I knew that the German language in Austria was different from what I was used to, as well the food, the altitude, the flora and fauna, the drinks, the music, the climate, the laws, the culture, the behavior of the people. But "these little things" couldn't stop me. That's why I flew to Europe by myself without knowing anyone. The dancers in my group and the dancers of our dance boss said goodbye to me at the airport. It was the first-time drums and conch horns were played in the airport building!
First, I arrived in Frankfurt and took the train to Vienna. Everything was alien to me, the onslaught of people running or walking frantically. The microphones at the airport and train station often told people not to leave their suitcases alone because there were thieves who could take them belongings at any time. Long lines to buy tickets and lots and lots of shops everywhere and of all kinds.What a relief that I spoke German. However, I did not understand some of them very well, and when they spoke to each other I understood almost nothing, which worried me a little. I found out later that it was because many different dialects are spoken in Germany and Austria, such as Swabian or Bavarian.
Immediately after my arrival in the city of Vienna, I went to the museum to see our sacred feather crown for the first time, called UEYI KOPILLI KETZALLI - VERY REVERED PRECIOUS CROWN.
Our crown of feathers and gold was in a glass showcase without any special protection. A security guard was always with me and never left me during the 2 hours that I stayed there. I PAY to see my crown…
According to tradition, I knelt down as a sign of great respect. Because according to what I had learned, the UEYI Kopilli Ketzalli represented not only an important object, but also the real presence of the person to whom it belonged, no more and no less than the Aztec emperor himself: Motekuhzoma, called in Spanish: "Moctezuma "and in German and English " Montezuma". Antonio Vivaldi even called him in his opera: “Motezuma”.
Incidentally, he was not an "emperor" or "king". The position that Moctezuma held is called in the Aztec language: Ueyi Tlahtoani. That means: "The great venerable one who speaks for others". Appointed by the highest Ueyi Tlahtokan, in German: venerable council of elders. Warning: the laws were made by the elders, the Tlahtoani promulgated them.
My life mission had begun!!!
Right in front of the museum where our crown was located, we went on a hunger strike with 13 people - for 40 days!!!
Something like this had never happened in Austria! In their own country and in their own language, I told them daily in German to return to Mexico what did not belong to them: our sacred crown of feathers!!!
Day and night, we stayed in front of the museum and informed Austrians and tourists in German, English, Italian and Spanish about the reasons for our dances and the hunger strike. In addition, we publicized our concern with information sheets in various languages and with large posters, and even with microphones.
Every year I came to Austria together with several traditional dancers. I organized at least ONE international march through Vienna EVERY YEAR! We stayed in Europe for up to 10 months and more and more people became aware of my mission.
In Mexico I founded the cultural association: Yankuik Anahuak ("Renewed Mexico"). I thought that this way we would find more support, both in Mexico and abroad. But it wasn't like that because those who supported culture said I did politics and those who did politics said I did culture. How can you understand that?
A very good man named Benjamin Laureano Luna was the president of a Mexican human rights organization based in Mexico City. He was kind enough to invite me to join his work team without pay. And he gave me a position: “Sent to Europe and to the United Nations to promote and save Mexico's cultural heritage.” This title was very welcome, but I had to pay all the costs myself and my economic situation was already precarious. That gave me additional costs, but maybe more options. I took office, WOW. And that same year I started speaking at the United Nations and making my proposals! I was in Geneva for the first time and gave my talk at the great assembly for 10 consecutive days on the subject of “indigenous peoples”.
This year it was very difficult for me because at the UN it was from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and after that time, me together with other 9 of my people, we had to dance somewhere on the street to make money. After all, we had to pay for room and board.
In the same year I found people in Austria to found the sister association: Yankuik Anahuak Austria. That way, I was able to simplify permits and not have to pay so much for them.
On one of the many occasions that I visited the Cown, the spotlight on a lamp inside its glass case was broken and therefore melted. A security guard I already knew noticed, and simply opened the display case, changed the focus of the lamp and closed the display case again. Simple like that.
It is important not to forget that the Austrians did not even know what the piece was about, and certainly not how to handle it. For example, many of the pure gold plates were STOLEN (“exchanged”) for bronze or brass pieces.
