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The Mexica Movement is a self-described indigenous-rights educational organization based in Los Angeles, California. The group is active in the Southern California protest scene and has a strong internet presence. Members also host weekly teach-ins at East Los Angeles College and have delivered lectures to university crowds across the nation. The organization's position is to support only the Indigenous peoples of North America, and it recognizes none of the current governments of the Americas, calling them all "colonial" and "European-imposed". Their style is confrontational but non-violent. The organization has protested the Minuteman Project, Save Our State, and The Walt Disney Company.

The organization's ultimate objective is the civilized, non-violent "liberation" of the North American continent from European-descent control, with an Indigenous populace and culture that is independent of Eurocentric orientation. These European descendants include Spanish and other European descendents in Mexico and Latin America as well as the United States. This liberation is expected to take place over multiple generations and involves marshaling massive media and educational resources in order to change the way people understand the history of the continent and its people.

Name and origin

The Mexica Movement was founded in the 1993 as the Chicano Mexicano Mexica Empowerment Committee (CMMEC) by the poet and writer Olin Tezcatlipoca (who legally renamed himself in the Nahuatl language as part of the reclamation of his indigenous identity). The group's name is derived from the Nahuatl word Mexica (/mesheeka/), the name the Aztecs used for themselves. (They never referred to themselves "Aztecs"). The group has a collective leadership structure, with a few members forming the core of the group's intelligentsia in Los Angeles.

Logo Symbolism

Mexica Movement logo

Mexica Movement's logo features indigenous Mesoamerican symbolism. The black-and-white design in the center represents the Mayan depiction of duality (life and death, male and female, matter and spirit, etc.), which is called Hunab Ku in the Mayan language and Ometeotl in the Nahuatl language. The dualities complement one another and are unified in balance.

The four colors of the flag represent the Nahua version of the four directions which are common to almost all indigenous cultures of the Americas, albeit with regional variations. The four directions represent the astronomical phenomena of the two solstices and two equinoxes during the cycle of one solar year, which thereby "frame" the cosmological realm of indigenous people. These astronomical events have long been considered important astronomical events in almost all indigenous cultures of the continent, especially as temporal markers for agriculture. The four directions, therefore, symbolize the spatial area of the continent in direct interaction with the cycles of time. The colors represent indigenous Manifestations of The Creator (which the organization characterizes as qualities and functions of a single Creator): red for Tlaloc, white for Quetzalcoatl, black for Tezcatlipoca and blue for Huitzilopochtli. The flag is oriented with east at the top, as opposed to north, as European map models are oriented. East is the direction of the rising sun and is been of immense significance to indigenous peoples.

The flag was created by Olin Tezcatlipoca, founder and director of the Mexica Movement.


The Mexica Movement asserts that the entire continent of North America, which they refer to as "Anahuac", belongs collectively to the indigenous people of North America: Mexicans, Central Americans, Native Americans, and Canadian First Nations. The entire Western Hemisphere is referred to as Cemanahuac. People of European descent, the movement holds, are "illegal aliens" who have been trespassing on indigenous lands for over 500 years.

Land ownership

The Mexica Movement asserts that the entire continent of North America, which they refer to as "Anahuac", belongs collectively to the indigenous people of North America: Mexicans, Central Americans, Native Americans, and Canadian First Nations. The entire Western Hemisphere is referred to as Cemanahuac. People of European descent, the movement holds, are "illegal aliens" who have been trespassing on indigenous lands for over 500 years.

 Rejection of Aztlan Ideology

Unlike nationalists of the Chicano Movement, the group does not advocate "Aztlan" as a "homeland" for Mexicans and Mexican Americans. [3] The organization states that the concept of "Aztlan" is error-filled in that it relies on Eurocentric notions of borders. The group considers the Aztlan movement to be too limited in scope.

Instead, the Mexica Movement insists that the entire North American continent -- Anahuac, in the Nahuatl language -- belongs collectively to indigenous people.

The movement does not use European-imposed borders as a legitimate framework, viewing them as false borders imposed by trespassers from Europe (and their colonial children, what some pro-borders groups refer to as "anchor babies"). The group considers Aztlan to be inadequate.

