List of Cities and Towns (Lista De Ciudades y Pueblos)
Experts believe that the first villages on the Yucatan Peninsula were founded between 500 and 300 B.C., although the exact date is unclear.
During the Classic period the Mayan cities of Cobá, Dzibanché and Kohunlich flourished. Tulum, Cobá and the inland port of Muyil, prospered during the Post- Classic period and Cobá's importance as a regional trade center waxwd. Muyil was linked to the coast via canals that wind through the wetlands.
The Post-Classic Yucatán was divided into chiefdoms or cacicazgos. After the fall of Mayapán, there were no less than 19 chiefdoms. Ekab, Cochuah and Chetumal - also known as Chactemal - were fiefs located in what is now Quintana Roo.
When the Spaniards first set foot on Mexican soil, the Yucatecan Maya were beset by hardships. Nevertheless, the Spaniards found subjugation of the Indians no easy task. It wasn't until 1546 that they controlled large parts of the Peninsula and were able to divide the land into encomiendas or landholdings. The states soon foundered and the region was abandoned. The area's isolation attracted pirates who sought refuge along the coast between Bahía de la Ascención and Honduras.
Independence brought little change to the Peninsula and in 1847, the Caste War ignited the entire region. The greatest in a long line of Mayan rebellions, it continued for more than 50 years. In 1902, Quintana Roo became a territory and was declared as a Free and Sovereign State in 1974.
Archeological zones, many of them unexplored, pepper the Quintana Roo landscape. Sites along the coast are testimony to the importance of the north-south Caribbean trade route still in use at the time of the Conquest, while the ancient cities of the South date from the Classic period and had links with city states in the Petén. Artificial reservoirs, irrigation and raised fields improved crop yields and evidence suggests that up to one million people inhabited pre-conquest Southern Quintana Roo, more than the state's present-day population.
The first permanent settlements on the Yucatan Peninsula date from 500 - 300 B.C. although evidence of an earlier human presence has been found in Loltún caves, in Yucatán. Little is known about the first wave of settlers but experts believe the may have been hunter-gatherers moving northwards from the Petén and other areas where Mayan civilization had already begun to envolve. Such bands founded villages throughout the Peninsula and turned to corn cultivation. Over time some communities grew more important and became cities or ceremonial centers such as Cobá, Kohunlich and Dzibanché.
The area's earliest date inscriptions were found on Stela 1 at Tulum for A.D. 564, Ichpaatun A.D. 593, on a wooden lintel at Dzibanché for A.D. 618.
The Classic Period
Cities such as Cobá, Kohunlich, Dzibanché and Muyil flourished during the Classic period (A.D. 250 - 1000). Cobá and Muyil, and Tulum, Xel-Há and Tankah on the coast, became important trading centers with links to cities in the Peninsula, the Guatemalan Petén and Campeche. Links were so strong that they even transformed the are'as architectural style which is clearly influenced by that of the Petén. This is evident in the relations between Dzibanché and the powerful cities of Calakmul and Tikal.
Cities throughout the Yucatan Peninsula continued to trade during the Post-Classic when the area was dominated first by Chichén Itzá and Uxmal and then by Mayapán (1263-1461). Many cities in present-day Quintana Roo particularly those along the coast, reached their peak during this period and commerce was their driving force. The canoes of Chontal traders from Tabasco and Campeche skirted the Quintana Roo shoreline on their way south.
After the fall of Mayapán, the political landscape of the Peninsula changed with the formation of 19 cacicazgos or city states, three of which were in Quintana Roo: Ekab, to the north; Cochuah, along the modern-day frontier between the state and Yucatán, and Chetumal in the south.
Where and how they used to live
Mayan cities were inhabited by the ruling class. At the heart of the city lay the sacred precinct of temple where ceremonies were staged and great lords issued the edicts that regulated daily life. While the nobility resided in palaces, commoner lived in huts in the hinterland, tending their fields.
To surmount the difficult enviromental conditions -infertile soils and torrential summer rains, yet paradoxically no rivers - the Maya utilized a number of techniques which enabled them to increase crop yields. These included raised seed beds, called kaanche, use of huosehold refuse as a fertilizer, terraces, irrigation and floating plots in marshy areas. They grew corn, chiles, beans, cotton, cacao, squash and tomatoes and tended fruit trees.
