Reconquista (Mexico)

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For other senses of this word, see Reconquista (disambiguation).
The Hispanic and Latino American population in the United States in 2010 and the Mexican-American border of 1836 in red.

The Reconquista ("reconquest"), also Greater Mexico, is the characterization of the increased demographic and cultural presence of Mexicans in the Southwestern United States, an area that was part of Mexico before the Texas annexation (1845) and the Mexican Cession (1848), as a trend leading toward territorial losses by the United States. The characterization, and the term itself, was popularized by contemporary Mexican writers Carlos Fuentes and Elena Poniatowska.[1][2][3][4]

The characterization was originally a jocular analogy to the Spanish Reconquista of Moorish Iberia, as the areas of greatest Mexican immigration and cultural diffusion are conterminous with the territories the United States gained from Mexico in the 19th century. However, certain groups that identify themselves with the modern Hispanic Mexico, such as the Mexican Nationalist Front, see the losses of northern territories after the Mexican War as illegitimate and seek a restoration of the earlier borders.

Views[edit]

A map showing how a 42-state Mexico could look if it recovered its former territories.

Mexican Nationalist Front[edit]

The front opposes Anglo-American culture influences,[5] abortion, gay marriage, and the presence of Evangelical and Protestant religions in Mexico.

They reject the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and what they regard as the American occupation of territory that originally belonged to Mexico (the Southwestern United States).

On its website, the front states:

"We reject the occupation of our nation in its northern territories, an important cause of poverty and emigration. We demand that our claim to all the territories occupied by force by the United States be recognized in our Constitution, and we will bravely defend, according to the principle of self-determination to all peoples, the right of the Mexican people to live in the whole of our territory within its historical borders, as they existed and were recognized at the moment of our independence."[1]

They also advocate the Second Mexican Empire and deplore the establishment of the republic.[6]

Ideologically, it proposes a Distributist economy, socialization and the Third-Positionist ideology as an alternative to both Communism and Capitalism.

The organization promotes Central America's reincorporation into Mexico and calls for Mexico to withdraw from the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP), World Trade Organization (WTO), the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the World Bank.

Charles Truxillo[edit]

A prominent advocate of Reconquista is Professor Charles Truxillo of the University of New Mexico (UNM), who envisions a sovereign Hispanic nation called the República del Norte (Republic of the North) that would encompass the Northern Mexico, Baja California, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and southern Colorado.[1]

Truxillo, who teaches at UNM's Chicano Studies Program on a yearly contract, states in an interview that "Native-born American Hispanics feel like strangers in their own land. We remain subordinated. We have a negative image of our own culture, created by the media. Self-loathing is a terrible form of oppression. The long history of oppression and subordination has to end” and that "Along both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border “there is a growing fusion, a reviving of connections.... Southwest Chicanos and Norteño Mexicanos are becoming one people again.”" Truxillo stated that Hispanics who have achieved positions of power or otherwise are “enjoying the benefits of assimilation” are most likely to oppose a new nation, explaining that “There will be the negative reaction, the tortured response of someone who thinks, 'Give me a break. I just want to go to Wal-Mart.' But the idea will seep into their consciousness, and cause an internal crisis, a pain of conscience, an internal dialogue as they ask themselves: 'Who am I in this system?”' Truxillo believes that the República del Norte will be brought into existence by "any means necessary" but that it was unlikely to be formed by civil war but rather by the electoral pressure of the future majority Hispanic population in the region. Truxillo added that he believes it's his job to help develop a “cadre of intellectuals” to think about how this new state can become a reality.[7][8][9][10][11]

In 2007, the UNM reportedly decided to stop renewing Truxillo's yearly contract. Truxillo claimed that his "firing" was due to his radical beliefs, arguing that "Few are in favor of a Chicano professor advocating a Chicano nation state."[12]

Jose Angel Gutierrez[edit]

In an interview with In Search of Aztlán on August 8, 1999, Jose Angel Gutierrez, a political science professor at the University of Texas at Arlington, stated that:

We're the only ethnic group in America that has been dismembered. We didn't migrate here or immigrate here voluntarily. The United States came to us in succeeding waves of invasions. We are a captive people, in a sense, a hostage people. It is our political destiny and our right to self-determination to want to have our homeland [back]. Whether they like it or not is immaterial. If they call us radicals or subversives or separatists, that's their problem. This is our home, and this is our homeland, and we are entitled to it. We are the host. Everyone else is a guest.[13]

He further stated that:

It is not our fault that whites don't make babies, and blacks are not growing in sufficient numbers, and there's no other groups with such a goal to put their homeland back together again. We do. Those numbers will make it possible. I believe that in the next few years, we will see an irredentists movement, beyond assimilation, beyond integration, beyond separatism, to putting Mexico back together as one. That's irridentism [sic]. One Mexico, one nation.[13]

In an interview with the Star-Telegram in October 2000, Gutierrez stated that many recent Mexican immigrants "want to recreate all of Mexico and join all of Mexico into one... even if it's just demographically.... They are going to have political sovereignty over the Southwest and many parts of the Midwest." [14]

In a videotape made by the Immigration Watchdog website (as cited in the Washington Times), Gutierrez is quoted as saying:

We are millions. We just have to survive. We have an aging white America. They are not making babies. They are dying. It's a matter of time. The explosion is in our population.[1]

In a subsequent interview with the Washington Times in 2006, Gutierrez said there was "no viable" Reconquista movement, and blamed interest in the issue on closed-border groups and "right-wing blogs."[1]

Other views[edit]

