Things That Matter

This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

As Mexico prepares to mark the 500th anniversary of the Spanish conquest, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (or AMLO) is demanding a formal apology from the Catholic Church for its role in the violent colonization of his country.

It’s no secret that the Catholic Church played a major part in the deaths of millions of Indigenous peoples across the Americas, as the church supported Spain’s conquest of the region. The church built missions throughout the country and often forcibly converted Indigenous people to Christianity.

Now, Mexico’s AMLO wants the church to right its wrongs with a formal apology and the return of several Mexican artifacts that are currently in the hands of the church.

Mexico’s President AMLO has asked Pope Francis for a formal apology for the atrocities committed by the church.

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

“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.

The letter was delivered to the pope by AMLO’s wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez Müller, who met with him at the Vatican following a meeting she had on Friday with Italian president, Sergio Mattarella.

In addition to an apology, AMLO asked the Pope to make a statement in favor 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.

AMLO 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 Mexico 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 fact, the letter came the same day that authorities in Mexico City removed a statue dedicated to Christopher Columbus that protesters had threatened to knock down.

So what exactly is in the letter and what does AMLO want from the Vatican?

Besides the formal apology, President AMLO also asked that the Vatican return to MExico three codices, including the Codex Borgia – an especially colourful screen-fold book spread across dozens of pages that depicts gods and rituals from ancient central Mexico.

It is one of the best-preserved examples of pre-conquest Aztec-style writing that exists, after Catholic authorities in colonial-era Mexico dismissed such codices as the work of the devil and ordered hundreds or even thousands of them burned in the decades following the 1521 conquest.

The president is also hoping the Vatican will return ancient maps of the city of Tenochtitlan (modern day Mexico City) that were taken amid the conquest of the city. AMLO hopes to exhibit the three codices and ancient maps for the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the arrival of the Spaniards.

This isn’t the first time that AMLO has demanded apologies from foreign governments.

In 2019, López Obrador asked Spain for an apology for the conquest, in which millions of Indigenous people died from violence and disease. However, the Spanish government completely rejected the request saying at the time that Spain “will not issue these apologies that have been requested.”

The Catholic church played a key role as Spain colonized the Americas and spread its empire, setting up missions to convert Indigenous people to Christianity, often through violence and coercion.

Although the Vatican hasn’t yet apologized to Mexico for its part in the conquest, the Pope has done so in the past. In fact, in 2015, Pope Francis apologized to Bolivia over the church’s role in oppression in Latin America during the Spanish colonial era.

So far, the Vatican hasn’t yet responded to AMLO’s request, however, it’s museums and archives have often lent out various manuscripts and works of art after similar requests from other countries.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Things That Matter

Mexican President Criticizes DEA For Role In Former Army Chief’s Arrest

Hector Vivas / Getty Images

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador criticized the historic role of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Mexico after a former Mexican army chief was arrested Thursday in Los Angeles on drug charges at the request of the DEA.

The former Mexican Defense Minister was arrested by the DEA on drug charges.

Salvador Cienfuegos Zepedas was the secretary of National Defense in the government of President Enrique Peña Nieto from 2012 to 2018. President Lopez Obrador claims that the arrest is proof of corruption from past governments.

President Lopez Obrador used the arrest to criticize the U.S. government and the DEA.

President Lopez Obrador, speaking at a press conference in Oaxaca, claimed that there is a double standard. While Cienfuegos Zepedas has been arrested by the DEA, the president claims U.S. officials have not been held accountable for trafficking arms into Mexico to track them to the cartels. According to the president, Mexican officials are being held at a higher and harsher standard than U.S. officials.

“Why is it that it’s just the people in Mexico who took part in these acts being accused or implicated, and (the DEA) aren’t criticizing themselves, reflecting on the meddling by all these agencies in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said at the press conference. “They came into the country with complete freedom, they did whatever they wanted.”

The former defense minister’s arrest sent shockwaves through Mexico.

Cienfuegos Zepedas was the first high-ranking Mexican military official to be arrested in the U.S. with drug-related corruption. He was arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport and will be facing drug and money-laundering charges. It’s been less than a year since Genaro Garcia Luna was charged with taking bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel led by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.

President Lopez Obrador wants to protect the military’s reputation.

Lopez Obrador also said he hopes that the armed forces aren’t blamed for this scandal and that Mexico must take care of institutions as important as the Secretary of National Defense. Mexico does not currently have an ongoing investigation of the retired general and will await the result of the U.S. investigation, according to the president of Mexico. 

Cienfuegos Zepedas is due to make a court appearance related to four charges in California on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020.

READ: This Is What Mexico’s AMLO Wants From The Pope For The Churches Crimes Against Indigenous Mexicans

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

Culture

Pope Francis Comes Out In Support Of Civil Unions For Same-Sex Couples

Franco Origlia / Getty Images

In a historic move, Pope Francis comes out in favor of same-sex civil unions. The announcement is being heard by Catholics around the world. The Catholic church has been notorious for its anti-LGBTQ+ views and Pope Francis continues to push the Catholic church into the 21st century more and more.

Pope Francis called on the passage of civil union laws for same-sex couples in a documentary.

“Homosexuals have a right to be a part of the family. They’re children of God and have a right to a family. Nobody should be thrown out, or be made miserable because of it,” Pope Francis said in the film.

The pope’s declaration is a clear departure from the Vatican’s long held anti-LGBTQ+ beliefs. The Catholic church has long demonized and ostracized LGBTQ+ people because of who they are and Pope Francis has done a lot of work to change that rhetoric from within.

Pope Francis has advocated for rights for several marginalized groups during his time as pope.

Pope Francis became the first pope from Latin America when he was chosen in March 2013. In the past seven years, Pope Francis has called for compassion for migrants fleeing violence in their countries, advanced LGBTQ+ acceptance in the Catholic faith, among other things.

“What we have to create is a civil union law. That way they are legally covered,” the pope said in the documentary “Francesco,” which debuted at the Rome Film Festival. “I stood up for that.”

The importance of the statement is not what he said but who he is to say it.

Popes before Pope Francis have long upheld the archaic views against the LGBTQ+ community. Pope Francis is the first pope to speak directly to the Catholic people in favor of humanizing and protecting LGBTQ+ people and their dignity. The pope has called on the church and Catholics to welcome LGBTQ+ people and took the stance that homosexuality is not an illness. Pope Francis’ papacy is a welcomed change for LGBTQ+ rights activists.

Catholic politicians are praising the pope for modernizing the church bit by bit.

The declaration is not only historical, it is moving Catholics closer to accepting and embracing LGBTQ+ people in society. The pope holds a lot of power in moving the Catholic church and its followers. With declarations like this, the pope is pushing the church to reckon with its own teachings and take steps into the 21st century.

Some are wondering what this will mean for devout Catholics in government, like potential Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

Coney Barrett has been tied to vehemently anti-LGBTQ+ hate groups. While she claims that she doesn’t know that the organizations hold these views, as a devout Catholics the word of the pope holds weight. Many are curious to see if the pope’s words break through and resonate with the judge.

You can watch the trailer for the documentary below.

READ: Pope Francis Condemns Capitalism and Populism in New Official Church Document

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com