n

El sitio web Oficial de los Brujos de Catemaco – Veracruz

Reserva una consulta iconos de confianza

Tenamaxtli y la guerra del Mixtón, 1540-1542

Se el primero en calificar

Mixton5Incluso aquellos que tienen una comprensión vaga de la historia de México han escuchado la historia de la conquista española: un conquistador llamado Hernán Cortés, junto con un puñado de otros españoles, marchó hacia la capital azteca de Tenochtitlán, encarceló al emperador azteca Moctezuma y en dos años. el Imperio Azteca fue completamente subyugado. Los españoles fueron los nuevos gobernantes indiscutibles del área, renombraron la capital Ciudad de México y llamaron a su colonia Nueva España, y mantuvieron fácilmente el poder sobre los pueblos indígenas derrotados, la mayoría de los cuales se alegraron de ver a los aztecas destituidos del poder. Mucha gente no se da cuenta de que el control español sobre la Nueva España fue en ocasiones tenue y su poder fue puesto a prueba constantemente por los grupos nativos. Una de esas rebeliones, llamada “guerra” por muchos historiadores, Fue un conflicto de dos años, iniciado en 1540, liderado por un hombre llamado Tenamaxtli del pueblo Caxcan. Para aquellos astutos expertos en la historia de México, este conflicto se conoce como la Guerra del Mixtón, que lleva el nombre de la colina en el moderno estado mexicano de Zacatecas que sirvió como el centro y último baluarte de la resistencia nativa.

Mixton3El hombre conocido como Tenamaxtli nació en un pueblo indígena ubicado al norte de la actual Guadalajara llamado Nochistlán, alrededor de 1510, aproximadamente una década antes de que Cortés cruzara la calzada y entrara en la capital azteca de Tenochtitlán. Tenamaxtli, cuyo nombre en la lengua uto-azteca del pueblo Caxcan significa “piedras calentadas por el fuego”, a menudo se describe como el “señor” o tlatoani.de Nochistlán, pero se desconoce si era noble de nacimiento o si ese fue un título honorífico que le otorgó su pueblo durante o después de la guerra, o si ese título le fue otorgado por los cronistas españoles en sus historias de la región. Tenamaxtli fue descrito como alto y musculoso y era conocido por su naturaleza contemplativa y autorreflexiva. En los relatos españoles escritos después de la guerra de 1540, se lo describió como alguien preocupado por ideales superiores como la paz, la justicia y la ley natural. Tenamaxtli era un adolescente mayor o un adulto joven cuando los primeros europeos llegaron al territorio del pueblo Caxcan. En 1529 un grupo de entre 300 y 400 españoles, junto con 5.000 a 8.000 aztecas y tlaxcaltecas al mando de Nuño de Guzmán entraron en la localidad caxcana de Nochistlán. La misión de Nuño de Guzmán fue de exploración y conquista. Durante sus 6 años de viajar por los límites del norte del antiguo Imperio Azteca y más allá, Guzmán y sus lugartenientes establecieron muchas ciudades, como Guadalajara, y formaron una nueva provincia española llamada Nueva Galicia. También exploró muchas áreas del México moderno previamente desconocidas para los europeos, específicamente tierras en los estados mexicanos contemporáneos de Jalisco, Durango, Sinaloa, Nayarit y Zacatecas. Fue durante la ocupación de los territorios caxcan por la expedición de Guzmán cuando Tenamaxtli, al menos nominalmente, se convirtió al cristianismo y adoptó el nombre de Francisco Tenamaxtli. Si bien se vio obligado a aceptar a sus nuevos gobernantes españoles, lo que Tenamaxtli había presenciado desarrollarse a su alrededor lo preocupaba profundamente. El período Nuño de Guzmán fue violento incluso para los estándares de los conquistadores y se cometieron muchas injusticias y atrocidades contra la población nativa. Los miembros de la expedición de Guzmán allanaron con frecuencia los asentamientos indígenas para capturar personas para venderlas como esclavas y muchos miembros de la élite nativa local o de las clases sacerdotales fueron ejecutados. Nuño de Guzmán promulgó el imperio españolsistema de encomiendas sobre los territorios recién conquistados. A los conquistadores o aquellos a quienes la Corona debía favores se les concedía el derecho a la mano de obra indígena o al tributo en una determinada zona geográfica. Los derechos fueron otorgados al encomendero , o el titular del título de la encomienda , a perpetuidad y el derecho al trabajo indígena pasó a los herederos del encomendero . Esto esencialmente esclavizó a grandes segmentos de poblaciones nativas para trabajar en los campos o en las minas a voluntad de sus señores españoles. Había tanto abuso en este sistema que para el año 1540 los pueblos indígenas de Nueva Galicia estaban hartos.

