While many might agree that Spain should still be held accountable for colonizing several countries, not everyone thinks that Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Mexico’s president, should be the one to call them out on their past abuses. This week, AMLO announced that he sent letters to both King Felipe VI of Spain and Papa Francisco asking them to apologize for the atrocities committed against Indigenous communities during la conquista. However, many pointed out that the Mexican president should be focused on protecting these communities, which are still marginalized. One of his critics is Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, who had plenty to say.
On Wednesday, during the inauguration of the VIII Congreso de la Lengua in Córdoba, Argentina, Vargas Llosa spoke about AMLO’s letter. “The Mexican president’s [letters have] the wrong recipient,” he said, according to El País. “He should have sent it to himself and explained why Mexico, which joined the western world 500 years ago and has enjoyed full sovereignty as an independent nation for 200 years, still has millions of marginalized, poor, uneducated, and exploited Indigenous people.”
And he didn’t just stop at AMLO, Vargas said that this is a question that presidents from all of Latin America, especially those with many Indigenous peoples, should have to answer. “No country has resolved the proverbial injustice that Indigenous communities face,” he added.
Since the Spanish colonized these lands, there have been many instances where these communities have suffered at the hands of their own governments, including in Peru. He said these problems don’t belong to Spain; they belong to current governments.
But the author did have some final thoughts for AMLO: “Hopefully, when his term is over, Indigenous people will have better living conditions and better educational opportunities, and they’ll have been able to lift the burden of discrimination.”