The Reconquista Movement: Mexico's Plan for the American Southwest

This is the third in a series of excerpts from the new book, “Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders.” Order your copy at Human Events Book Service. Read Monday’s installment, “21st Century Slave Trade: The ‘Guest Worker’ Amnesty” and yesterday’s “The Crisis in Social Services: Taxing the Middle Class.”

“Todos los Europeos son Illegals desde 1492”
(All Europeans Illegal since 1492)

—Handwritten sign carried by a street demonstrator, New York City, La Marcha, April 10, 2006

On January 7, 2006, the Minuteman Project held a National Day Laborer Site protest. Often, a day labor site is nothing more than a parking lot outside a building-materials store where the owner sees a business advantage to allowing illegal alien day laborers to stand around and wait for job offers.

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At the day labor site in Rancho Cucamonga, the Minuteman Project videotaped an angry Mexican who came out into the street to shout insults. “Go back to Germany where you belong!” he shouted. “Stay in Germany! Get out of here!” Then, pointing demonstrably to the ground with his right index finger, he screamed, “This is Mexico! This is our land! Get out of here, racist pigs! Viva Saddam Hussein! Viva Cuba!”

Clearly, the illegal immigrants at the day labor center didn’t want to be identified, since they were planning to take jobs at below-minimum wages and not pay taxes. Yet, the claim that California is actually Mexico was not made lightly. For millions of Hispanics in the Unites States, and for millions more in Mexico, the assertion is made in deadly seriousness.

The Reconquista Movement Takes Hold

At its core, the claim of the Reconquista (“Reconquest”) movement is that the United States stole large sections of the southwestern United States from Mexico in the 1800s. Mexicans and other Hispanics making these claims seek to reconquer this territory by taking the land away from the United States and returning it to Mexico. The goal of the Reconquista is to “reconquer” these “lost” or “stolen” territories for “La Raza”—the race indigenous to Mexico.

How will the Reconquista be accomplished? Today, millions of Mexican illegal immigrants are pouring into the United States. None of these illegal aliens are checked in any way. They live in the United States while swearing their allegiance to Mexico. By their sheer presence and numbers, those in the Reconquista movement believe that a time will come when they can take political control of local communities where Hispanics are the majority. The ultimate dream of the Reconquista movement is that political control can be gained in one or more southwestern states. Reconquista activists plan that the states controlled by Mexican immigrants would secede from the United States and join Mexico, much as the southern states seceded during the American Civil War and formed the Confederacy.

As preposterous as this seems, the Reconquista agenda has been pushed by the left for decades. Maps of Aztlan are drawn, incorporating large sections of the U.S. southwest and the theory that the U.S. stole the southwest from Mexico is actively taught by Leftists in Mexico as well as in “Hispanic studies” programs in U.S. schools. Those in the Reconquista movement understand the “Trojan Horse invasion” for exactly what it is. They plan to exploit America’s generosity to the fullest, all the while mocking us. The goal is for illegal aliens to get citizenship for themselves and their children so that they can eventually vote to return to Mexico large sections of the American southwest.

Revolutionary Reconquista Protest Themes

At the numerous protests in support of illegal immigration held throughout the United States in 2005 and 2006, we saw many examples of Reconquista banners and placards. In the crowd, Hispanic protestors commonly held posters that read in English: “If you think I’m ‘illegal’ because I’m a Mexican, learn the true history, because I am in my Homeland.” Yet another typical poster was carried by the Mexica Movement: “We are Indigenous! The ONLY owners of this continent.” Protesters waved Mexican flags. Mixed in the crowds have been posters and banners with typical communist or socialist slogans, as well as T-shirts and banners with the ubiquitous image of the revolutionary Che Guevara.

The Minuteman Project has a tape of Jose Angel Gutiérrez, a political science professor and former head of the Mexican-American Studies Center at the University of Texas, Arlington, a public university. [1] Professor Gutiérrez’s speech spouts typical Reconquista rhetoric:

We remain a hunted people. Now, you think you have a destiny to fulfill in this land that historically has been ours for forty thousand years. We are a new Mestizo Nation. This is our homeland. We cannot, we will not, and we must not be made “illegal” in our homeland. We are not “immigrants” that came from another country to another country. We are migrants free to travel the length and breadth of the Americas because we belong here.

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.

The Mexica Movement

What is known as the “Mexica Movement” is central to the Reconquista movement. From the Mexica Movement’s website,  we see the identification the movement makes with ancient Aztec roots. Their basic point is that current U.S. citizens are colonialists and European imperialists who stole the land of the southwestern United States from its true owners, the Mexican races dating back untold centuries. Here is some rhetoric from the Mexica Movement’s website:

Mexica Movement is a Nican Tlaca (Indigenous) rights educational organization for the people of Mexican, “Central American,” “Native American,” and First Nation descend of Anahuac, in what is now called “North America.” Occupied Anahuac includes the colonial nations of Canada, U.S., Mexico (also controlled by Europeans), and “Central America” (down to include “Costa Rica,” which are also controlled by Europeans). “North America is the geographical area of the culture of Anahuac, which is the culture of corn, which brought about our civilizations. We, the Nican Tlaca people of Anahuac, are one people. We are one race. We have origins in one culture. We include all Full-bloods and Mixed-bloods as Nican Tlaca. We include ourselves with all similar movements in the Western Hemisphere (including those now starting in “South America.”) [2]

It is hard not to be struck by the focus on race contained in this statement. Of course, when individuals on the Left use race as an argument, or, as here, when they base their entire political vision on race, it is politically incorrect to call the organization racist.