The Maya supplemented their diet with game, fish and plants they gathered in the forest. They also traded copal or incense. Bee keeping was important and the Maya exchanged honey and beeswax for other trade goods.
Mayan society was deeply divided. At the top of the social ladder was the ruler, (ahau or halach uinic in Maya) who was the aerthly representative of the gods. Such was his holiness that when a ruler died he was buried in a tomb deep in a pyramid, built as a lasting memorial to his life. An offering of jade, pottery and even food was arranged around his bier. The priests occupied the second rung of the ladder and were followed by lords who maintained the peace and imparted justice. Nobles, warriors, artists and merchants came next and on the bottom rung were the peasants who supplied the food and cash crops, as well as labor for building templesm pyramids and palaces.
Religion dominated all aspects of Mayan life. Natural and supernatural planes were as one; good and malignat spirits inhabited the world and the gods ruled supreme. The exact number of Mayan deities is uncertain but the following were particularly important in the area. The chief god Itzamná had many manifestations and his wife, Ixchel, was the goddess of childbirth, fertility and weaving. According to Mayan legend she taught women how to weave on the backstrap loom and from far and wide they traveled to Cozumel to worship at her shrine. The sun god Kinich Ahau (Lord of the Solar Face) is associated with the enormous sttuco masks at Kohunlich which probably deify the ancient rulers of the city. Ah Mucen Cab is the descending god who appears in carvings at Cobá and Tulum in Quintana Roo and Sayil and Chichén Itzá in neighboring Yucatán. The deity is also associated with the god of the bees, "he who watches over the honey" and is said to be one of the sky bearers.
The Maya were accomplished artists, painting their pottery with brightly colored scenes featuring gods, sacred animals and even rulers. Temples and other buildings were decorated with murals, bas-reliefs, and masks or figures molded from stucco plaster. Standing stones known as steles depict rulers and are covered with glyph inscriptions which epigraphers have utilized to piece together the fortunes of cities throughout the Maya World. Mayan carvers mastered the mediums of stone, jade, bone, shell and wood to perfection to create figurines, jewelry and masks, among other things. The lintels recovered at Dzibanché are among the few wooden objects which have survived the ravages of time.
A number of different architectural styles are evident in Quintana Roo's Mayan sites, some show foreign influences which are the result of cultural contacts with city states in the Petén (Tikal) and Southern Campeche (Calakmul). Buildings at Kohunlich and Dzibanché are a blend of Petén and Río Bec building styles and Cobá is also Petén in inspiration.
Coastal centers such as Tulum, Xel-Há, Muyil, Tankah and El Rey exhibit the East Coast architectural style which is characterized by low buildings with smooth friezes, columns, flat or vaulted roofs and walls that have a slight outward tilt.
The coming of the Spaniards
When the Spaniards first set foot on the Yucatan Peninsula they found a land at war with itself. However, when the Maya perceived the threat to their world they put up a fierce resistance. Despite their efforts, superior weaponry and horses gave the Spaniards victory in battle, and cruel repression and epidemics soon brought the Indians to their knees. The Conquest impossed masters through landholdings and a new religion.
Mayan priests were the mouthpieces of the gods and when they spoke people listened to their prophecies.
According to the Books of Chilam Balam (chronicles), in the 8th year of 13 Ahau the ah kines or priests of the sun gun predicted that a strange people would visit the area. Friar Diego de Landa related that Aztecs and Mayans had prophesied that a pale-skinned race from the east would visit them bringing catastrophe and the end of their world, many years before they were subjugated by Francisco de Montejo.
In Maní, a priest or chilán called Ah Cambal ("he who answers the demons") foretold that the Maya would be conquered by an alien people who worshipped only one god and overcame demons with a piece of wood the Indians called vahom-che (risen tree), obviously a reference to the Cross.
Gonzalo Guerrero, father of a new race
In 1511, a Spanish galleon foundered on Alacranes reef, near Cabo Catoche. Twenty people were washed ashore, and after several years only two were still alive: Friar Gerónimo de Aguilar and Gonzalo Guerrero, a sailor. Aguilar was eventually rescued by Hernán Cortés but Guerrero decided to stay with the Maya.
His bravery and military prowess won him the trust of the chief of Chetumal who made him a nakóm or captain. Turning native, he married a noblewoman and assimilated Mayan dress and customs. He and his wife had three children, the first mestizos (mixed race, European-native) in México.
