Baja California Sur



Baja California Sur is one of the 31 States of Mexico, occupying the part of the Baja California peninsula south of the 28th parallel. It is bordered to the north by the state of Baja California, to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the east by the Gulf of California.

The state is known for its natural riches, and for its tourism. In the north is located the Vizcaíno Desert, as well as the small coastal lakes of San Ignacio and Ojo de Liebre, which are protected by the federal government. The state includes the Pacific islands of Natividad, Magdalena, and Santa Margarita, as well as the islands of San Marcos, Coronados, Carmen, Monserrat, Santa Catalina, Santa Cruz, San Diego, San José, San Francisco, Partida, Espíritu Santo, and Cerralvo, which are located in the Gulf of California.

In 2003, its estimated population was 463,500 people. The state is also home to the tourist resorts of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.

History

Pre-Columbian Period

The first inhabitants are thought to have arrived to the peninsula approximately 14 000 years ago, through a route down the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Three distinct tribal groups lived in the area in Pre-Columbian times:

The Pericúes lived in the south, within an area comprising from Cabo San Lucas to the middle of the peninsula.

Guaycuras, who lived in the middle part of the peninsula; and

Cochimíes, who lived in the north.

Several nomadic Yumano tribes coexisted with the Cochimíes, such as the kumiai (k'miai), cucapá, pai pai, kiliwa, cahilla and akula.

History after the Spanish Colonization

Fortún Jiménez de Bertadoña discovered the peninsula in early 1534; however, in May 1535 Hernán Cortés recognized the peninsula as such, thus becoming the official discoverer.

In 1697 Jesuit priest Juan María de Salvatierra established the first mission in Baja California Sur, dedicated to Our Lady of Loreto. The Jesuits were expelled from the peninsula on February 3, 1768 leaving behind 70 years of cultural legacy and 17 missions. On April of the same year the first Franciscan friars led by Junípero Serra arrived, but they were eventually replaced by the Dominicans in 1773.

The peninsula was dividided into two separate entities in 1804, with the southern one having the seat of government established in the port of Loreto. After the Mexican War of Independence, President Guadalupe Victoria named Lt. Col. José María Echeandía governor of Baja California Sur and divided it in four municipalities. In 1830 the capital was moved to La Paz after Loreto was partially destroyed by heavy rains.

On October 2, 1847 the army of the United States was defeated near the town of Mulegé by Captain Manuel Pineda, as part of the Mexican-American War. As a consequence of this battle, the U.S. invaders were forced to withdraw from the peninsula and could not lay claim to it as part of the new territories acquired through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848.

The territories of Baja California Sur and Baja California were created in 1888 under the government of President Porfirio Díaz. Baja California Sur acquired full statehood on September 24, 1974.

Municipalities



Baja California Sur is subdivided into five municipalities (municipios).