This apology marks the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest and the 200th anniversary of the Mexicans’ independence from Spain.
The Mexican government has offered an official apology to the Maya people for the “horrific torture” inflicted on them over the centuries since the Spanish conquest.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador apologized as part of a series of ceremonies this year to mark the 500th anniversary of this year’s victory and the bicentennial of Mexico’s 1821 independence from Spain.
“During three centuries of conquered colonial rule and two centuries of an independent Mexico, we sincerely apologize to the Maya people for the horrific persecution by individuals and national and foreign authorities during the conquest,” said Lopez Obrador.
He was joined by Guatemalan President Alejandro Giamatte at the ceremony in the southeastern state of Quintana.
Lopez Obrador specifically mentioned the 1847-1901 caste war, an indigenous uprising in which about 250,000 people were believed to have died.
His government has also acknowledged racism and neglect that perpetuate ethnic minorities.
“We apologize to the Maya people of Mexico … for the injustice done to them throughout history and for the discrimination they have suffered today,” said Interior Minister Olga Sanchez.
“Today, we apologize in the name of the Mexican government for the injustices that have been done against you throughout our history and for the discrimination that you now suffer,” he said.
‘Money never shows’
In Guatemala’s Zimbabwe, which has a large Maya population, slavery and war have been replaced by other problems such as violence and immigration.
“We are facing the loss of human life – now with organized crime, malnutrition and so many opportunities that so many people look away,” he said.
Gearing was heard at the event from residents Opposition Construction of Lopez Obrador’s “Maya Train” pet project to connect Caribbean resorts with ancient archaeological sites.
Rail critics say it will harm the environment and harm the indigenous community.
Although the Maya survived in Mexico, it has grown out of the rich tourism industry since 1974 at coastal resorts such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen.
Most are small farmers or fruit growers or builders or cleaners in resorts.
The coast of Cancun is known south as the “Riviera Maya” and aquatic gardens often have “Mayan” attractions, but the vast majority of the Maya live in poverty in the southern, undeveloped part of Quintana Roo, south of Philip Carillo Puerto on the border with Belize.
Mayan activist Alfaro Yam told Canol Associated Press, “We understand that we have a great history, which we hold as an example, and people make a lot of money from our names, but that money never appears in our community.” Alfaro Yam told Canol Associated Press.