Many people call our holy crown "Penacho" ("headdress) ") out of ignorance or contempt. Many just repeat the word without knowing the meaning. The word "Penacho" originally comes from the British word "penna" = feather. This word was later used in Latin, and is now used in Italian and French. In "Spanish" it is said: Pena-Cho, "Italian": Penna-Chio, "French": Pena-Ch, and means "feather" = decorative feathers or plume to use on the head. It's NOT "Latin" or "Spanish".
In German one also says "Kopfschmuck". I believe that this designation should take away the great importance that our culture had and has! It is an attempt to belittle them, just as the Spaniards, with anger, hatred and envy, destroyed everything they did not know. But they called themselves "civilized" and us "savages".
In the photos on the right you can see examples of "plumes". It has absolutely nothing to do with our crown!
A people's wealth is their culture and not their money. The Mexican culture has nothing to do with the Austrian, as both are completely different in practically everything, like the Chinese and Iranian cultures. Our Mexican properties are completely foreign to Austrians and have no business in Austria at all!
Instead of keeping our sacred items, make room for their own, as most Austrians know almost nothing about their past! From the Celts or the Druids, for example. Using our culture to have culture for their selves is absurd! This is called "adorning with foreign feathers".
“Justice march on the occasion of 500 years of injustice”!
A 104-day march through Austria, more than 2,000 miles with 120 dancers from 9 ethnic groups and around 20 European participants!
How did I pay for 120 airline tickets? Where should we sleep? How should we eat 2-3 times a day? In Denmark I bought a truck for 45 people, another bus in Germany for 35 people, 4 vans for 9 people and a car with a large trailer. That was enough.
At the customs we had a lot of problems because they "looked after" us very much, often they even brought dogs with them to check whether there were drugs in our luggage. We even had to hide our feather shields and seashells, and it wasn't easy at all.
I also often had to pay for extra luggage as we carried clothes, big drums, heavy handicrafts, books, etc. with us. We had all kinds of problems and it cost a fortune! But the national and international press was present and even the NBC and ABC of England in Spanish were present at the beginning and the end of our tour. For the first time in Austrian history we danced original Aztec dancers in Vienna! The large hand-carved wooden drums could be heard about 8 blocks away, and the sound of the conch horns was majestic as they could be heard louder and louder with the help of the walls of the buildings. It was a truly “exotic” event for many - many people there.
After the 1992 march through Austria, through which I had a lot of debts, I returned to Europe, this time with 40 Mexican dancers such as: Aztecs, Totonaks and Mayas. This year we traveled to different countries in Europe to seek support, but mainly so that Europe and the world would know through the international press of our request to Austria: the return of our heritage, the Crown of Moctezuma!!!
We started our European tour and, as always, held a rally in front of the museum where our feather crown is located after visiting it to show our greatest respect.
I still had the sleeping bags from the previous year and 9 tipis or tents with their long and heavy logs of 7 meters in length that were used to lift and stretch the tent. We needed a big truck to move everything. Our Austrian and German clubs have helped us to find hotels, guest houses, hostels and the like to sleep in. Renting 20 rooms in a hotel is not easy, anything but cheap, and I had to do that every day. It's also difficult to eat in restaurants with 40 people at the same time, especially when I had to translate everything. I often didn't eat like that myself because I just didn't have the time.
Here are just a few of the people I was able to speak to:
- with the Dutch royal family, the former Queen Julianna and her daughter, Princess Irene, as well as her father, Prince Philipp, who was present despite an illness
- with the Mayor of Amsterdam
- with the mayor of Oslo
- with the mayor of Stockholm
- with Pope John Paul II in the Vatican
- with the Dalai Lama, I've spoken to him about eight times since I met him at the UN
Ex-Queen Juliane of Holland
Prince Bernhard of Holland
We traveled to Austria, Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Hungary, Spain, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Switzerland, Portugal, Greece and Yugoslavia in 104 days, just like last year. It was always 104 days because in the Aztec culture that means a century, 8 times 13. Numbers are very important for the Aztecs and other peoples.
Fortunately, after our march through 13 countries with many difficulties, we got back to Vienna on time.
As always, the day began WITH A MARCH at the United Nations buildings called UNO CITY.