Mixton9The “last straw” incident occurred in the middle of 1540 when 18 members of the local native elite were arrested and 9 were executed. The Caxcanes joined with the Zacatecos and other more nomadic Indians from the north, collectively called “Chichimecas,” and left the encomiendas in rebellion. One encomendero, a man named Juan de Arze, was killed along with two Catholic priests. The Indians felt emboldened, some historians theorize, because the Coronado expedition had recently passed through the area and recruited 1,600 able-bodied Spaniards and Indian allies to head north to explore what is now called the American Southwest. With the lack of manpower to put down an uprising the Caxcanes and their allies saw their opportunity to revolt. Many Indians fled the haciendas and mines and holed up in the mountains, the hill of Mixtón being the principal place for them to regroup. Under the leadership of Tenamaxtli and a Zacateco warrior named Diego, the native rebels planned their guerrilla war against the Spanish. The acting governor of the province of Nueva Galicia, Cristobal de Oñate, sent a peace delegation to the mountains consisting of a Catholic priest and ten Spanish soldiers to meet with Tenamaxtli. When news arrived at Guadalajara that the members of the delegation were all killed, Oñate sent a contingent of soldiers to storm Mixtón but were swiftly defeated by Tenamaxtli’s men. It was at this point when Oñate appealed to Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza in Mexico City to send reinforcements to quell the rebellion.

Mixton4The next phase of this war started in the spring of 1541 when Viceroy Mendoza sent seasoned conquistador Pedro de Alvarado to Nueva Galicia to deal with the Caxcan problem. The 55-year-old Alvarado was involved with the conquest of Cuba, the conquest of Guatemala and also accompanied Cortés in his conquest of the Aztecs. Alvarado seemed to underestimate Tenamaxtli and he tried to storm Mixtón Hill without the necessary reinforcements which had not yet arrived from Mexico City. With 400 Spaniards and several hundred Indian allies, Alvarado was defeated by Tenamaxtli’s army which was estimated to be comprised of 15,000 men. In early July of 1541 Alvarado died after being injured from a fall from his horse during his last assault on Mixtón and at that point the Spanish were afraid that the rebellion would spread out of Nueva Galicia and into the heavily populated former Aztec heartland. After a failed attempt to take Guadalajara in September of 1541, Tenamaxtli and his armies retreated back to the Caxcan homeland and into the mountains. Viceroy Mendoza then led an army of 450 Spaniards and thirty to sixty thousand Indian allies into Caxcan territory to take care of the situation once and for all. This was November of 1541.

Antonio de Mendoza was ruthless in his pursuit and punishment of the rebels. He and his army went town by town and gave no quarter to native fighters and supporters. In late 1541 Tenamaxtli was even captured by the viceroy but sympathetic indigenous members of Mendoza’s army helped him escape. The rebel leader fled to the mountains and news reached him in the spring of 1542 that the Spanish had taken Mixtón and the war had ended.

