The Mexican president has despatched a letter to Spain’s King Felipe VI and Pope Francis urging them to apologise for human rights abuses dedicated through the conquest of the area.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador mentioned the indigenous peoples of Mexico had been the victims of massacres.
In a video filmed on the ruins of an historical Mexican metropolis , he known as for a full account of the abuses.
“The time has come to reconcile. However allow us to ask forgiveness first,” he mentioned.
‘The sword and the cross’
Mr López Obrador was unsparing in his criticism of each Spain and the Vatican.
“There have been massacres and oppression. The so-called conquest was waged with the sword and the cross,” he mentioned.
“They constructed their church buildings on high of the (indigenous) temples.”
Mexico has the world’s second largest Roman Catholic inhabitants, after Brazil.
The federal government in Madrid responded rapidly, firmly rejecting his request for an apology.
“The arrival, 500 years in the past, of Spaniards to current Mexican territory can’t be judged within the gentle of up to date concerns,” Spain mentioned in a press release.
“Our two brother nations have at all times identified tips on how to learn our shared previous with out anger and with a constructive perspective,” it added.
Aztec Empire defeated
The Spanish conquest of the Americas started with the arrival of an expedition led by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
Conquest of Mexico started when a small military led by Hernán Cortés, landed in modern-day Veracruz state in 1519.
The highly effective Aztec Empire was finally defeated, marking the start of 300 years of Spanish rule.
Mexico gained independence after a warfare that lasted from 1810 to 1821 and have become a federal republic in 1824.
Mr López Obrador got here to energy in December, with a left-wing agenda.
He promised to deal with corruption, cut back inequality and raise thousands and thousands of Mexicans out of poverty.
Relations with Spain’s centre-left authorities have been pleasant to this point.