Monday, January 23, 2023

At the summit...

The problem with the Mexica (Aztecs) is not that they revealed themselves as primitive savages via the medium of human sacrifice atop their Templo Mayor, it is rather in the manner that they had seemingly industrialised mass murder there. 

Very close to the ruins of this sacred site, on what is now the Zócalo, Hernando Alonso would become the first person to be burned alive by his apparent compatriots in the New a heretic (closet Jew), on October 17, 1528.

Thanks to the Inquisition, his was a fate that would be suffered by many conversos in the Americas, yet the dispersed Jewish community would not experience the full production line until the twentieth century, and this is a distinction we need to bear in mind when we loosely deploy the term ‘genocide’, even here in Guatemala, or indeed in Ukraine.

Hernando Alonso had helped bolt together the brigantines which participated in the final assault on Tenochtitlán. And he had thereafter been above-averagely rewarded with a substantial cattle ranch north of the city and a new wife named Isabel De Aguilar, said to be “very beautiful”.

But when Cortés was taken out of the picture by nebulous accusations which forced him to return to Spain, factions remaining in the colony turned on some of his former favourites, and Alonso was accused by a Dominican monk of having attended a strange anti-baptism of his son in Santo Domingo before the mainland invasion — a ceremony said to have involved the washing away of the young lad’s earlier baptism with Holy Water using a quantity of red wine.

A key participant in this rite of reverse passage was Alonso's first wife Beatriz, taken by a fever during the conquest. Her illustrious brother Diego Ordaz was the first European to check out the view atop the Volcán de Popocatépetl.

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