Mexico apologises to Mayan people for historic abuses

Mexico’s president has apologised to the indigenous Mayan people for abuses committed against them over the five centuries since the Spanish conquest.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke at an event also attended by Guatemalan leader Alejandro Giammattei in the south-east state of Quintana Roo.

He focused on the 1847-1901 Caste War revolt in which around 250,000 people are believed to have lost their lives.

Mexico is due to hold legislative and municipal elections shortly.

“We offer the most sincere apologies to the Mayan people for the terrible abuses committed by individuals and national and foreign authorities in the conquest, during three centuries of colonial domination and two centuries of an independent Mexico,” Mr Lopez Obrador said.

Guatemala’s Alejandro Giammattei said the Mayan people still faced suffering and neglect

“We have managed as a region to overcome aspects such as slavery, internal wars, and open confrontations between peoples,” he said.

“However, by revisiting our history, we can analyse the present and realise that we are still facing the loss of human lives but now at the hands of organised crime, because of malnutrition, and the tireless search for the dream and opportunities that so many people pursue.”

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