The Mexican government has officially apologized to the Mayan people for the injustice that has been done to the native population of the country for centuries.
“ We sincerely apologise for the actions of individuals, the national government and foreign units during the colonisation period and the two centuries of independence of Mexico,” said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador at a meeting with the Guatemalan president in the south of the country.
Apologies come on the eve of local and regional elections in Mexico. In addition, this year it is 500 years since the Spanish colonists conquered Mexico.
In his speech, López Obrador referred to the Caste War (or: Guerra de Castas) between the Mayan population and the Mexican government, which killed 250,000 to 300,000 people between 1847 and 1901. The President also acknowledged that the Mayan minority still suffers from racism and discrimination by the rest of the Mexican population.
It is estimated that 6 to 9 million Mayans live in Central America, particularly in Guatemala and southern Mexico. The term Maya is now used as a collective name of dozens of peoples, including the Yucateks, Akateken and the K‘iche’. Many of them today earn their living with unskilled work or in the tourist industry.