The president of Mexico, Manuel López Obrador, said this week that he had written to King Felipe, as well as the Pope, asking them to say sorry for "the wrongdoing" carried out against indigenous peoples during the Spanish imperial conquest of the Americas.
"I sent a letter to the King of Spain and another to the Pope that lays out the offences and asking for them to say sorry to the native peoples for violations of what we now call Human Rights," the left-wing politician said in a message on Facebook.
The president launched his message on the 500th anniversary of the Battle of Centla, considered the first confrontation between the Spanish 'conquistadors' and the original inhabitants of Mexico. "There was slaughter, use of force. The so-called conquest was carried out by the sword and the Cross," he added. He said he hoped for a reconciliation before the 200th anniversary of Mexican independence in 2012.
The Spanish government has replied saying, "The arrival of the Spanish 500 years ago... can't be judged from a modern-day perspective".