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(MEXICO CITY) Mayan History Report: President has apologised to the indigenous Mayan people for abuses committed against them over the five centuries since the Spanish conquest #AceHistoryDesk report

#AceHistoryReport – May.05: Andrés Manuel López Obrador spoke at an event also attended by Guatemalan leader Alejandro Giammattei in the south-east state of Quintana Roo:

Mexico apologises to Mayan people for historic abuses: ‘He focused on the 1847-1901 Caste War revolt in which around 250,000 people are believed to have lost their lives’

Native Americans with traditional costume participate at the festival of Valle del Maiz in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. (Photo by: Kobby Dagan/VW Pics/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Native Americans in traditional costume in Mexico (file image)

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.”

Historic but unsurprising 

Will Grant, BBC Mexico and Central America correspondent

It isn’t entirely surprising that Andrés Manuel López Obrador is the president to make this official apology to the Mayan people: he first made his name as a vocal activist for indigenous rights in his home state of Tabasco. 

But that makes it no less historic. 

It will come as something of an important milestone to Mayan leaders who have long pushed for greater recognition of the wholesale slaughter of their people and near eradication of their culture and customs by the Spanish and Mexican governments. 

However, the timing will also be met with some scepticism. There is just a month before vital legislative and municipal elections, and President López Obrador continues to push forward with his pet project of the Tren Maya – a tourist train which will run through a region called the Riviera Maya – despite overwhelming local opposition.

The handprints, found in a cave in Mexico, are believed to be part of an ancient Mayan ritual

Mayan urn returned to Mexico by Albion College

14 April

Mexico Foreign MinistryThe piece has been at Albion College in Michigan since 1969

A Mayan urn, made between 900 and 1600 AD, is returning to Mexico after spending more than 50 years at a college in the United States.

The urn, considered to be of high historical value, has been housed at Albion College, Michigan, since 1969.

The Mexican foreign ministry said the urn would now be taken to the Museo de los Altos in Chiapas.

The artefact will be displayed alongside a twin urn that is on show at the museum.

“The recovery of this Mayan urn and reunification with its twin artefact represent an act of great importance for Mexico and its historical heritage,” the ministry said in a statement. 

The urn, from the archaeological site Laguna Pethá in Chiapas, “has a value intrinsically linked to the history and context of its peoples of origin”, it added.

Officials from Albion College and the Consulate of Mexico in Detroit signed the agreement on Tuesday.

“The actual definition [of repatriation] is to return someone or something to their own country,” Elizabeth Palmer, head of the Albion College Archives, told the Albion Pleiad.

“Recognising that most pieces of history belong to a specific culture, to a specific country, a specific area and that area, that country should be the rightful owners of whatever object it might be.”

Map

The Mayan urn was donated to Albion College Archives by alumnus Marvin Vann in 2003, the Pleiad reported.

It said he had made “personal expeditions” to Mexico and also left the college many other documents and papers.

Ms Palmer said: “Everything else is very legitimate. It’s just this urn that is problematic.”

In their time, the Mayans ruled large stretches of territory in what is now southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras.

#AceHistoryDesk report ……Published: May.05: 2021:

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