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Mexican president asks Pope Francis for conquest apology in open letter

In the letter on Saturday, President Andres Manuel López Obrador also asks the pope to lend Mexico ancient pre-Hispanic Mexican or colonial-era documents

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Mexico | Pope Francis | US mexico

AP  |  Mexico City 

Pope Francis attends the Synod of Amazonian bishops at the Vatican, October 7, 2019 REUTERS/Remo Casilli
Pope Francis attends the Synod of Amazonian bishops at the Vatican, October 7, 2019 REUTERS/Remo Casilli

Mexico's president has published an open letter to calling on the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for abuses of Indigenous peoples during the conquest of in the 1500s.

In the letter on Saturday, President Andrs Manuel Lpez Obrador also asks the pope to lend ancient pre-Hispanic Mexican or colonial-era documents.

"The Catholic Church, the Spanish monarchy and the Mexican government should make a public apology for the offensive atrocities that Indigenous people suffered," the letter states.

Lpez Obrador asked the pope to make a statement in favour of Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico's 19th-century independence leader who was once believed to have been excommunicated by the church for his involvement in the uprising.

However, researchers later said it appeared that Hidalgo had confessed his sins before he was executed and thus was not excommunicated.

Lpez Obrador said: "I think it would be an act of humility and at the same time greatness" for the church to reconcile posthumously with Hidalgo.

The letter comes as struggles with how to mark the 500th anniversary of the 1519-1521 conquest, which resulted in the death of a large part of the country's pre-Hispanic population.

In 2019, Lpez Obrador asked Spain for an apology for the conquest, in which millions of Indigenous people died from violence and disease.

Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said at the time that Spain "will not issue these apologies that have been requested".

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Sun, October 11 2020. 06:19 IST
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