The first Spanish Expeditions
In 1517, and expedition led by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba set sail from Cuba in search of slaves and new lands. The Spaniards landed on Isla Mújeres and claimed it for Spain. Then they set their course westwards for Cabo Catoche were they were attacked by the Indians. Back on board, the Spaniards continued their voyage. On returning to Cuba, Hernández reported to Governor Diego Velázquez that the land was rich and that there was gold.
In 1518, Juan de Grijalva reconnoitered the coast and made landfall on Cozumel. They sailed on and espied from afar Mayan cities such as Tulum and Xel-Há.
In 1519, Hernán Cortés headed a third expedition. At Cozumel he picked up Jerónimo de Aguilar before setting sail for the west, the start of a journey that would culminate in the conquest of Tenochtitlán, glorious capital of the Aztecs (now Mexico City).
In December the 8th 1526, Francisco de Montejo was charged with the conquest of the Yucatan Peninsula and Cozumel. In October, 1527, he landed on the coast of Ekab in an area where the Maya proved friendly, even helping the Spaniards build some palm-thatched huts. The settlement they founded was called Salamanca de Xel-Há and it proved shortlived; the Spaniards were decimated by the tropical diseases prevalent inthe area. Montejo was soon back on the Peninsula, this time making a foray from the port of Campeche towards the north while his son Francisco de Montejo, alias "el Mozo" stayed in Campeche and Alonso Davila took an overland through Quintana Roo in serch of gold.
Davila's 1531 took him to Tulmó. The gold proved elusive, the area dangerous, and when he reached Chetumal all he found were ruins. The Maya had torched the city before fleeing into the jungle. In this desolate spot he founded a settlement called Villa Real. The Indians were dauntless and after a year and a half of raids Davila and his men had to retreat.
Several years passed and when the Spaniards returned to the Yucatan Peninsula they found an Indian population debilitated by disease and droughts and split into two rival camps. This made things easier for Gaspar Pacheco and his son Melchor who were ordered to conquer Quintana Roo.
In 1544, they left Mérida and savagely fought their way to Bacalar where they founded Salamanca de Bacalar. However, the desolatio and dire poverty of the site was a deterrent to potential colonists and many returned to Mérida.
Victory theirs, the Spaniards divided the Yucatan Peninsula into encomiendas or landholdings which they seized as spoils of war. Mayan inhabitants of the land grants had to work for the owner and pay him tribute. Estates (haciendas) and plantations sprang up in many parts of the Peninsula, however, the poor soils and unswerving hostility of the Maya meant that most encomiendas failed, specially in Quintana Roo. Mayan rebellions were commonplace and conditions along the eastern seaboard were so unfavorable for the foundation of Spanish communities, that the few colonists gradually abandoned the area.
Despite the sparse population of the territory there was some economic activity. Cacao, honey, beeswax, cotton, salt, tropical hardwoods such as mahogany, cedar and pucté, and logwood were harvested in the area and shipped out.
Pirates in the Caribbean
Although it only had 30 inhabitants, Bacalar was the most important settlement in Quintana Roo in 1630. As it was a supply station on the merchant shipping route to the provinces of Guatemala and Honduras, it was a magnet for pirates and there were raids throughout the century. In 1640 one such pirate, Peter Wallace, settled on the shores of the Hondo River, the southern limit of Spanish influence, and began to cut logwood. The colony he founded was the forerunner of British Honduras, now known as Belize, a derivation of Wallace. In 1652 Cuban buccaneer Diego "el Mulatto" sacked Bacalar, and the attacks persisted well into the 18th century until the authorities decided to build a fort in 1729.
The threat from pirates over, Bacalar prospered from the export of mahogany, logwood, sugar, goats, pigs and some fruit.
Other pirates associated with Quintana Roo are Captain Henry Morgan (later Brittish Governor of Jamaica) and Miguel Molas who had hiding places on Cozumel. Pirate and slaver Fermín Mundaca retired to Isla Mujeres and built a splendid hacienda..
Dispossesed, enslaved and harshly treated, it's not surprising that the Maya tried to throw off their shackles. The first Indian rebellion flared up in 1546, in Valladolid and Bacalar. There were others between 1639 and in 1761, Jacinto Canek challenged the Spaniards by leading an uprising with religious overtones that historians now consider the forerunner of the Caste War.
