During his trip to Bolivia, in front of representatives of popular movements, the pope asked for pardon for the abuses carried out by the Church during the so-called discovery of the New World and Portuguese colonization.
July 9, 2015
I humbly ask forgiveness, not only for the offenses of the Church herself, but also for crimes committed against the native peoples during the so-called conquest of America.
On that occasion, Pope Francis also noted that the Episcopal Conference of Latin America and his predecessors had done the same thing. He even quoted John Paul II.
Nevertheless, for the president of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, that wasn't enough. He published a letter on social media that he had his wife deliver to the pope. In it, he proposes that the Spanish monarchy, the Mexican state and the pontiff publicly apologize to indigenous people.
His wife, Beatriz Gutiérrez, is traveling through Europe to collect historical and archaeological artifacts from Mexico, to display them for the bicentennial celebration of the Independence of Mexico, which concludes in 2021. She asked the Vatican for historical maps of Tenochtitlán and three manuscripts on the Mixtec, Nahuatl and Tolteca-Chichimeca cultures. She met with Pope Francis on Oct. 10.
It isn't the first time López Obrador asks the Vatican for a public apology. He did it in 2019, to which then-spokesman Alessandro Gisotti responded to the EFE news agency that the pope had already apologized in the past. On the other hand, the Vatican is much more likely to grant Mexico's request to borrow manuscripts and maps for the exhibition.