National: AMLO Apologizes Maya Peoples for Historic Grievances. Indigenous Groups Reject Apologies

AMLO oficial website  

On May 3rd, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) traveled to Quintana Roo, where, at the Museo de la Guerra de Castas, in the municipality of Felipe Carrillo Puerto, he apologized to the Maya peoples for the historical grievances they have suffered. “Here, for an imperative of government ethics, but also for our own conviction, we offer the most sincere apologies to the Maya people”, he said; this in the face of “the terrible abuses committed by individuals and national and foreign authorities in the conquest during the three centuries of colonial domination, and in two centuries of an independent Mexico.”

“Now there are freedoms, they are public, notable, they are expressed without censorship. And above all there is a new will to do justice for the people, as in the times of the Mexican revolution. That is why we are here offering apologies and stating that we will never forget the inhabitants of deep Mexico”, he explained in a bilingual event.

Also present at the event were the Secretary of the Interior, Olga Sanchez Cordero, as well as the governors of Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Chiapas, Campeche and Yucatan. This public apology is part of the 15 events planned this year to commemorate 500 years since the fall of Tenochtitlan and 200 years since independence.

In an open letter to AMLO, the group of Maya historians Chuunt’aan Maya, from Yucatan, stated however that “there are many things that continue: they continue to cut down the mountains to plant them with soy, they continue to take away the mountains and cenotes that we have defended and taken care of since time immemorial.” This “request for forgiveness may be the opportunity to sit down and talk about what we have been asking for”, they added.

For their part, indigenous groups from the Yucatan Peninsula, organizers of the U Jeets’el le ki’ki ‘kuxtal (For a Dignified Life) campaign, rejected the President’s apology, considering that it goes hand in hand with dispossession and human rights violations. “No, Mr. President: we do not accept your apology! Not a cynical and sneaky apology”, reads another published open letter. “Whoever asks for forgiveness perpetuates racism, discrimination and the contempt of the people”, it claims. It also states that colonization persists, “every day with more violence and intensity”, with the imposition of megaprojects. “The tranquility of the villages is transformed into the terror that the compañeros of Cancun, Playa del Carmen, Tulum, Bacalar live at every moment, since they have become regional, national and even global headquarters of labor exploitation, of the generalized insecurity, femicides and murders, drug and human trafficking”, the same document states.

For more information in Spanish:

López Obrador pide perdón a los mayas por los abusos contra ellos a lo largo de la historia (El País, 4 de mayo de 2021)

Indígenas mayas rechazan el perdón de AMLO y lo equiparan con Porfirio Díaz(Proceso, 4 de mayo de 2021)

Colectivos rechazan disculpas de AMLO al pueblo maya (Aristegui Noticias, 3 de mayo de 2021)

Indígenas mayas rechazan el perdón ofrecido por el gobierno mexicano (El Universal, 3 de mayo de 2021)

AMLO pide perdón al pueblo maya por cinco siglos de agravios (Proceso, 3 de mayo de 2021)

Ofrecemos las más sinceras disculpas al pueblo maya: AMLO (La Jornada, 3 de mayo de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

National: Maya Train – While Yucatan Grants Definitive Suspensions, AMLO Declares it SEDENA Heritage (March 23, 2021)
National: AMLO Pushes Work on Maya Train; SEDENA in Charge of Section 5 (March 11, 2021)
National: Judge Grants Three New Provisional Suspensions for Maya Train (February 22, 2021)
National: AMLO Hands Over Maya Train Construction to Army (December 28, 2020)

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