We had marched there every year! But I found out right at the beginning, that this time we weren't accompanied by the regular police. They were elite police officers who accompanied us for the entire march of about 6 or 8 miles, even though the POLICE knew about it.
When we got to the Austrian Parliament, we started our dances, as we had done about ten times before, in peace and without any problems, with all the necessary permits that the same police had provided us with! As we went on to the museum to end our annual march there, I noticed that there were more elite police officers in thick plastic clothing, with helmets and shields to protect themselves. All of a sudden, around 80 police officers surrounded us and refused to let us into the museum parking lot. I disagreed and told them that they could not block our passage. They held us back for about 30 minutes and then let us continue walking to the museum which is about 300 yards away from Parliament. When we got there, there were two closed lines in front of the museum with about 150 police officers guarding the entrance at the museum.
I was Surprised. I told them through the microphone that we come in peace and that we always pay attention to the museum and the crown without destroying or painting anything. We continued our rally and an undercover plainclothes policeman told me at around 6:30 pm that we should go away now.
I did not agree because we had permission until 10 p.m. Ten minutes later, he returns with two other officers undercover and says: If we don't leave the place within 5 minutes, they will arrest us all. But why? I asked him and without any explanation he said to me again: The arrest will begin in 5 minutes. I immediately said to my boys, everyone should sit down, we won't defend ourselves or beat the police, we just sit and wait. I paced a little and clearly saw dozens of other special riot police, all with signs, helmets, long boots and batons. I didn't understand what was happening, but I had to be in front of everyone because I was the leader. It got dangerous 5 minutes later when hundreds of police officers in front and behind us were ready to forcibly arrest us. The police had one microphone and I had another one that I used to tell everyone that we were not looking for a confrontation or a fight and that we had never destroyed or damaged anything. We just wanted to be near our feather crown and we had the necessary permits and that wasn't a crime.
It was bizarre to see this scene as we were almost naked because we were wearing dance clothes and most of us had no shoes on because we were dancing barefoot. We had no guns and our arms were as bare as our legs while dressed and armed in such a way as to make it appear as if we were armed terrorists or drug traffickers.
After 5 minutes the police closed around us and they came closer and closer to us while we all sat down to recharge our batteries and singing the song ¡Viva México!
They ARRESTED 2 little girls with, ages 6 and 8, women, teenagers and also old men.
Six police officers arrested me. They handcuffed me and took 27 of us to prison, and left 13 outside with no protection.
Believe it or not, 300 policemen from two Austrian elite groups named: Omega and Oberon beat us and arrested us for no reason, without any humanity.
Our 9 tipis or tents were destroyed and 150,000 Austrian signatures were confiscated, as were our posters.
We had a lot of additional expenses for lawyers, airplanes, food, transportation and hotels. However, I was very happy because I was able to call the local press in good time and they filmed the shameful action of the Austrian police, so that in many countries there was talk about the recovery of our crown. The whole action was excessive and brutal.
I sued Austria and after many disputes and high legal fees we won the lawsuit against Austria 10 years later!!!
On May 6th, 2006 there was a terrible accident on the A-3 Highway near Frankfurt around 1 a.m., which was like a horror film for 10 of us!
When being towed by the ADAC on a trailer that was much too small and at excessive speed, our heavily loaded Ford Transit was overturned along with all its occupants! And that although a police control had checked the completely overloaded tow truck beforehand. They just let the ADAC drive on... Our Ford Transit was even bigger than the ADAC's “tow truck”!!!
The behavior before, during, immediately after and long afterwards until today, 15 years after the accident, I consider illegal, very racist, shameful, mean, cruel and above all …a real tragedy for all of us!
I was a member of the ADAC Plus for 12 years!!!
We were 10 people and with the ADAC driver there were 11, which was forbidden, and even more if it is an ADAC vehicle! In addition, there was no security child seat for my then 2-year-old daughter!!!
We were all hurt, I could barely move or speak. The driver left the accident car without helping us!
When the ambulance finally came, they wouldn't let our daughter go with them, supposedly because there was no child seat… But a “couch” would have been free! They promised to take the child to the same hospital in another ambulance, but they didn't! Our daughter was not taken to a doctor even though she was bleeding in multiple places and had broken glasses all over her litle body!!!