The XIX Century & Caste War
Mexican Independence from Spain in 1821 did nothing to alleviate Mayan suffering and their quiet hatred of the Yucatecan ruling class (blancos or whites) exploded with a fury in the Caste War, a conflict which would last for more than 50 years and decimate the area population. In 1847, a rebellion began in Tepich and spread to other villages such as Tihosuco, Ichmul and Sacalaca along the Yucatán-Quintana Roo border. The rebels showed no mercy to the whites, they were outsiders and had to be swept from the Peninsula so that the Maya could be free once more. By May 1848, all seemed lost for the Yucatecans. The Maya were poised to drive their oppressors into the sea when instead, they laid down their arms and returned home to tend their fields in time for the rains.
The Yucatecans regrouped and with the aid of Mexican troops were able to win back control of many areas. The rebels fled to the remote jungles of central Quintana Roo where they fought a prolonged guerrilla war against the army smuggled in by gunrunners from British Honduras.
The Talking Cross
Tired and demoralized, the Maya were on the brink of defeat when a miracle, albeit contrived, gave them back their self esteem. In the form of a talking cross they received a sign that God was on their side and this gave them the heart to continue fighting. In 1850, José María Barrera, a mestizo from Peto, traced three crosses into the bark of trees. These symbols transmitted a message from God which was imparted to the faithful on October 15, 1850 as a sermon written by Juan de la Cruz.
A community called Chan Santa Cruz ("Little Holy Cross") had sprung up around the crosses months before the sermon was read and its inhabitants were called cruzoob ("followers of the cross").
José María Barrera utilized a ventriloquist called Manuel Nahuat to be the mouthpiece of the crosses and tell the Maya what God wanted them to do. A temple with two rooms was built to house crosses. The congregation gathered in the hall and the Talking Cross was kept in the inner sanctum or "La Gloria".
In 1893, Mexico and British Honduras signed a peace treaty, the international border was mapped and arms sales to the Mayan rebels outlawed. Mayan hostility was undiminished and the territory remained dangerous. In 1898 Payo Obispo (now Chetumal) was founded by Lieutenant Othón P. Blanco and designated capital of the territory. Meanwhile the military campaign against Chan Santa Cruz continued. Goverment troops entered the stronghold which had been abandoned by the Maya. It was renamed Santa Cruz de Bravo and is known today as Felipe Carrillo Puerto. With the end of the Caste War and the creation of the Territory of Quintana Roo in 1904, the area was ready for colonization. However, Mexican leader Porfirio Díaz used Quintana Roo as a penal colony. It took the Revolution to bring an end to this deplorable practice. When the rebel Mayan chiefs died, new leaders emerged. "General" Francisco May, headman of Yokdzonot-Guardia (site of the Talking Cross) was one such man.
In December 1959, President Adolfo López Mateos visited Chetumal and a new era of development began, culminating in the declaration of statehood in 1974.
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Quintana Roo is a state of Mexico, on the eastern part of the Yucatán Peninsula. It borders the states of Yucatán and Campeche to the north and west, the Caribbean Sea to the east, and the nation of Belize to the south.
The capital of Quintana Roo is the city of Chetumal. Quintana Roo also contains the resort city of Cancún, the islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, the towns of Bacalar, Felipe Carrillo Puerto, Playa del Carmen, Puerto Juárez, Akumal, and Puerto Morelos, as well as the ancient Maya ruins of Chacchoben, Chakanbakán, Chamax, Coba, Dzibanché, El Meco, Ichpaatán, Kohunlich, Muyil, Oxtankah, Tankah, Tulum, Tupak, Xel-Há, and Xcaret. The Sian Ka'an national park is also in Quintana Roo.
The state covers an area of 50,350 km², and the 2000 census reported a population of some 874,000. The statewide population is currently expanding at a rapid rate due to the construction of hotels and the demand for workers. Many immigrants to the state come from Yucatán, Campeche, Tabasco, and Veracruz.
The area that makes up modern Quintana Roo was long part of Yucatán, sharing its history. With the War of the Castes starting in the 1840s, all Ladinos were driven from the region and the independent Maya nation of Chan Santa Cruz was centered on what is now the town of Felipe Carrillo Puerto. The region was for a time dominated by the religion of the "Talking Cross": in a church was a cross guarded by Maya priests that was said to speak and give them orders. The Mexican government continued to have very little control over this region until the early decades of the 20th century.
