Aztlán is the legendary ancestral home of the Aztec peoples. Aztecah is the Nahuatl word for “people from Aztlán”. The place Aztlán is mentioned in several ethnohistorical sources dating from the colonial period, and each of them give different lists of the different tribal groups who participated in the migration from Aztlán to central Mexico, but the Mexica who went on to found Mexico-Tenochtitlan are mentioned in all of the accounts. Historians have speculated about the possible location of Aztlán and tend to place it either in northwestern Mexico or the southwest US, although there are significant doubts about whether the place is purely mythical or represents a historical reality.
Aztlán refers to the lands of Northern Mexico that were annexed by the United States as a result of the Mexican-American War. Aztlán became a symbol for mestizo activists who believe they have a legal and primordial right to the land. In order to exercise this right, some members of the Chicano movement propose that a new nation be created, a República del Norte.
Under the euphemisms “Hispanic Homeland” and “Nation of Aztlán,” activists from numerous organizations including Mexican-American Legal Defense and La Raza (The Race) are advocating the annexation of large portions of the southwestern United States by Mexico. “Republica del Norte” (Republic of the North), which would include the present US states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, plus southern Colorado, along with several current Mexican states, is “an inevitability” says Charles Truxillo, professor, formerly of the University of New Mexico. He further states the new “Hispanic Homeland” should be brought into being “by any means necessary.”
A “Hispanic Homeland” could be written off as the work of extremists were it not for its widespread support by Mexicans. A June 2002 Zogby poll of Mexicans found that a substantial majority of Mexican citizens believe that southwestern America is rightfully the territory of Mexico and that Mexicans do not need the permission of the US to enter. The poll found that 58% of Mexicans agree with the statement, “The territory of the United States’ southwest rightfully belongs to Mexico.” Zogby said 28% disagreed, while another 14% said they weren’t sure.
Amid accusations of an effective “open border” policy, the idea of Aztlán brings new importance to the question of what’s really going on. This of great importance to me, as it is agreed by nearly all theories that Estrella Vista lies at the heart of Aztlán.
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