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Reconquista (Mexico)

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

The Reconquista ("reconquest") is a term that is used (not exclusively) to describe plans by different individuals, groups, and/or nations to reconquer the U.S. Southwest, territories that had pertained to Mexico before the Texas annexation (1845) and the Mexican Cession (1848), as a consequence of the Mexican American War, for distinct purposes.

In 1917, according to the intercepted Zimmerman telegram, in exchange for joining Germany as an ally against the United States during World War I, Germany was ready to assist Mexico to "reconquer" its lost territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona.

For Chicanos in the 1960s, the term, although not invoked, was understood as taking back "Aztlán," the mythical homeland located in the U.S. Southwest where the ancient indigenous ancestors of the Chicanos, emerged.

In the late 1990s to early 2000s, as U.S. census date showed that the demographics of Mexicans in the Southwestern United States had increased, the term was popularized by contemporary Mexican intellectuals, such as Carlos Fuentes, Elena Poniatowska, and President Vicente Fox,[1][2][3] who spoke of Mexican immigrants maintaining their culture and Spanish language in the United States as they migrated in greater numbers to this area.

The characterization was originally an analogy to the Spanish and Portuguese 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.


Mexican writers

In a 2001 article on Latin American web portal Terra entitled "Advancement of the Spanish language and Hispanics is like a Reconquista (Reconquest)," Elena Poniatowska said:

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—Source, Terra, 2001. Advancement of Spanish language and of Hispanics is like a Reconquista (Reconquest)[4]

In his keynote address at the Second International Congress of the Spanish language held in Valladolid, Spain in 2003 entitled "Unity and Diversity of Spanish, Language of Encounters," with regards to "reconquista," Carlos Fuentes said:

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—Source, Congresos de la Lengua. 2003. Keynote address, Second International Congress of the Spanish language.[5]

In another part of his discourse, Fuentes briefly returns to his idea of "reconquista":

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—Source, Congresos de la Lengua. 2003. Keynote address, Second International Congress of the Spanish language.[5]

Thus, Poniatowska and Fuentes' concept of reconquista can be viewed as a metaphor for the linguistic tendencies by a diverse group of peoples who share a common and historical connection to the Spanish language within the Americas over the course of 500 years, which, incidentally, includes the border region of the U.S. Southwest.[citation needed]

Nationalist Front of Mexico

File:Mexico 42 estados.PNG
A map showing how a 41-state Mexico could look if it recovered its former territories.

The Nationalist Front of Mexico opposes Anglo-American culture influences[6] and rejects the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, as well as what its members consider the "American occupation" of territory formerly belonging to Mexico and now form 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][dead link]

Charles Truxillo

A prominent advocate of Reconquista was Chicano activist and adjunct professor Charles Truxillo (1953–2015)[7] of the University of New Mexico (UNM), who envisioned a sovereign Hispanic nation called the República del Norte (Republic of the North) that would encompass Northern Mexico, Baja California, California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.[1] He supported the secession of U.S. Southwestern states to form an independent Chicano nation, arguing that the Articles of Confederation gave individual states full sovereignty and thus the legal right to secede.[7][8]

Truxillo, who taught at UNM's Chicano Studies Program on a yearly contract, stated 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 believed that the República del Norte would 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 believed it's his job to help develop a “cadre of intellectuals” to think about how this new state can become a reality.[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 "Tenure is based on a vote from my colleagues. Few are in favor of a Chicano professor advocating a Chicano nation state."[12]

Jose Angel Gutierrez

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:

He further stated that:

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:

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

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[who?] say the significant demographic shift in the American Southwest may result in "a de facto reconquista."[1][dubious ]

A May 2006 Zogby poll reported that 58% of Mexicans believe that the southwestern US belongs to Mexico.[16]

Harvard University professor Samuel P. Huntington stated in 2009 that:

Neo-liberal political writer Mickey Kaus has remarked,

Other Hispanic rights leaders say that Reconquista is nothing more than a fringe movement. 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] Reconquista is a recurring theme in contemporary fiction and non fiction.[20]

The National Council of La Raza (NCLR)—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—has stated on its website that it "has never supported and does not endorse the notion of a Reconquista (the right of Mexico to reclaim land in the southwestern United States) or Aztlán."[21]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "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. (registration required)
  3. ^ "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'" (in español). Nuevo Digital Internacional. 18 April 2006. Retrieved 14 February 2013. 
  4. ^ "Poniatowska: 'Avance de español e hispanos es como una reconquista'" (in Spanish). Terra. 2001. Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Fuentes, Carlos. "Unidad y diversidad del español, lengua de encuentros (Unity and Diversity of the Spanish Lanuguage, Language of Encounters". Congresos de la Lengua (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 April 2015. 
  6. ^ "Neonazismo a la Mexicana" [Neonazism, Mexican style]. Revista Proceso (in Spanish). 
  7. ^ a b "Remembering Dr. Charles Truxillo". University of New Mexico. February 9, 2015. Retrieved April 14, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Professor Predicts 'Hispanic Homeland'". Kingman Daily Miner. AP. 21 January 2000. p. 11. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  9. ^ How Is America Going To End? Who's most likely to secede? by Josh Levin,, 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, (reprinted on, April 30, 2007.
  12. ^ Chicano Nationalist Professor Fired Despite Student Protests of Censorship by Michelle J. Nealy,, 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, October 18, 2000.
  15. ^ The Bulletin - Philadelphia's Family Newspaper - 'Absolut' Arrogance[dead link]
  16. ^ "American Views of Mexico and Mexican Views of the U.S.". NumbersUSA. Zogby. 25 May 2006. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 
  17. ^ "Unions ‘Own the Democratic Party’". Retrieved 2015-03-20. 
  18. ^ The article misspelled "populace" as "populous".
  19. ^ ABQNews - Updated at 12:15pm - U.S. Vodka-Maker Teases Absolut Over Mexico Ad
  20. ^ State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America. – October 2, 2007 by Patrick J. Buchanan (Author).
    The Second Mexican-American War (The Guns, Ammo and Alcohol Trilogy Book 1). – 21 September 21, 2012 by Les Harris (Author).
    The Aztlan Protocol: Return of an Old World Order. – October 26, 2014 by Aldéric Au (Author).
  21. ^ "reconquista and segregation". National Council of La Raza. Retrieved 16 April 2015.