“The discrimination was based on the most vile and offensive stereotypes"
Mexico’s president has apologised for the 1911 massacre in which over 300 Chinese people were slaughtered in Torreón.
On Monday, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador made the apology as part of a series of ceremonies that are attempting to make amends for the country’s mistreatment of minorities in the past.
López Obrador said the purpose fo the apology was to ensure “that this never, ever happens again.” The President noted that the Chinese were mutilated and hung from telegraph poles.
“The discrimination was based on the most vile and offensive” stereotypes, López Obrador said, adding “these stupid ideas were transferred to Mexico, where extermination was added to exclusion and mistreatment.”’
Chinese labourers had emigrated to Mexico in the 1800s to work on the rail network. Some went on to set up businesses, farms and even a bank.
In 1991, 303 Chinese men, women and children were killed during the Mexican Revolution when revolutionary troops overran Torreón.
Revolutionists blamed the Chinese people for stealing their jobs and causing wage prices to drop. Others were reportedly jealous of the Chinese community’s economic success.
President Francisco I. Madero had agreed to pay reparations for the massacre but he was overthrown in 1913 and the payment was not made.
“It is during the most convulsive moments of history when these (racist ideas) get twisted into genocidal killings,” said Coahuila Gov. Miguel Ángel Riquelme.
Looting of Chinese businesses and the forced departure of the communities extended throughout Mexico into the 1930s.
Mexico is now relying on Chinese COVID-19 vaccine brands. 10.5 million of the 29.1 million vaccines received so far are Chinese.
Chinese Ambassador Zhu Qingqiao, who was present at the apology announcement, said the vaccines and medical equipment from China has “have left a strong imprint on the history of relations between our two countries”.
López Obrador said “we will never forget the brotherhood of the Chinese during the bitter and anguishing months of the pandemic.”
In other news, a study has revealed that more than 25% of all Asian characters died by the end of the film in 2019 movies.