Mexican president asks Pope Francis for conquest apology

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Mexico's president published an open letter to Pope Francis on Saturday calling on the Roman Catholic Church to apologize for the abuse of indigenous peoples during the conquest of Mexico in the 16th century.
In the letter, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador also asked the Pope to borrow Mexico old pre-Hispanic Mexican documents or documents from the colonial era.
"The Catholic Church, the Spanish monarchy and the Mexican government should publicly apologize for the offensive atrocities committed by the indigenous people," the letter said.
López Obrador asked the Pope to issue a statement in favor of Miguel Hidalgo, Mexico's nineteenth-century independence leader who was once believed to have been excommunicated by the Church for participating in the uprising. However, researchers later said it appeared that Hidalgo confessed to his sins before he was executed, and therefore was not excommunicated.
López Obrador said, “I think it would be an act of humility and greatness at the same time” if the Church posthumously reconciles with Hidalgo.
The letter comes when Mexico struggles to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the 1519-1521 conquest, which saw much of the country's pre-Hispanic population die.
In 2019, López Obrador asked Spain for an apology for the conquest that left millions of indigenous peoples dead of violence and disease.
Spanish Foreign Minister Josep Borrell said at the time that Spain "will not make these requested apologies".

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