The real Aztlan, the organization insists, is actually located in the area of the Great Lakes region, and refers to the Mississippian Moundbuilder civilization, a northern parallel of the Mexican pyramid civilizations. Moundbuilder cities like Cahokia and Mound City more accurately reflect the descriptions that the Aztecs attributed to their migratory lands of Aztlan.


The Movement asserts--based primarily on academic research by David Stannard, Ward Churchill, James Blaut, and Charles Mann--that beginning in 1492, Europeans and their descendants committed a genocide that killed 95% of Indigenous people[4], stole their lands and mineral resources, destroyed their cities and towns, denied them access to Indigenous cultural knowledge, and terrorized the Indigenous people with intense racism. This, they assert, allowed Europe and European-descent people to prosper materially and to develop themselves at the expense of Indigenous people.

The Rise of Europe

Habsburg-controlled Europe in 1540. The Mexica Movement asserts that European prosperity and advancement were achieved through a North American genocide.
Habsburg-controlled Europe in 1540. The Mexica Movement asserts that European prosperity and advancement were achieved through a North American genocide.

It was this "enrichment-by-genocide", the Mexica Movement maintains, that enabled the Habsburg dominance of Europe, transferred untold indigenous wealth into the coffers of the Holy Roman Empire, and catapulted Europe's economy from a land-based, feudal system into an investor-oriented, capitalist economy. Using academic sources, the Mexica Movement teaches that this new European capitalist economy was fueled by:

* killing off native populations and seizing their lands
* "free land" programs (e.g. the Spanish encomienda system, The Indian Removal Act, and The Homestead Act of 1862),
* a large influx of North American gold and silver into European treasuries,
* unpaid labor (slavery) forced across the Western Hemisphere.

Prior to 1492, the group maintains, Europe was less advanced than China and the Middle East and in search of surplus gold sources to trade for products which European merchants sought out in Asia. But because of genocide, Europeans were able to benefit from the immense wealth of North America (as well as South America). This wealth from land, resources, and slavery propelled Europe above the rest of the world and thereby supplied Europeans the capital to invest in projects leading to the Industrial Revolution, and by extension, the technology of the modern world.

Without this infusion of immense riches taken from North America and its civilizations, Europe would likely be a vastly different society today. The Mexica Movement states that this European prosperity was the result of criminality, even under the Christian laws of 16th-century Europe. The group says that European descendents in North America have continued to prosper from these crimes of murder and theft ever since, likening it to the legal concept of unjust enrichment.

Had Europeans not committed this genocide against indigenous people, the Mexica Movement asserts, it would have been the indigenous inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere that would have developed further advancements in their own civilizations, since they would have possessed the material means to enact new projects for themselves. The group points to the civilized momentum of the Mayan, Mexica, and (in South America) Inca civilizations as the most likely candidates that would have continued to make even stronger advances in writing, astronomy, calendrics, mathematics, engineering, and commerce.


All current borders across the Western Hemisphere are regarded as "colonial" and are rejected by the group. The only true border for Europeans, the group asserts, is the Atlantic Ocean seaboard. The group maintains that indigenous people have the right to move freely among their own people of the continent, with whom they share bloodlines, culture, and a modern condition of occupation/oppression under European descendants.


Central to their message is that the vast majority of Mexicans, Central Americans, Native Americans, and Canadian First Nations) are Indigenous people of the Western Hemisphere. They reject the terms Hispanic and Latino as labels for people of Mexican, Central American descent [5]. The movement asserts that these terms are Eurocentric and "kill Indigenous identity." As such, they assert, these labels are an extension of a 500 year-long genocide and ethnocide against Indigenous people and their identity. The group asserts that only labels which emphasize Indigenous ancestry are appropriate, such as the name Nican Tlaca. The organization asserts that both mixed-bloods (mestizos) and full-bloods are indigenous people, with European blood merely being a "colonial scar".

They promote the reassessment of white ancestry among Mexican Americans, Mexicans, Central Americans, Native Americans, and Canadian First Nations within a framework of "forced DNA rape" resulting from European colonization beginning in 1492 with Columbus. They advocate the cultural revival and "re-indigenization" (reclaiming of Indigenous identity and rights) of peoples of Mexican and Central American descent.

