Mexico’s president asks persecuted Yaqui people for forgiveness

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Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has apologized the Yaqui indigenous people for the country’s earlier crimes against the group.

In a Tuesday ceremony in the Vicam village in the north-western state Sonora, Lopez Obrador returned 2,900 hectares of land the Yaqui and granted them water usage rights that they have long demanded.

The Yaqui, which today numbers around 30,000 people, is known for its rigorous resistance the Spanish conquerors in the 17th century.

During the rule President Porfirio Diaz 1884 1911, the Yaqui were persecuted, deprived of their land and enslaved.

Up to 15,000 died, Lopez Obrador said.

The Mexican president recently asked for forgiveness on behalf the state for a massacre of Chinese people in Mexico in 1911 and for the consequences of the Spanish conquest.

The Mexican government is making gestures this year to mark the passing 500 years since the fall of the Aztec Empire and 200 years since Mexico became independent Spain.