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The story of contemporary religion for Latina/os across the United States/Latin American borders, the borderlands, begins with Spanish colonialism. In 1421, the Mexica or Aztec Mesoamerican imperial capital, Tenochtitlán, fell to an army headed by invading Iberian Christians; in 1533, the Inca Empire of South America lost its imperial capital, Cuzco, to the same fate. These victories heralded a new colonial order throughout what is now Latin America, from the Tijuana border, to the southern tip of Argentina, to the former Spanish colonial islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. In the 19th century, Latin American colonies liberated themselves from Spanish rule and became hybrid republics, torn between their indigenous, European, and African underpinnings. For the most part, Latin American statecraft came to ...

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