The group states that Europeans have engaged in a 500 year-long campaign to "de-Indianize" all indigenous people of the continent. The Mexican government places the percentage of Mestizos at 60% and of non-Mestizo indigenous people at 30% of the country's population. This leads the organization to claim that 90% of Mexicans are indigenous; however, they additionally claim that indigenous ancestry is predominant over Spanish ancestry (the latter being a "colonial scar.").

The Mexica Movement argues that holding onto a non-indigenous identity enslaves Mexican Americans and other "Indian"-descent people to European descendants who currently control the Western Hemisphere. They, therefore, disavow the labels "Hispanic" and "Latino," arguing that they unjustly emphasize the minority and "raped" European aspect the racial heritage of the indigenous and mestizo people of North America. They disavow the name "La Raza" as a glorification of mestizaje, which they claim came about only as the result of rape. They reject the term "Mexican-American" as a mark of assimilation and the term "Chicano" on the grounds that its development was based on an incomplete knowledge of history and language, and that the aims of the Chicano Movement were too narrow. They also reject "American Indian" and "Native American" as inaccurate terms coined by Europeans.

Instead, they favor the term "Nican Tlaca". Nican tlaca is the plural of the Nahuatl Nican tlacatl, literally meaning "here-person" in the sense of "local person". It was originally used in the 16th century in documents written in Classical Nahuatl, often as a translation of the Spanish word "Indio", or "Indian". The use of the word faded, however, and by the 17th century, the word "macehualtin", the plural of "macehualli", meaning "person" or "commoner" had all but completely replaced it. They recommend (but not require) that their members legally adopt Nahuatl names and also the Nahuatl term "Anahuac" to refer to North America.


The Movement advocates the use of Nahuatl and rejects the English and Spanish languages save as a means to educate the public and to attract new members. Other indigenous languages are also prized as an alternative to European languages


The Mexica Movement claims there is no illegal immigration from Mexico because the American continents actually belong to the indigenous people of the Americas as a whole. The organization has protested H.R. 4437 which calls for stricter immigration policies on America's southern border with Mexico. They accuse Sensenbrenner and the supporters of the bill of being racists and Nazi-like in their behavior. This accusation is often followed by pictures of these political figures dressed like Nazis.

They deride the "border security" Minuteman Project and advocates of "interior enforcement" such as Save Our State (SOS). The organization claims indigenous Americans who support SOS and the Minutemen are "vendidos" (sell-outs) who hate their own people[6]. The organization claims white Americans who support anti-"illegal immigration" groups are racists, themselves being the descendants of illegal immigrant-occupiers. The organization claims the Asian Americans who support the SOS Minutemen do it to gain support from white Americans to become "real Americans"[7] and ingratiate themselves into the good graces of European-descent Americans.

The group adamantly rejects the notion that European-descent people possess the legitimate authority to define Mexicans and Central Americans as non-indigenous people (mixed-blood and full-blood) on "North America." The example they often cite is that the Aborigines of Australia are never considered "illegals" on any part of the Australian continent, "no matter where they may migrate to, from Perth to Sydney. The same goes for us on our continent."[citation needed]

Another parallel the organization uses is that Native Americans from Seattle, Washington can travel to Miami, Florida and never be considered "illegal aliens," even though their particular tribal ethnicity is not rooted near the area of Florida.


The group is committed to a long-term liberation-by-education methodology which seeks to "change hearts and minds" by educating people of the civilized achievements of Indigenous people before 1492, and of the genocide and land/resource thefts committed by Europeans since that date. The group supports the preservation of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights as a legal framework to protect both Indigenous and European peoples' rights during the multi-generational process of liberation.

The movement consciously seeks to promote indigenous demographic increases that will lend themselves to a stronger population counterweight to the European-descent population. (The U.S. Census Bureau states on its web site that a 1-for-1 population parity will occur sometime around the turn of the next century.)