Quintana Roo was made a territory of Mexico by decree of President Porfirio Díaz on November 24, 1902. It was named after an early patriot of the Mexican Republic, Andrés Quintana Roo. The Mexican army succeeded in defeating most of the Maya population of the region during the 1910s, and in 1915 the area was again declared to legally be part of the state of Yucatán. In 1931 the territory of Quintana Roo was again separated from Yucatán.
Quintana Roo was granted statehood within the United Mexican States on October 8, 1974. It is the Mexican Republic's youngest state.
Quintana Roo is divided into eight municipalities
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The State of Quintana Roo strecthes down is the eastern part of the peninsula from the tip of north most point to Belize. It has a surface of 50,212 square kilometers and is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea in both north and east. Belize and Guatemala are to the south while Campeche and Yucatan lay westward.
The name of this state, comes from Andrés Quintana Roo, who played an important role in the creation of the Republic.
Quintana Roo, is the youngest state of the Mexican Republic. It was awarded the status of a Free Sovereign State in October 8, 1974 after having filled population and economic requirements. The local constitution was promulgated on January 12, 1975.
The climate in Quintana Roo, for most of its surface is a warm one with occasional showers. The hurricane season begins middle August to November.
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Experts believe that the first villages on the Yucatán Peninsula were founded between 500 and 300 B.C., although the exact date is unclear. During the Classic period the Mayan cities of Cobá, Dzibanché and Kohunlich flourished. Tulum, the inland port of Muyil and Cobá prospered during the Post-Classic period and Cobá's importance as a regional trade center waxed. Muyil was linked to the coast via canals that wind through the wetlands.
The Post-Classic Yucatán was divided into chiefdoms or cacicazgos. After the fall of Mayapán ca 1450, there were no less than 19 chiefdoms. Ekab, Cochuah and Chetumal were fiefs located in what is now Quintana Roo.
When the Spaniards first set foot on Mexican soil, the Yucatecan Maya were beset by hardships. Nevertheless, the Europeans found subjugation of the Indians no easy task. It wasn't until 1546 that they controlled large parts of the Peninsula and were able to divide the land into encomiendas or land-holdings. The estates soon foundered and the region was abandoned. The area's isolation attracted pirates who sought refuge along the coast between Bahía de la Ascención and Honduras. Independence brought little change to the Peninsula and in 1847, the Caste War ignited the entire region. The greatest in a long line of Mayan rebellions, it continued for more than 50 years.
In 1902, Quintana Roo became a territory and was declared a state in 1974.
The ancient Maya
Archaeological zones, many of them unexplored, pepper the Quintana Roo landscape. Sites along the coast are testimony to the importance of the north-south Caribbean trade route still in use at the time of the Conquest, while the ancient cities of the south date from the Classic period and had links with city states in the Petén. Artificial reservoirs, irrigation and raised fields improved crop yields and evidence suggests that up to one million people inhabited pre-Conquest Southern Quintana Roo, more than the state's present-day population.
The coming of the Spaniards
When the Spaniards first set foot on the Yucatán Peninsula they found a land at war with itself. However, when the Maya perceived the threat to their world they put up a fierce resistance. Despite their efforts, superior weaponry and horses gave the Europeans victory in battle, and cruel repression and epidemics soon brought the Indians to their knees.
Victory theirs, the Spaniards divided the Yucatán Peninsula into encomiendas or land grants which they seized as spoils of war. Mayan inhabitants of the land grants had to work for the owner and pay him tribute. Estates (haciendas) and plantations sprang up in many parts of the Peninsula, however, the poor soils and unswerving hostility of the Maya meant that most encomiendas failed, especially in Quintana Roo. Mayan rebellions were commonplace and conditions along the eastern seaboard were so unfavorable for the foundation of Spanish communities, that the few colonists gradually abandoned the area.
Now and then
In 1893, the frontier between Mexico and Belize was drawn up and the eastern region of the Peninsula belonged to the state of Yucatán. In 1896, military commander Othón P. Blanco founded the city of Payo Obispo (now Chetumal) on the banks of the Hondo River. Created in 1902, the territory of Quintana Roo was named in honor of Andrés Quintana Roo, hero of the Mexican struggle for Independence.