Mixton8The story of Tenamaxtli did not end with the end of the Mixtón War and the rebellion had a terrible epilogue. Mendoza destroyed many of the Caxcan villages and towns as punishment for the uprising. Many of the people in what had been declared the “rebel settlements” were starved into submission and those who did not die in combat died of thirst or hunger. Those left alive were either executed or sold into slavery. Executions were particularly brutal; people were huddled together and had cannons fired on them, many were slowly stabbed to death and others were torn apart by dogs. The Caxcan culture and people were essentially decimated. Those lucky to have survived were sent to all different parts of New Spain, from plantations in the hot and humid Yucatán to the silver mines of the northern deserts. The small groups of Caxcans who fled regrouped in the mountains, but the Caxcan language didn’t survive and the remaining people intermarried with other native groups in the north. A revival of the Caxcan culture occurred in the state of Durango in the early part of the 20th Century, but this was mostly politically motivated as the country of Mexico entered its Revolution and tried to rediscover and make peace with its indigenous past. A Caxcan council was formed but the majority of the people who constituted the re-formed “tribe” had little connection to the people who had a vibrant culture before the Mixtón War. The language of the Caxcanes remains lost to this day.

And what of the rebel leader Tenamaxtli and his co-commander the Zacateco named Diego? Diego is lost to history. There is no information on him beyond the Mixtón War. There is a definite postscript for Tenamaxtli, however. He spent most of the 1540s on the run, traveling primarily in the north among his former allies, the Chichimeca, and then eventually settling for a while in the modern Mexican state of Nayarit. Word had come to him about the authorities in Spain conducting an investigation of the Viceroy’s conduct during the Mixtón War. Tenamaxtli thought that if the Spanish were willing to investigate the king’s primary representative in all of New Spain for human rights abuses that he might have a chance to present a case to the Spanish authorities to get the lands and other property of his people restored to them. Tenamaxtli surrendered himself to a group of Franciscan friars who eventually turned him over to the Archbishop of Guadalajara, Pedro Gomez de Maraver. He was then transferred to Mexico City to the court of the new viceroy, Luis de Velasco, and appealed to him for his cause to be heard. Viceroy Velasco chose not to hear Tenamaxtli’s grievances and instead had him transferred to Spain to make his case before the Council of the Indies and the king of Spain himself.

Tenamaxtli got his literal and figurative day in court. The court transcripts still survive. The indigenous leader’s advocate was none other than Bartolomé de las Casas, the tireless champion of civil rights for native peoples who lived under Spanish rule throughout the world. De las Casas knew the Caxcan language and served as Tenamaxtli’s translator and legal advocate. It was July 1, 1555 when Tenamaxtli was allowed to present his case at court. His ultimate goal was to return to the peaceful existence his people enjoyed before the arrival of the conquistador Nuño de Guzmán. As the lord or tlatoani of Nochistlan, Tenamaxtli argued, he had the right to all the protections afforded to a vassal of the Spanish Crown. He also argued that the inhumane treatment of his people under the encomienda system was just cause for rebellion. In his own words, Tenamaxtli stated before the Spanish court:

“The servitude imposed on those who are free people is contrary to all natural justice … to become strong to defend their own lives and their women and children according to God and Nature, these natural defenses are granted even to beasts.”

As justice goes, Tenamaxtli’s case dragged on, and a year passed without a formal decision from the Spanish courts. The last legal document pertaining to Tenamaxtli is dated August 7, 1556, almost 16 years after the beginning of the Mixtón War. Although court documents end here, the fate of the Caxcan people is well known and Tenamaxtli’s efforts in Spain did not produce any of the desired results. After 1556, the story of Tenamaxtli seems to end. Although not known for sure, he probably never got to see his homeland again and most likely died alone in Spain.

REFERENCES

Guerrero, Teófilo. “Francisco de Tenamaxtli: Un héroe olvidado” on the Los Hijos de la Malinche web site. (in Spanish)
Leon-Portilla, Miguel. Francisco Tenamaztle. Mexico City: Editorial Diana, 2005, pp.25–29. (in Spanish)
Padilla D., Matias de la Mota. Historia de la Conquista de la Provincia de la Nueva-Galicia, Mexico. Imprenta del Gobierno, 1870, p. 115 (in Spanish)

No hay contenido aun.

Deja un comentario

Henri de Saussure, de 24 años, dejó su casa en Ginebra, Suiza, para emprender una gran aventura. Era el año…