Mexico’s president has sent a letter to Spain’s King Felipe VI and Pope Francis urging them to apologise for human rights abuses committed during the conquest of the region 500 years ago.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the indigenous peoples of Mexico had been the victims of massacres. Speaking in the ruins of an ancient city, he called for a full account of the abuses.
Spain rejected his call and called for a “constructive perspective” instead.
The territory which now makes up Mexico was under Spanish rule for some 300 years before gaining independence in the early 19th Century.
At the time of the conquest, Spain was a fiercely Roman Catholic country and saw as its mission the spread of Christianity to regions such as the Americas. BBC Reports.
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition (Spanish: Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición), commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition (Inquisición española), was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to replace the Medieval Inquisition, which was under Papal control. It became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Catholic Inquisition along with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. The “Spanish Inquisition” may be defined broadly, operating in Spain and in all Spanish colonies and territories, which included the Canary Islands, the Spanish Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, and all Spanish possessions in North, Central, and South America. According to modern estimates, around 150,000 were prosecuted for various offenses during the three centuries of duration of the Spanish Inquisition, out of which between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed.
The Inquisition was originally intended primarily to identify heretics among those who converted from Judaism and Islam to Catholicism. The regulation of the faith of newly converted Catholics was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1502 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert to Catholicism or leave Castile. The Inquisition was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabella II, after a period of declining influence in the preceding century.
The Spanish Inquisition is often cited in popular literature and history as an example of religious intolerance and repression. Wikipedia.