Aztlán and MEChA

Aztlán is the name for the mythical place of origin of the Aztec people. In the politics of illegal immigration, Aztlán has come to represent that part of the U.S. that the Reconquista movement intends to reclaim for an expanded Mexico. Maps drawn to illustrate Aztlán usually redefine Mexico to include much of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.
The goal of creating Aztlán is the dream of another radical organization, the Moviemento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, which translates as the “Chicano Student Movement of Aztlán,” more commonly abbreviated to the acronyms “M.E.Ch.A” or “MEChA.” The symbol of MEChA is a black eagle against a red background. The eagle holds in its right claw a weapon similar to a machete, and in its left hand a stick of dynamite. In the beak of the eagle is the lighted fuse needed to blast the dynamite.

The national constitution of MEChA is clear about its intent:

The Chicano and Chicana students of Aztlán must take upon themselves the responsibilities to promote Chicanismo within the community, politicizing our Raza with an emphasis on indigenous conscious¬ness to continue the struggle for the self-determination of the Chicano people for the purpose of liberating Aztlán. [3]

MEChA and America’s Leftist Agenda in the Schools

Underneath this racial agenda is a radical leftist political agenda that shares with socialists and communists the goal of destroying the United States. MEChA agrees with radical socialists and communists that the United States is a colonial, imperialist country controlled by Europeans and dedicated to capitalist exploitation of workers. MEChA presents a version of Marxism with a racist bent. MEChA has an extensive presence as a student organization with some 300 chapters in high schools and colleges throughout the United States. [4]

The Reconquista movement shares a desire to push back the U.S.-Mexican border to where it stood before the 1846–1848 Mexican-American War settled the breakaway of Texas from Mexico. All Reconquista radicals would be happy to see the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the 1853 Gadsden Purchase negated. Better yet, many extreme Reconquista radicals might like to revisit the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819, which established the border of U.S. territory from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

The only trouble with annulling the Adams-Onis treaty is that would cede the western United States to Spain. Reconquista radicals of today may speak the Spanish language, but their cultural and racial orientation harks back to the indigenous Indian or Aztec roots of ancient Mexico. Reconquista radicals want to deal with European Spain no more than they want to deal with the United States.

The Immigration Battle in the Streets Begins

The massive street demonstrations that America witnessed on March 25, 2006, in Los Angeles were repeated in scores of other cities on April 10, 2006. Obviously, street demonstrations involving tens of thousands of participants require elaborate planning and expensive, professional coordination. The lobby that is fighting for illegal aliens to win citizenship is extensive and well-funded. David Horowitz’s important website lists some fifty groups that are working together in the effort on the radical left. [5] We can add to this list some one hundred smaller groups that work on a local or regional basis, often in coordination with one or more of the larger national groups. Behind the scenes, the left has organized one of the largest protest movements in America since the massive civil rights marches seen all across the country in the 1960s.

Protestors Attack Minuteman Counterprotestors

The massive protests in March, April, and May 2006 supporting illegal aliens were entirely one-sided expressions of First Amendment rights. Minutemen who dared take to the streets in counter-protest risked attack and injury from the politically intolerant who were thrusting their message upon America as if theirs were the only legitimate message.

Protest marches spilled out onto freeways and blocked traffic in major cities, the point being to disrupt business-as-normal. The protest organizers quickly backed off encouraging students to walk out of schools when teachers’ unions complained that schools might lose government funds. Still, students displayed openly the leftist ideas that they had been taught about immigration, although flying the Mexican flag above an upside down U.S. flag on a schoolyard was not the image that organizing groups like MEChA or the National Council of La Raza wanted to broadcast.

After all, the plan of the radical Left is to launch an invasion that would only become obvious to Middle America when it was too late. The plan would fail if the American public saw too clearly the invading army instead of the cheap labor gift horse in which they were hidden. So, into the backpacks went the Mexican flags, replaced by the American flags that the protest organizers brought with them.

The National Anthem Rewritten as ‘Neustro Himno’

No analysis of the Reconquista movement would be complete without mentioning the national anthem controversy. In April 2006, British music producer Adam Kidron introduced a Spanish version of the U.S. national anthem, titled “Nuestro Himno,” or “Our Hymn.” [6] Not only was it written in Spanish, the lyrics of “Our Hymn” changed the original lyrics. Kidron released the “anthem” in a multiple artist recording where background singers added additional variations that appeared to be background to the song’s rewritten “Star-Spangled Banner” lyrics.

The song was released during the April and May 2006 pro-illegal immigration street demonstrations in cities throughout the United States. Rewriting the national anthem suggested to many that the only intent of the millions of illegal immigrants in America was to take over and re-invent the United States in their own image and to their own liking. Adverse reaction was immediate, creating for millions in Middle America the strong impression that we are losing America to the demands of Hispanic illegal immigrants.

[1]  An independently produced video of Professor Gutiérrez’s speech is widely available on the Internet, generally under the title of “The Nation of Aztlán.” The video is archived on and available for viewing by the public.
[2]  Mexica Movement, “Welcome to the Mexica Movement.”
[3]  Movimento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan, National Constitution.
[4]  Links for high-school and college MEChA chapters can be found on
[5]  “Groups, Immigration,” listed with links on David Horowitz’s website.
[6]  Associated Press, Laura Wides-Munoz, “Spanish ‘Star-Spangled Banner Draws Ire,” April 27, 2006.