The sacred Mayan city and rebel stronghold of Chan Santa Cruz was taken by General Ignacio Bravo in 1901; he subsequently renamed it Santa Cruz de Bravo. The military campaign against the rebels drew to a close, their ranks were diminished by epidemics, famine and they were demoralized by the death of their leaders. The Caste War officially ended on July 1, 1904 but the cruzoob continued their struggle, albeit covertly.
As agricultural and forestry development began in the region, the territory of Quintana Roo was also used as a penal colony, receiving the opponents of the regime of President Porfirio Díaz until 1911. In 1910, Santa Cruz de Bravo (now Felipe Carrillo Puerto) and Vigía Chico were the most important settlements in the territory, the former as the capital and the latter as its port. Santa Cruz de Bravo was returned to the Maya in 1915 and Payo Obispo became the capital. By 1918, Francisco May, the supreme leader of the Maya held Quintana Roo in an iron grip, both politically and militarily and had a monopoly on chicle production as the middle man between Mexican and foreign concessionaires and international companies.
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HISTORY OF QUINTANA ROO
Welcome to the Center of the World, this peninsula considered by the Mayans as their own sub-continent. According to the Mayan holy book the "Chilam Balam of Chumayel," this territory was first established by the Itzáes, who arrived from the south in the year 435 and founded Syancan Bakhalal. The Mayan villages in what is today called Quintana Roo were originally part of the indigenous Confederation of Mayapán. The names of the main chieftainships on the Yucatan Peninsula were: Ekab, Chanac Ha, Tazes and Cupules in the north and center; Cochuah and Chetumal in the south.
Gonzalo Guerrero and Jeronimo de Aguilar, two survivors of shipwrecked Spanish expeditions who were the first Hispanics to make contact with the natives of the Eastern region of the Yucatan Peninsula were taken into captivity by Nachancán, the Mayan cacique of Chetumal, and thereafter became the first Mexicans, the first euro-indio, Hispanic-Mayan mix. The earliest Spanish expeditions failed in their attempt to settle the eastern Mayan region, and in 1527 Francisco de Montejo arrived on Cozumel and tried to settle villages, but he also had to retreat because of the hostility of the natives.
Later, Alonso Dávila arrived in Tulum and Bakhalal. Davila founded a settlement called Villa Real, today called Chetumal, but had to abandon it due to surprise attacks from the Mayans. In 1545 the Spaniards managed to overcome the chieftain of Bakhalal and founded the Villa of Salamanca de Bacalar there, but up to 1639 the Mayans of Quintana Roo had not been conquered, staying in constant rebellion, and falling back towards the forest interior. Here they founded the famous Chan Santa Cruz, capital of the Mayan people`s struggle, that never has been conquered by the Spaniards.
On the 30th of July, the Mayan rebellion, called the Caste War due to its being a civil war between classes, exploded in Tepich. In 1848 the Mayans devastated Bacalar. This war would last more than 50 years until 1901, and although kept under a form of control, the fundamental problems that originated it would continue being reason for restlessness until the present day. The government of Yucatan has never obtained complete control of the natives of the eastern peninsula. These Mayans have fought continuously for the restitution of their land and to establish their own government.
Venancio Pec, Jacinto Pat, Cecilio Chí are the names of some of the indigenous heroes. In 1901, the federal army managed to occupy Bacalar and Chan Santa Cruz, but the natives fled into the forest. Othón P. Blanco, with his peacemaking attempts, managed to approach the Mayans and make them recognize the government of the Republic. Due to the lack of control on the part of the government and the prior loss of Mexican territory to Guatemala and Belize, the Mayan revolt forced the creation of the Federal Territory of Quintana Roo. This division of the Yucatan peninsula was created by decree on the 16 of January of 1902, with 50.843 square kilometers on the east of the Yucatan Peninsula.
Quintana Roo includes all the territory that had remained under Mayan control. In the "Porfiriato," as is called the presidency of Porfirio Diaz, the territory was under control of several large estate owners who had enormous land holdings. Upon the victory of the Revolution, President Madero dismissed the "porfirista" authorities in the territory and released the political prisoners. In 1913 the annexation of Quintana Roo was decreed to Yucatan, which provoked the rebellion of Abel Ortiz Argumedo in 1915. This action added to the indigenous opposition, and caused the territory of Quintana Roo to be recovered again in 1915: General Salvador Alvarado, military commandander of the peninsula, went to Santa Cruz de Bravo, where the natives continued fighting the soldiers and demanded the retirement of troops and the restitution of lands to the Mayans. Although General Alvarado returned their land to them, the mistrusting Mayans destroyed the communication routes to the rest of the peninsula.
