165 Years of Internal Colonialism in the Southwest:
February 2, 1848, marks the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo with Mexico, the United States 'occupied' the Southwest United States (otherwise referred as AZTLAN) since for 165 years, the treaty ending the US War against Mexico. It was the first U.S. expansionist war. The northern territories of Mexico became the new U.S. Southwest of today. In the everyday oral history of our people this was passed on through generations as the story of 'nos robaron las tierras', they stole our lands. Whose land was stolen?
The land is the land, the original peoples lived on the land under a co-existing balance with nature, no one person owned the land. The land, belong to all who lived on it. The Europeans, Spanish as far as Mexico is concerned, occupied by military force, terror and violence the 'Americas' calling Mexico New Spain. Under their own invention called 'Right of Discovery' they justified genocide and the forceful removal of the original peoples in oder to occupy the land and transform it into 'private property'.
Starting in 1492, the Spanish Empire their terror and occupation of the Caribbean, Santo Domingo, Puerto Rico, and Cuba. Extending the occupation of what is now Mexico, from 1521 to 1821, 300 years of 'colonial rule' based on Monarchy system. This expansion of colonial rule brought Florida, New Orleans, Mississippi River and the US South under Spanish rule for hundreds of years, or French, English Dutch imperialists settler colonialists. Thus the Southwest, the South of the United States today share more common history of genocide, racism, colonial occupation and oppressive rule, plantation work, slavery, and war than we do under the rule and occupation by the United States. Approximately 300 years of colonial rule and oppression under the monarchical empires, and 165 years under US rule for Southwest, and 148 years for South African Americans since emancipation from slavery. Streets and plazas named after the assassin Ponce de Leon can be found from San Juan, Santo Domingo, to Florida and Georgia amongst other places and cities.
We share, Native American Indians, Indigenous, Mexicans (and Puerto Ricans in diaspora) and African Americans, a status of internal colonial subjects. As colonial subjects we exists in a culture and politics of oppression where like Puerto Rico we have a status of 'belonging to but not a part of' the United States. Indian removal, massacres and the forced confinement in 'reservations', another name for 'federalized' concentration camps, continues as policy and practice up to today. The Mexican removal laws, under the umbrella of immigration turned inhabitants of these lands into 'undocumented' migrants. To make the divide as permanent as possible the US government has 'walled' the US-Mexico border and militarized it with equipment and military, federal agents, homeland security and local law enforcement officers and 'deported' or force removal of millions of people annually resulting in hundreds who die crossing the border, while the US has an open border with Canada. The African Americans, brought from Africa and other regions by forced removal and enslavement under terror and forced labor, finally achieved their dream of freedom from slavery, but live under a 'Jim Crow' apartheid racism based on color of the skin, Black as inferior and whites as superior race. The Puerto Rico diaspora in US is a result of forced displacement due to colonial policies in Puerto Rico and labor demands by United States.