The character that has been given to national celebrations in 2021 has never been seen. The sublime coronation of September, a month that synthesizes national pride and identity, will be on September 27, with a majestic military parade to commemorate the bicentennial of the entry into Mexico City of the Trigarante Army, commanded by Colonel Agustín de Iturbide, who Dressed in a tailcoat, a hat with three feathers and a tricolor sash, he left behind his past as a rebel hunter, and thus consummated the Independence of Mexico. That will be the event planned by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, to crown his feat of historical revisionism, apologetics of the native peoples and systematic condemnation of Spain, for carrying out a “catastrophic” conquest that was a “failure”.
The president has tried to argue his characterization, as can be read in his most comprehensive speech on the subject, on August 13, on the occasion of the fall of Tenochtitlan, which he identifies as “500 years of indigenous resistance”, where he made mention that “a promonarchical writer from our continent, which is not a few, affirmed that Spain did not conquer America, but that Spain liberated America, because ‘Hernán Cortés – I quote textually -, brought together 110 Mexican nations that lived oppression by tyranny cannibalism of the Aztecs and who fought with him ‘. ”
López Obrador was referring to the Argentine international relations professor Marcelo Gullo, interviewed by the Spanish newspaper El Mundo on July 23, regarding his new book, Madre Patria, prefaced by the former Spanish socialist vice president, Alfonso Guerra, from which he got the verbatim quote to which you referred. Gullo mentioned that the black legend of the Spanish conquerors was an invention -fake news calls it- of the British Empire, which the Spanish left assumed with a historical complex for a long time. The direct reference to him, although he did not identify, provoked a response, also published in El Mundo 12 days later.
“In your speech you tried to avoid the issue of the anthropophagy of the Aztecs and I understand it because the evidence confirming the Aztec Holocaust is overwhelming,” Gullo refuted. “Today the scientific evidence is abundant and irrefutable, sacrificial stones with traces of hemoglobin, obsidian tools for this work, human skeletons executed by cardioectomy with cut marks on the ribs, decapitations.
“When you analyze history without prejudice and you don’t want to hide the truth, as do the supposed historians who advise you and who write about the supposed genocide that the Spanish conquest of America involved, but who keep silent on the issue of human sacrifices made by the Aztecs; It is concluded that the Aztecs carried out as a state policy the conquest of other indigenous peoples in order to have human beings to sacrifice to their gods and use the human flesh thus obtained as the main food of the nobles and priests.
“Year after year the Aztecs snatched the peoples that had conquered their boys and girls to assassinate them in their temples, as I verify in my work Motherland. Dismantling the black legend from Bartolomé de las Casas to Catalan separatism, Aztec imperialism was the most atrocious in the history of mankind. Such was the amount of human sacrifices that the Aztecs made of people from the towns enslaved by them that, with the skulls, they built the walls of their buildings and temples.
“The number of victims immolated was immense. Almost no scientist computes it at less than 20,000 each year, and there are still some who make it go up to 50,000. That is why on August 13, 1521, the Indian peoples of Mesoamerica celebrated the fall of Tenochtitlan. That day an immense joy flooded the hearts of the indigenous masses oppressed by the Aztecs. The main contradiction was, for the Aztec-dominated nations, life or death. To continue under Aztec dependence would have meant, for the Tlaxcalans and Totonacs, for example, to continue being -literally- devoured by the Aztecs ”.
He continued: “Completely misinformed or completely untrue, you stated: ‘What civilization can we talk about if the lives of millions of human beings are lost and the nation, the empire or the dominant monarchy does not achieve it in three centuries of colonization? not even recover the population that existed before the military occupation. ‘ I regret to inform you that the most serious scientific study carried out in this regard, the one prepared by Ángel Rosenblat, makes you look ridiculous ”.
In this study, the movement of the Mexican population in the 16th century is documented, and “without being carried away by the temptation of a black legend or a golden legend – neither of the two is adjusted by the history of man, and less that of the Hispanic man-, we have come to calculate a decrease of about two and a half million Indians from 1492 to 1570, and an American population of about 13 and a half million in 1492 ”, he added.
“By no means did 90% of the indigenous population die. And what happened after the conquest, after those first hours of blood, pain and death? Quite the opposite of what you claim. Spain fused its blood with that of the defeated and with that of the liberated. And let us remember that more were freed than defeated. As a result of this formidable miscegenation, loved by the Catholic Monarchs and established by them as State policy, they are before our eyes, among thousands of other mestizos. “
Millions of Mexicans are mestizo. Thousands are Creoles, descendants of Spaniards, like President López Obrador. The Spanish Empire, in its defense, was neither racist nor murderous, as were the Belgian, French and German, nor class-racist as the English. The historical review of the past to advance to the future is always healthy and useful, but opportunist revisionism like the one we live in today is something that we should avoid.