Felipe Gonzáles, a professor at the University of New Mexico (UNM), who is director of UNM's Southwest Hispanic Research Institute, has stated that while there is a “certain homeland undercurrent” among New Mexico Hispanics, the "educated elites are going to have to pick up on this idea [of a new nation] and run with it and use it as a point of confrontation if it is to succeed.” Juan José Peña of the Hispano Round Table of New Mexico believes that Mexican Americans currently lack the political consciousness to form a separate nation, stating that “Right now, there's no movement capable of undertaking it.”[8]

Illegal immigration into the southwest states is sometimes viewed as a form of reconquista, in light of the fact that Texas statehood was preceded by an influx of U.S. settlers into that Mexican province until United States citizens outnumbered Mexicans 10-1 and were able to take over governance of the area. The theory is that the reverse will happen as Mexicans eventually become so numerous in that region that they can wield substantial influence, including political power.[15] Even if not intended, some analysts say the significant demographic shift in the American Southwest may result in "a de facto reconquista."[1] A 2002 Zogby poll reported that 58% of Mexicans believe that the southwestern US belongs to Mexico.[16]

Harvard University professor Samuel P. Huntington stated in 2004 that:

Demographically, socially and culturally, the reconquista of the Southwest United States by Mexico is well under way. No other immigrant group in U.S. history has asserted or could assert a historical claim to U.S. territory. Mexicans and Mexican-Americans can and do make that claim.[1][2]

Neo-liberal political writer Mickey Kaus has remarked,

If you talk to people in Mexico... if you get them drunk in a bar, they'll say we're taking it back, sorry. That's not an uncommon sentiment in Mexico, so why can't we take it seriously here? This is like a Quebec problem if France was next door to Canada.[17]

Other Hispanic rights leaders say that Reconquista is nothing more than a fringe element. Nativo Lopez, president of the Mexican American Political Association in Los Angeles, when asked about the concept of Reconquista by a reporter, responded "I can't believe you're bothering me with questions about this. You're not serious. I can't believe you're bothering with such a minuscule, fringe element that has no resonance with this populace."[1][18]

Reconquista sentiments are often jocularly referred to by media targeted to Mexicans, including a recent Absolut Vodka ad that generated significant controversy in the United States for its printing of a map of pre-Mexican-American war Mexico.[19]

Statistics[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2009 and 2010, six out of seven U.S. states with highest proportions of people of Mexican origin were in the Southwestern United States, including the seven modern-day states that used to be part of Mexico - California (30%), Arizona (25.9%), New Mexico (28.7%), Texas (31.6%), Nevada (20%), Colorado (15.1%), and Utah (9.4%). 31% of Mexican residents of the six states (CA, AZ, NM, TX, NV, CO) were born in Mexico, the majority of the remaining 69% being second- and higher-generation Americans of Mexican ancestry. The four southwestern border states had only 23% of population of the country, but were home to 65% of all first-generation Mexican immigrants.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Mexican aliens seek to retake 'stolen' land". The Washington Times. 16 April 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Huntington, Samuel P. (1 March 2004). "The Hispanic Challenge". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  3. ^ (Spanish)"La otra "Reconquista": Las protestas migratorias en Estados Unidos potencian a movimientos de recuperación de la tierra "robada" a México en medio de las apocalípticas advertencias de Samuel Huntington sobre el fin del 'sueño americano'". Nuevo Digital Internacional. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Poniatowska: 'Avance de español e hispanos es como una reconquista'". Terra. 
  5. ^ "Neonazismo a la Mexicana" [Neonazism, Mexican style]. Revista Proceso (in Spanish). 
  6. ^ "Nazis cristeros" [Christian Nazis]. Revista Contralínea (in Spanish). 
  7. ^ Frank Zoretich, 'New Mexico Will Secede to New Nation, Prof Says,' Albuquerque Tribune, 31 Jan. 2000, p. A1.
  8. ^ a b Professor Predicts 'Hispanic Homeland' by the Associated Press (reprinted by Aztlan.net), 2000.
  9. ^ How Is America Going To End? Who's most likely to secede? by Josh Levin, Slate.com, August 5, 2009.
  10. ^ El Republica del Norte -- The Next American Nation by Brent Nelson, The Social Contract Press, Volume 11, Number 1 (Fall 2000)
  11. ^ Tancredo Praises Cuesta's Book Exposing Hispanic Autonomy Arising From Immigration, Prleap.com (reprinted on Wexico.com), April 30, 2007.
  12. ^ Chicano Nationalist Professor Fired Despite Student Protests of Censorship by Michelle J. Nealy, DiverseEducation.com, November 20, 2007 (retrieved on December 6, 2010).
  13. ^ a b In Seach of Aztlán - José Angel Gutiérrez Interview, In Search of Aztlan, August 8, 1999 (retrieved on December 12, 2010.
  14. ^ Interview of La Raza Unida Party Founder Jose Angel Gutierrez by Michelle Melendez, Star-Telegram (posted on www.aztlan.net), October 18, 2000.
  15. ^ The Bulletin - Philadelphia's Family Newspaper - 'Absolut' Arrogance
  16. ^ "Aztlan": A Warped Vision of History to Justify Disloyalty to & Subversion of the U.S.A.: Latino Separatism in the American Southwest By Jack Ward, The Progressive Conservative, USA, Volume V, Issue # 2, January 2, 2003.
  17. ^ http://reason.com/archives/2010/07/19/mickey-kaus-interview/2
  18. ^ The article misspelled "populace" as "populous".
  19. ^ ABQNews - Updated at 12:15pm - U.S. Vodka-Maker Teases Absolut Over Mexico Ad