The Catalan foreign minister, Alfred Bosch, has, on behalf of the government, condemned "the abuses committed against the populations and original peoples of the Americas" during their conquest by European powers. He also "deplored" the role played by Catalan slave-traders.
Responding to a call made by ERC in the Parliament, he said that the conquest of the Americas was "perhaps the deadliest process in the history of humanity" and that it cannot be ignored.
"The colonial genocide, the conquest of America and everything that comes from it is true". He added that the arrival of Europeans on the continent meant "massive cultural destruction" and that the indigenous population fell from 60 million to 6. "Languages, traditions and documents disappeared" which are necessary to understand the richness and plurality of indigenous societies, he argued.
The president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, had called on Spain to apologise "to the original peoples for the violations to what today are known as human rights", a request Madrid rejected, accusing him of being a revisionist. The Spanish government said that "the arrival, 500 years ago, of the Spanish in the current Mexican lands cannot be judged in the light of contemporary considerations". Bosch today distanced himself from the Spanish government's policy, even switching to Spanish from Catalan, to address the Mexican president.
📽️ A los pueblos indígenas de las Américas y, en concreto, al presidente @lopezobrador_: nuestra condena a los abusos cometidos contra los pueblos originarios de América. Nunca más la barbarie, la dominación y la atrocidad. pic.twitter.com/joiZxyzRvf— Alfred Bosch🎗 (@AlfredBosch) 4 avril 2019
The minister noted that the governments of countries like the UK, France and the Netherlands have apologised for aspects of their histories as colonial powers. He said that the Catalan government "has no problem" accepting its responsibilities "deriving from history", especially over "events which are clearly reprehensible".