The Mexican Conquest of the Southwest - Review of a Video, 'Conquest of Aztlan'

By Wayne Lutton
Volume 12, Number 3 (Spring 2002)
Issue theme: "Media coverage on immigration - where's the balance?"

"Conquest of Aztlan" - A Video produced by Glenn Spencer

Color, 48 minutes, $19.95 plus s&h

Available from Voices of Citizens Together/American Patrol

(818) 501-2061 or

Twenty years ago, Carlos Loret de Mola wrote an article, "The Great Invasion: Mexico Recovers Its Own," in Excelsior, July 20, 1982, the leading newspaper of Mexico City. In words that reverberate today, de Mola noted that "[The American Southwest] seems to be slowly returning to the jurisdiction of Mexico without the firing of a single shot, nor requiring the least diplomatic action, by means of a steady, spontaneous and uninterrupted occupation." As he went on to observe

"The United States is the richest and best organized country in the world, within the limitations of the capitalist system...But the Mexicans in the southern part of this nation continue to be Mexican and even to impress their personality on their surroundings, in limited proportions and yet ever growing...The U.S. upper classes in the western states live in increasing splendor. Their apogee of luxury and comfort doubtlessly marks the inevitable beginning of their decadence. The Mexican invasion continues....

"The territory lost in the 19th century by a Mexico torn by internal strife and under centralist dictatorships...seems to be restoring itself through a humble people who go on settling various zones that once were ours on the old maps.

"Land, under any concept of possession, ends up in the hands of those who deserve it. All of us Mexicans should prove ourselves worthy of what we have and what we want. The problem is one of organization.

"And those humble Mexicans-the braceros, the ‘wetbacks,' the undocumented, teach us with their example of tough, iron-like character and their spirit of great adventure how to overcome a hostile environment. Let us imitate them from within the Mexico that belongs to us."(1)

A new video documentary, "Conquest of Aztlan," prepared by Glenn Spencer, details how this Reconquista of California continues. Spencer's moving report includes video clips from West Coast Latino demonstrations, political rallies, and excerpts from speeches by leading Mexican officials.

The video opens with a statement by prize-winning Mexican journalist Elena Ponyatovska, who has taught at Harvard and Yale. She chortles that "Mexico is recovering the territories yielded to the United States by means of migratory tactics." The 2000 U. S. Census confirms that she is right Millions of Mexicans, legal and illegal immigrants alike, streamed into the United States over the past decade, transforming many parts of this country.

Mexican political leaders of all parties see the migration of their people northward into the United States as a positive development. This video includes a clip of then Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo speaking in Chicago on July 27, 1997, where he declared to a convention of La Raza, "I have proudly affirmed that the Mexican nation extends beyond the territory enclosed by it's borders, and that Mexican migrants are an important, a very important part of it."

Zedillo then announced his support for a new dual-citizenship law just introduced in the Mexican legislature: "My government proposes a constitutional amendment to allow with the right and the desire to acquire another nationality to do so without first being forced to give up his or her Mexican nationality...Viva La Raza! Viva Mexico!"

While the Mexican government does not hesitate to place additional military forces along its southern border to deter illegal immigration from Central and South America, it denies the United States the right to curb illegal immigration from Mexico. In response to immigration-related legislation enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1996, President Zedillo fumed, "We will not tolerate foreign forces dictating and enacting laws on Mexicans."

The election of Vicente Fox as President of Mexico has not changed the position of the major political classes within Mexico. Indeed, the Mexican government under Fox has taken additional measures to encourage its people to leave and head north. Last year the Mexican government started issuing Border Survival Kits, containing food, water, and medicine, to prospective illegal aliens. Fox's own border czar, Senor Ruffo, advises his people, "If the Border Patrol stops you, try again."

As Spencer's video shows, Mexican-American politicians openly endorse irredentism. For example, Mario Obledo, one-time leader of the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund, chairman of the California Coalition of Hispanic Organizations, and 1998 recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton, is seen in this video as looking forward to the day when California is going to be a Hispanic state. Says Obledo "We're going to take back all the political institutions in California...The Hispanics are going to be the majority population of this state." Speaking in Los Angeles, the Presidential Freedom Medal holder warned, "Anyone who doesn't like it should leave...they [White, non-Latinos] oughta go back to Europe."

Spencer later introduces his viewers to the speaker of the California State Assembly, Antonio Villaraigosa, who has been active in radical Mexican separatist politics since his student days at the University of California at Los Angeles. A leader of MEChA [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan], his organization includes among its goals the carving of a separate Hispanic republic out of the Southwestern United States. During his campaign for mayor of Los Angeles last year, Villaraigosa refused to disavow this MEChA plank when asked to comment on it by reporters.

Unknown to most Americans, in 2000 the Mexican legislature recognized its first representative for Mexicans living abroad. Eddie Varon Levy, a resident of West Los Angeles, was elected to the Mexican Chamber of Deputies. His main responsibility is to protect the interests of Mexicans living in the United States.

The Fox Administration enthusiastically supports the right of Mexican expatriates to vote in Mexican elections wherever they live. The Mexican legislature hopes to add thirty more seats to represent Mexican nationals in the United States.

Readers of this journal are well aware that Presidents Bush and Fox have made an "amnesty" for the millions of illegal Mexican citizens residing in the U.S. a priority issue. Bush's political advisers see support for amnesty as a way to pick up some Hispanic votes for his 2004 re-election campaign. Cheap labor advocates simply want to ensure access to a large pool of low-wage workers.

But there is more involved here than just domestic political maneuvering and economic opportunism. Leading Mexican policy makers, on both sides of the border, see an amnesty as part of a larger process of "Mexicanization" of the American Southwest.

Glenn Spencer asked former senior Border Patrol officer Bill King, who was involved with the INS during the 1986 Amnesty program, what a new amnesty would mean for America:

Spencer: If we did have another blanket amnesty we might find between fifteen and twenty million people eventually being covered by it.

King: Oh, more than that, Glenn. If they covered everybody that made an application, with the Census Bureau telling us that there are eleven million illegals in this country now.

Spencer: And their family reunification.

King: And coupled with the family reunification program when they become citizens, that number is astronomical. If they take in eleven or twelve million people through a new amnesty program, that number would go to forty or fifty million, I'm sure.

Spencer: That would be half of Mexico.

King: Yeah, absolutely.

If the general American public is not yet conscious of what is at stake, not so Mexican revanchists. Mexican-American actor and political activist Edward Olmos is seen in this video in an interview on the Univision television network from August 5, 2001, wherein he observed, "We also are going to dominate this country [the United States]. And it's going to take, the way we are going, another 25 years and we are going to be the majority of the people, period!"

This scenario is not inevitable. Many Americans are still unaware of the changes that are taking place and what may be in store for them, and their children, if the United States continues to be "transformed" through mass immigration. Glenn Spencer's video documentary may serve as a wake up call for viewers.


1. See the Excelsior article in full in the Fall 1994 issue of The Social Contract, Volume V, Number 1, p.12, available in these archives.

About the author

Wayne Lutton, Ph.D., is editor of The Social Contract.