Given this new majority status, the organization seeks to have "white supremacist European settlers" become the first to return to Europe. The next phase, the groups advocates, should be a civilized negotiation to repatriate the remaining white population back into Europe, over the course of a few generations. Also to be addressed will be discussions of how Europe and European-descent people will collectively deliver reparations to the peoples of the Western Hemisphere.

Anahuac Theology

According to the Mexica Movement's section called "Anahuac Theology", indigenous Mexican/Central American theology is based on acknowledgement of reality, as opposed to belief in a supposed reality of "faith", as in the case of Christianity. It was this tradition of observation and acknowledgement that intertwined astronomy and religious observances, such as the solstices and equinoxes. This acknowledgement of the various facets of scientific reality are portrayed in dramatic, theatrical metaphors.

There are no gods (plural), but rather many manifestations of a single reality. These multiple, uncountable manifestations are expressions of an original creation source. This Creator is given many names by indigenous people, just as Jesus is given multiple names (e.g. Lamb of God, Messiah, Son of Man, Son of God, Redeemer, Savior, etc) in Christianity.[8]

Anahuac Theology has some core principles:

* The acknowledgement of reality is central ("belief" and "faith" are rejected because they require no proof); observation, intellect, and reason are stressed
* Scientific reality determines theological doctrine (not vice-versa)
* Knowledge is essential, education is never-ending
* A collective emphasis; indivdual self-esteem and honor come through actions that serve the collective community
* Use of dramatic, mystical metaphors to communicate the scientific reality of the cosmos
* The Creator is not a human
* Creator and Creation are unified, not separate; The Creator is everything
* There are no "gods": The Creator is single, with uncountable manifestations of a single reality as Space-Time; the "gods" are really functions, qualities, and roles of a single Creator
* Ceremonies and rituals are reminders to the community of important realities and events
* Complementary dualities generate the universe (e.g. Matter/Spirit, Male/Female, Time/Space, Chaos/Order, Life/Death, That Which is Seen/That Which is Unseen, etc)
* Prayer as action: one should live one's life as a prayer to The Creator through personal warrior actions
* Indigenous civilizations were warrior societies, and modern Indigenous people should strive to behave as warriors in defense of their people
* Civilized and ethical behavior are expected of Indigenous people

The movement maintains that indigenous theologies have been warped through the intellectual filters of Eurocentrism. The notion of gods, it is declared, has no linguistic basis in the surviving Nahuatl-language texts of indigenous people. The word teotl, the group states, does not translate to "god", "gods" or "deity", but rather into an idiom more akin to the concept of "sacred movement-matter." The unity of Matter and Spirit are stressed, just as an icecube is solid water in one instance, while being liquid or gaseous in other instances -- all being of the same "substance."

The group does not require its members to adhere to the formulation of its theological research findings, but also regards Christianity as a colonial device used to control indigenous people.


The Mexica Movement insists that people with at least partial indigenous ancestry should play indigenous people in movies, given Hollywood's track record of employing non-Mexicans to portray Mexicans on film. The organization has rallied to stop actors of European background from playing indigenous Mexican leaders like Emiliano Zapata and claims success in derailing Disney's $20 million movie production for the never-released film, "Zapata", which was to star Antonio Banderas, who is from Spain.

Group Affiliations

The Mexica Movement is not affiliated with any other organization (i.e. Mecha, National Council of La Raza, LULAC, MALDEF, Brown Berets, etc). The group also does not discriminate between "Native Americans" and indigenous-descent Mexicans/Central Americans, viewing both as a single nation of indigenous people, separated by European colonial borders and Eurocentric definitions. Likewise, it regards both mixed-blood and full-blood indigenous-descent people as one.


Rejection of M.e.c.h.a. Ideology

The Mexica Movement does not support the Mecha organization. The group views Mecha as being intellectually weak, unable to mount confrontations, and too concerned with "mestizo" identity (which the Mexica Movement views as a false, Eurocentric concept.)

The movement also does not support what it calls the "error-filled notion of Aztlan", which is concerned exclusively with the U.S. Southwest. Instead, the Mexica Movement claims the entire North American/Central American continent as its nation of "Anahuac." Spanish-drawn borders are considered "colonial" and hence, irrelevant.



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