenous peoples [of Mexico] for the violations of what we now call their human rights,” Lopez Obrador said in a video he shared to Twitter on Monday afternoon.
Estamos en Comalcalco, vamos a Centla a conmemorar 500 años de la batalla de los españoles contra la resistencia de los mayas-chontales. pic.twitter.com/glYO0eAMtX— Andrés Manuel (@lopezobrador_) March 25, 2019
“There were massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was waged with the sword and the cross. They built their churches on top of the (indigenous) temples,” López Obrador said.
“The churches were built above the temples, our patriotic heroes were excommunicated,” he continued. “We are going to reconcile but first we ask for forgiveness.”
The Mexican leader made the remarks in the video alongside his wife during a recent visit to the southeastern state of Tabasco.
Spain’s foreign ministry reportedly rejected the content’s of López Obrador’s letter in statements to domestic media, according to Reuters.
“The arrival 500 years ago of the Spanish on present-day Mexican territory cannot be judged in light of contemporary considerations,” the government reportedly said in the statement.
“The government of Spain reiterates its willingness to work together with the government of Mexico,” the government added.