In 1931, due to the economic difficulties of the federal government, the state of Quintana Roo was again dissolved and its territory divided between the two states of Yucatan and Campeche. On the 11th of January, 1935, under the direction of Jose Marrufo Hernandez, Quintana Roo obtained from the government of General Cardenas a newly created territory of Quintana Roo, with the same boundaries it had in 1902. The revolutionary government developed communications beyond those which, for centuries, were limited to only maritime communication: the airports, radio stations, telephones and telegraph which today unite Quintana Roo with the rest of the republic. Electrical, educational and health services multiplied, thus improving the lives of the inhabitants of Quintana Roo, until finally, in 1976, the people of Quintana Roo realize their demand and Quintana Roo is declared a Free and Sovereign State of the Mexican Republic.
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Historia de Quintana Roo
Aunque no hay datos certeros sobre la fecha, se sabe que los primeros asentamientos en la península de Yucatán datan de 500 a 300 años a.C.
En el Clásico florecieron Cobá, Dzibanché y Kohunlich, y para el Pos-clásico Tulum, Cobá y Muyil, ciudades del interior que controlaban el comercio de la costa mediante canales que comunicaban al mar. Durante este período, la península se dividía en pequeños cacicazgos.
Con el fin de la liga de Mayapán, la prosperidad se interrumpió y se formaron 19 cacicazgos; Ekab, Cochuah y Chetumal, también conocido como Chactemal, quedaron dentro de lo que hoy es Quintana Roo.
A la llegada de los españoles la península se hallaba en crisis; no obstante, la conquista fue difícil, pero se consumó y se crearon encomiendas. Estas no properaron y la región quedó en el abandono, lo que provocó que la zona costerar desde Honduras a Bahía de la Ascención fuera refugio de piratas ingleses que asolaban los centros de acopio españoles.
La Independencia poco cambió las cosas y la tradición rebelde de los mayas dio origen en 1847 a la Guerra de Castas. Tras varias divisiones de la península, en 1902 se crea el Territorio de Quintana Roo, con su extensión actual. El proceso poblacional de Quintana Roo cambió por completo y en 1974 un decreto lo elevó a estado Libre y Soberano
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La historia de Quintana Roo, como estado, comienza en 1902 cuando se crea el Territorio Federal de Quintana Roo; sin embargo, para una mayor comprensión de los procesos históricos que llevaron a la constitución de Quintana Roo como un territorio independiente es preciso referenciar algunos de los principales capítulos de su existencia.
A fines del siglo XIX Yucatán carecía de medios para someter a los mayas rebeldes, de la parte oriental de la península. El presidente Porfirio Díaz buscaba, el control económico y político de la frontera con Belice y la explotación de estas ricas tierras en recursos naturales y forestales. El 24 de noviembre de 1902 se creó el Territorio Federal de Quintana Roo con una extensión de 50 000 km2.
Pocos después, fue nombrado el general de división José María de la Vega primer jefe político de Quintana Roo ejerciendo su función desde el Campamento General Vega, que funcionó en los hechos como capital del naciente Territorio. Durante la Administración de José María de la Vega, se optó por una división en tres distritos de acuerdo con su situación geográfica: norte, centro y sur. De 1903 a 1911 el General Ignacio A. Bravo se desempeñó como jefe político del Territorio. Por esos tiempos el territorio se caracterizó por el creciente arribo de presos políticos y opositores al régimen a la colonia penal llamada “Cuerpo de Operarios”. Entre abril y mayo de 1903 se llevaron a cabo las primeras elecciones en el Territorio de Quintana Roo para conformar los ayuntamientos en Payo Obispo, Bacalar, Xcalak, Campamento General Vega e Isla Mujeres; en Cozumel se instaló una junta municipal.
El 27 de febrero de 1904 se publicó en el Diario Oficial de la Federación la Ley de Organización Política y Municipal del Territorio Federal de Quintana Roo en la que se especificaba que la capital del Territorio sería Santa Cruz de Bravo.
