The history of humanity is full of injustices and abuses related to power and government and the subjugation of the weakest, they always fall into the abuse of power and many times cruelty and despotism are reached. The Mixtón war between the Spanish conquerors and a union of indigenous peoples left a bitter taste of blood spilled in the name of civilization , abuses, reprisals and many other painful scenes that are better left unrecorded. Mixton war
When did this war take place and where was it located? Who were the caudillos who led their respective sides to the fight to the death? What causes and consequences did this war period have?
When and where did the Mixtón War take place?
The Mixtón war covers a period that according to some historians goes from the year 1539, the year of the first uprisings and attacks, until 1551, but the events that defined the war occurred in 1541 and part of 1542 . The war covered an extensive territory of Mexico, such as the current states of Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Aguascalientes and Zacatecas, at that time the viceroyalty was called Nueva Galicia and the dominant part of the indigenous rebellion was called Chichimecas, although the tribes participated caxcana, zacateca and tecuexe.
It is called Guerra del Mixtón because the decisive battle was on the Mixtón hill, a place of difficult access in the current Apozol municipality , near Guadalajara, although the war quickly spread to different towns. In this hill of Mixtón the Spaniards fought, supported by many indigenous people who did not identify with the rebels and the indigenous rebels who had rebelled against Spanish domination.
Who participated in the Mixtón War?
On the one hand, the Spanish conquerors and authorities of the viceroyalty of New Spain participated in the Mixtón War , together with the feudal lords or encomenderos and their conquered and Christianized natives. We will highlight some caudillos from the Spanish side such as Francisco Vásquez de Coronado , Hernando de Alarcón , Nuño de Guzmán , Pedro de Alvarado (who died in a confrontation where by accident a horse crushed him, leaving him very badly injured), Governor Cristóbal de Oñate (a who bears much responsibility for the uprising for his abusive treatment of indigenous people), and Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza. Mixton war
On the indigenous side, among the caudillos, caciques or indigenous chiefs prominent in the uprising are Petlácatl (cacique de caxcan), Francisco Tenamaxtle de Nochistlán, Xavalotl de Tlaxixcoringa, Tencuitlatl de Xuchipila, Tollitl, Don Diego de los Zacatecas, and referring to the beginning From the confrontations we point to Xiuhtecuhtli, the ruler of Xuxhipila, who attacked Gonzalo Garijo in Tlatenango, they had to send him help from Guadalajara, but the help through Captain Miguel de Ibarra was defeated by the indigenous people.
Regarding the amount of the Spanish part, records are obtained that indicate up to 50,000 men where the vast majority were indigenous people who supported the Spanish. On the part of the rebels, the figures are unknown, but a certain record indicates about 10,000 indigenous people killed in one of the battles that was fought on the Mixtón hill in this period, so we can only assume from writings of the time that the rebels were more than those figures because it was written that the side of the colonizers was outnumbered.
Causes of the Mixtón War
Generally, when one speaks of uprising, it is always due to the cruel and abusive submission by those who hold power , in this case the first cause of the rebellion of these indigenous populations was precisely the cruel and criminal treatment of the conquerors who had left indelible marks on the minds of the conquered, where there was torture, murder and all kinds of mistreatment of the Indians. Nuño de Guzmán is pointed out as one of those responsible, and although he paid with prison, the damage had already been done. Mixton war
Other causes were related to the occupation of the lands of the Indians , when they were Christianized and baptized and assigned to an encomendero, on the one hand they lost their lands and their freedom, and on the other they were subjected to a system of undeclared slavery . But in practice it was like that, now they lived in towns organized in the colonial Spanish way, and they worked for their encomendero, who many times became true tyrants who enriched themselves with the work and lands of the Indians. The worst thing is that there was no way out of this situation, there was no hope, so the way out seemed to be to get rid of the Spanish and return to his previous life or die trying.
The other cause to mention was the disenchantment of Christianization to which the natives were subjected by the Franciscan friars . Although it is true that the oppressors and cruel were the Spanish conquerors, the Franciscan monks promoted the sedentarization of the conquered, which led to the loss of their freedom and their lands, which made the Indians see the Franciscan friars as allies of the Spanish encomenderos, and, finally, did not protect or prevent the mistreatment and abuse committed against the Indians. Mixton war
Consequences of the Mixtón War
One of the consequences was the enactment of new laws for the benefit of indigenous people and to humanize the exercise of power . The Compilation of Laws of the Kingdoms of the Indies was promulgated on September 28, 1543, but really, and sadly, things continued the same or worse, since more than 6,000 of those defeated and captured were enslaved, marked with iron, some mutilated and all now under legal protection.
Another consequence was the transfer of Guadalajara to the location it now has, thinking that this would make it more difficult for it to be besieged again , and thus it would be away from the sources of uprising of the Indians, who although defeated, continued to fight battles for more than 10 More years. For example, its greatest caudillo Francisco Tenamaztle, continued fighting until 1551 when he finally surrendered to the bishop of Guadalajara and was deported to Spain.
And finally, another consequence was that this war of the Mixtón, because it was not conclusive, began the so-called war of the Chichimecas , which now with other indigenous leaders would last until 1590, almost 40 years of war. Mixton war
Winner of the Mixtón War
The first attempts to subdue the Caxcan rebels were evidently a failure. Several Spanish captains, encomenderos, and military leaders underestimated the magnitude of the uprising, and paid for it with defeats and loss of control of the uprising region. Finally, the viceroy Antonio de Mendoza intervened , who with great power of convocation managed to gather some 50,000 men where the majority would be indigenous people who, already assimilated and Christianized, served the Spanish cause, and in the battle of Mixtón they are forced to surrender or mass suicide. . It is said that many preferred to jump into the deep ravine of Cerro El Mixtón rather than fall into Spanish hands.