Brief history of Chiapas, Mexico

The name of Chiapas comes from the word Chiapan whose meaning is "hill of the Chia" or "water under the hill" designation of the indigenous population.

Brief history of Chiapas, Mexico
History of Chiapas. Photo by Crisoforo Gaspar Hernandez / Unsplash

The name of Chiapas comes from the word Chiapan whose meaning is "hill of the Chia" or "water under the hill" designation of the indigenous population that settled more than 30 thousand and 14 a.C. in what is now known as the center of the state of Chiapaneco.

On the margin of the Usumacinta and in the Lacandon Jungle, great ceremonial centers flourished, such as Yaxchilan, Palenque, Tonina, Bonampak, Tenam Puente, Chinkultic, Laanha, and innumerable communities.

Around 600 to 900 AD, these civilizations reach their maximum splendor in the Mayan world, due to the demographic explosion, conflicts between nobles and the military, and internal revolutions.

They migrated to Yucatán about the year 1200 AD. The collapse is inevitable and the cities are abandoned as a result of the disintegration of the Mayan empire.

The groups still in force are the group of Tzotzil settled in the center of Chamula and Zinacantan or the Tzetzales in Copanaguastla and the Mames in Zaculeu.

At the end of the XV century, the Aztecs dominated these lands, imposing tributes in kind, leaving names in Nahuatl.

In 1518 Juan de Grijalva went on the first expedition, in 1522 Gonzalo de Sandoval began the conquest by founding Villa del Espiritu Santo near the Coatzacoalcos River, and in 1523 the conquest was declared.

In 1525 harassed by a battalion of Spaniards, Mexica and Tlaxcaltecas warriors decided to lose their lives before freedom, throwing themselves into the gully with their families and their belongings, "not to slavery, nor submission". In 1822 a year after obtaining freedom Chiapas is annexed to the Mexican territory, with its natural beauties, with its splendor, and colors to independent Mexico, unique, enriching, and sowing of great traditions.

Did Chiapas belong to Guatemala?

On September 15, 1821, began the Mexican War of Independence, which is celebrated as a national day, and which marked the birth of the modern Mexican state as we know it today, but did all of Mexico as a whole become independent?

After the consummation of independence in 1821, the state of Chiapas, because of its geographical location, remained in a kind of limbo because it did not know if it was part of Guatemala or Mexico, or if it would remain a colony of the Spanish Empire.

For this reason, on August 28, 1821, in a meeting held by the residents of La Comitán, the independence of Chiapas was declared, by adhering to the Plan de Iguala proclaimed by Agustín Iturbide, in which Mexican independence was declared.

According to the book "Question between Mexico and Guatemala" by Francisco Miguel Martínez, days, after the entity was proclaimed part of the Mexican Empire, in Guatemala the separation of the Chiapas province, was proclaimed. The agreement annoyed the Chiapanecos due to the restrictions of the Central American nation, so they again declared themselves part of Mexico.

After the abdication of Iturbide, who had proclaimed himself emperor, and the failure of the plan of Iguala, Chiapas was disengaged from Mexico and the separation or accession returned to be the subject of controversy, for which the Supreme Provisional Board declared the separation of state from the Mexican nation.

When did Chiapas become a state?

On October 23, 18,23 the Free Chiapas Plan was proclaimed, in which it was indicated that the state was in complete freedom to make the decision that best suited it, according to its union with Mexico or Guatemala. The decision of independence was taken by the people of Chiapas in 1824 in an unprecedented referendum.

The greatest event in the history of Chiapas is the plebiscite made by the inhabitants between 1823 and 1824 to choose the fate of the entity, with 96 thousand 829 votes in favor of Mexico. The province of Chiapas, under the control of the Guatemalan authorities during the colonial era, federated with the Mexican Republic after the dissolution of the First Mexican Empire and the declaration of independence of the United Provinces of Central America.

The state of Chiapas was integrated into the Federation of the Mexican Republic, on September 14, 1824, which was an event that allowed the entity to achieve progress in economic and social matters. The 12 indigenous groups that recognize the constitution of Chiapas have been participants in these advances in economic, political, social, and cultural matters, which in turn have always contributed their ancestral knowledge to the care of their peoples and communities.