Myself and my wife were examined in the hospital and my wife had 1 ½ hour emergency elbow surgery with 4 Brocken reap bones!!!
Around 4:00 am I finally wanted to find out something about our daughter. The doctor called ADAC and the police, but no one answered the phone, which was incredible as both have to be available 24 hours a day!!! At 6:00 a.m. I couldn't stand the wait any longer and asked the front desk to call the ADAC and the police again to ask what had happened to our daughter. Again, there was no answer, neither from the ADAC nor from the police! I didn't have a better idea; I had a cab call us. We drove to the ADAC office, but it was completely dark, no one was there. I asked the taxi driver if there was another address and he took us to a large ADAC workshop.
It was also completely dark there, there was no one there and the gate was locked with chains. However, in the dark I could see our car, it was totally destroyed!!! What happened to our daughter? And with the others? Has there been any death? Where was everyone? Lots of questions, no answers.
I remembered that there was an office at many train stations in Germany to help people who had a problem and I told the taxi driver to take us to the train station in Aschaffenburg. When we arrived, we were looking for the station mission, but it was closed, at 6:40 in the morning. We could hardly move, the pain was very great, and the clinic hadn't given us any medication to relieve the pain. The alcoholics at the train station made fun of us because we had bandages, torn clothes, a cast on our arm, wounds and blood. We endured the cold with a lot of pain until they finally opened the office at 9:00 a.m. A lady gave us a hot soup and called the ADAC to pick us up. But the ADAC people refused to pick us up! What they should have done, after all, it was contractually regulated! The lady wrote down the ADAC address for me and at 10:30 in the morning I sold a gold chain for 20 euros to be able to pay the taxi that we still had to use to look for our daughter after 9 hours!
Till around 11:00 a.m. we arrived at the ADAC workshop where our car was, and the haughty German receptionist looked at us with apathy and disinterest.
When we asked about our daughter, she pretended not to understand. A mechanic told us “that there were some Indians here”. We walked around aimlessly, opening all kinds of doors and calling for them. Finally, we open a door to find a shameful picture:
In a dirty room with engine oil on the cement floor, a room for mechanics, one of our people was lying on the floor bleeding and injured, without a blanket or mattress! On the only small sofa, also very dirty, sat a woman from our group with our 2 year old daughter on her lap, who has blood…and was crying all the time…!!!
We learned from the woman that no more ambulances had come for the other 4 people injured!!!
They were injured and hungry all left in the cold and noise of the highway, until 3:30 in the morning including our 2-year-old daughter!!! After the motorway was cleaned, they were transported to the workshop in ADAC vehicles. This is forbidden because the ADAC is not allowed to transport injured persons!!! But they did not want press!
But…5 people were still missing, 3 of them were also injured there, but where were those people?
We find that out about 12 at noon! Around 04:00 in the morning they (4 Mexicans and one German) were sent on without my permission (I was the ADAC Plus member!) In a small ADAC rental car to our destination about 200 miles away. Injured, tired, hungry and destitute…without sleeping all night long... Neither of them was taken to a doctor!!!
We suffered immense damage from this accident, health and material, and we have not recovered from it till this day! For to become a little money from them…I HAD TO MAKE 45 DEMOSTRATIONS All over Germany, out of their offices!!!
We only received a minimal amount of compensation, but we had enormous medical expenses, our car was a total write-off, so we lost all other appointments, our international cultural association had to be dissolved and much more. We had to leave Germany. I even lost my residence permit as a result.
A very important political meeting took place in Vienna a few days after the accident. A SUMMIT from May 11-13, 2006, attended by the then Mexican President Vicente Fox. I should have attended too.
The press believed that Fox would officially request the return of our crown of feathers, which would either be returned, loaned or exchanged for the golden carriage of Maximilian von Habsburg, the so-called "Emperor of Mexico". His carriage is kept in Mexico City.
But Fox didn't claim the crown, and I was just there as “a spectator”. I couldn't do more, hurt as I was…
Since then I have tried to do what I can from Mexico. But unfortunately, that is far too little. In the last few years almost, nothing has happened to get our crown back to Mexico.
If I don't fight for it, nobody will. And my life mission will not come true.
That's why every, absolutely every donation is so urgently needed so that I can finally really start my fight again!