The writer Pedro Ángel Palou calls to change the idea of ​​a losing Mexico

Mexico City, Jul 18 (EFE) .- For the Mexican writer Pedro Ángel Palou, the commemoration of the 500 years of the fall of Tenochtitlan is a pretext to change the false idea, through his podcast and other projects, that Mexicans are some losers and this is the legacy of their past.

“From elementary school in Mexico they teach you a defeatist history; the Spanish beat us, the gringos beat us in the 19th century, they took half of our territory; in soccer we always lose on penalties and I want to demystify that,” he says this Sunday in an interview with Efe the author.

Palou, winner of the prestigious Xavier Villaurrutia award and recipient of numerous other distinctions, is the author of a 10-episode podcast series entitled “The Fall: Tenochtitlán”, broadcast on the Himalaya Pro podcast platform, in which the novelist aspires to reach readers and also those who are not.

“With the podcast you reach a different audience, who are afraid of the book, of the solemnity of history. Now they can put on their headphones and in 15 minutes they receive enough information to shake their historical certainties,” he explains.


Palou’s series (Puebla, 1966) tells that in reality it was not the Mexicans who lost to the Spanish, but the Mexica, a particular group, defeated in a war of alliances with their great enemies as protagonists.

“At one point in this war there are 10,000 indigenous soldiers and barely 800 Spaniards against the Mexica infantry, what happens is that after Porfirio Díaz and the Mexican Revolution (1910) we were led to believe that we were a monolithic, unitary nation. As he says the linguist Yasnaya Elena, we are a multi-ethnic country, a group of nations, “she points out.

The 10 chapters of the series on Tenochtitlan disprove myths such as that Mexicans were impressed by the mirrors that the Spanish exchanged for gold or that Malinche, mother of a son of the conqueror Hernán Cortés, was a traitor.

“The Mexica had obsidian mirrors as beautiful as quicksilver, they didn’t need those from the Spanish, and Moctezuma’s gifts to Cortés were better than those from Cortés to Moctezuma. As for Malinche, today we know that she was the victim of a kidnapping. , a Mayan princess given as a tribute, “he recalls.

Palou says that there is no evidence of a love between Cortés and Malinche and when he could, the Spaniard sent for his wife Catalina Juárez, Marcaida, to Cuba, and as he no longer needed the indigenous woman, he married her to a third-class soldier. .

“Not the house with a captain general, he does not consider it important. La Malinche was a woman who used as he used other women, who raped,” he adds.


One of the richest part of the writer’s narratives is the one referring to the customs of the Mexica, who did not drink alcohol before they were old, were hygienic, did not steal and were not corrupt.

“The friars, the priests, when rewriting history, the elites, have put it into our heads that some superior beings arrived militarily, scientifically more civilized before a barbarian body that sacrificed humans, they had no sophistication and they led them to modernity”, insists.

Author of historical novels about Pacho Villa, Porfirio Díaz, Lázaro Cárdenas and other icons of Mexican history, Palou is a student of history, who highlights the contribution of researchers such as the Canadian Barbara Mundy or the English-American Matthew Restall, renovators of Mexican historiography and archeology, whose works he praises in the series.

For the writer, who is preparing a novel about the Mexica to be published in 2022, it is an excess to say that Mexicans carry the corruption gene inside them, as some claim, and he believes that it is possible to eliminate the reputation of being corrupt from those who have the power.

These projects by the Mexican writer are in line with the marathon of ceremonies that the Mexican Government has prepared throughout 2021 to commemorate, among other events, the 500th anniversary of the conquest of Hernán Cortés (1521), now renamed “indigenous resistance “.


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