President Felipe Calderon on Monday criticized both Americans and Mexicans for their roles in the 1846-1848 war that cost Mexico half its territory during a ceremony commemorating the definitive battle of the conflict.
Speaking on the 163rd anniversary of the Battle of Chapultepec, Calderon called the war an “unjust military aggression motivated by clearly imperialistic interests.”
Mexico lost about half its territory to the United States in the war, including much of what later became Arizona, Nevada, Utah and California.
But Calderon also said Mexicans deserved some blame.
“We lost because of the invasion and expansionist desires of our enemy, but also because of divisions among Mexicans,” the president said, noting a widely cited theory that Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna refused to send reinforcements to another general because of bad blood between the two, contributing to a key U.S. victory that allowed the invading troops to advance to Chapultepec.
“We only prosper when we are united,” Calderon told the crowd as Mexico prepares to celebrate the bicentennial of its 1810 independence Wednesday and Thursday. “That is the great lesson of our history.”