Mexico asks for “forgiveness” for “state crimes” against indigenous Yaquis

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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asked for forgiveness on Tuesday for “state crimes” committed against an indigenous people from the north of the country, the Yaquis. They will benefit from a vast investment plan.

A speech delivered more than a century after the fact. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador asked for forgiveness on Tuesday (September 28) for the “state crimes” his predecessors committed against the Yaquis, indigenous people from the north of the country. In compensation, Mexico pledged to implement an investment plan by distributing land and guaranteeing access to water and social security.

“We want to ask your forgiveness for state crimes committed against your ancestors,” the president said at a public ceremony in Vicam in northern Sonora state.

The head of state from the Mexican left recalled that the abuses mainly took place during the long presidency of Porfirio Diaz (1876-1880, then 1884-1911), considered a dictatorship by some historians.

The Mexican government has pledged to implement a “justice plan” for the Yaquis, who have tens of thousands of members in a country of nearly 128 million people.

It is about distributing land, guaranteeing the right to water and social security, recalled the Mexican president.

The plan provides for an investment of 11.6 billion pesos (488 million euros), argued Adelfo Regino Montes, director of the National Institute of Indigenous Peoples.

“It is a question of giving us back what is proper to us”, declared Jesus Patricio Varela, a representative of the Yaquis peoples, evoking “the territories of which we have been despoiled” and the “dignity that they wanted to steal from us. “.

“The Mexican state must never again allow marginalization, abuse or injustice towards the Yaquis or any other ethnic or cultural group in our country,” concluded the Mexican president.

The Yaquis peoples, grouped into eight communities, have been fighting for the defense of their territories and their customs since the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors at the beginning of the 16th century.e century.

The year 2021 marks a double anniversary widely commemorated in Mexico: the 500 years of the conquest of Mexico by Hernán Cortès and the bicentenary of the country’s independence.

With AFP

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