A partir de 1911 el general Manuel Sánchez Rivera fue enviado por el gobierno del presidente Francisco I Madero para sustituir a Bravo en el poder. En junio de 1913, Carranza decretó la anexión del Territorio de Quintana Roo a Yucatán. En junio de 1915 el gobernador yucateco Salvador Alvarado, decidió devolver a los mayas Santa Cruz, desplazándo la capital a Payo Obispo. El 26 de junio Carranza expidió en Veracruz otro decreto que derogaba el de 1913 y reintegraba el Territorio de Quintana Roo. En 1918 Carranza, otorgó a Francisco May el grado de general constitucionalista, mismo que controló y monopolizó la compra-venta de toda la producción chiclera de la zona y concentró gran poder político.
Entre 1916 y 1930, con el traslado de la capital del Territorio a Payo Obispo, la zona sur de Quintana Roo tuvo un importante desarrollo. La organización política del Territorio, se modificó en 1917 con la creación de los municipios libres promulgada en la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Quintana Roo quedó dividido en tres municipios: Cozumel, Isla Mujeres y Payo Obispo.
En 1924, Plutarco Elías Calles nombró al general Amado Aguirre gobernador del Territorio y al propio tiempo jefe de una comisión para realizar un estudio político, administrativo y económico de Quintana Roo, con la intención de evaluar la conveniencia de conservar al Territorio como entidad dependiente de la federación.
Durante la gestión del doctor José Siurob, a fines de 1928 se decretó la desaparición de los municipios libres en los territorios federales; éstos fueron sustituidos por delegaciones de gobierno lo cual nuevamente dio al gobernador un poder centralizado y provocó que varios quintanarroenses fueran relegados de los puestos públicos. Quintana Roo quedó dividido en cuatro delegaciones con cabeceras en: Payo Obispo, Santa Cruz, Cozumel e Isla Mujeres. El 14 de diciembre de 1931 se decretó la anexión de Quintana Roo a los estados de Yucatán y Campeche aduciendo que el Territorio, al no poder bastarse a sí mismo económicamente, representaba un enorme egreso para la federación.
El 11 de enero de 1935 el presidente Cárdenas emitió un decreto, publicado en el Diario Oficial el 16 de enero, mediante el cual se creó nuevamente el Territorio Federal de Quintana Roo. El 8 de febrero de 1935 ocupó la gubernatura del Territorio el general Rafael E. Melgar, considerado como uno de los gobernadores más destacados de la entidad. Melgar dejó la gubernatura del Territorio en diciembre de 1940, le sustituyó Gabriel R. Guevara quien permaneció en el poder hasta abril de 1944.
En abril de 1944 tomó posesión como gobernador del Territorio Margarito Ramírez, quien ha sido el gobernante con mayor tiempo de permanencia en el poder. La oposición a este gobernador estuvo representada en organizaciones como, el Comité Pro Gobernador Nativo formado en Cozumel (1946), el Frente Renovador Quintanarroense (1948) y el Comité Pro Defensa Territorial de Quintana Roo. Durante la gestión de Margarito Ramírez un huracán cambiaría la historia de la zona sur del Territorio, y sus consecuencias traerían, tiempo después, beneficios económicos y cambios políticos sustanciales. El 27 de septiembre de 1955, Janet, destruyó por completo Xcalak, Vigía Chico y prácticamente la ciudad de Chetumal. El huracán Janet fue un parteaguas en la vida de muchas poblaciones, la historia de Chetumal y de Xcalak, por ejemplo, se escribe antes y después del Janet.
El presidente Adolfo López Mateos nombró como gobernador del Territorio al ingeniero Aarón Merino Fernández, quien con el apoyo económico de la federación contribuyó a la reconstrucción de Chetumal, al fomento de la pequeña industria y al desarrollo de la agricultura y ganadería.
En 1964 Merino Fernández fue sustituido por Rufo Figueroa. Acorde con el proyecto de transformación económica y social del Territorio, durante su gestión tuvo lugar a la creación del ingenio Álvaro Obregón en tierras del ejido Pucté. Se inició la expansión de la red carretera hacia el norte del Territorio para comunicar Felipe Carrillo Puerto con Tulúm y Playa del Carmen.
El último gobernante de esta década fue Javier Rojo Gómez, quien inició su periodo en mayo de 1967. Se construyeron obras de beneficio social, entre las que destacan el Centro Regional de Enseñanza Normal en Bacalar, la construcción de la carretera Chetumal-Escárcega, la pavimentación de la carretera Puerto Juárez-Playa del Carmen y la terracería del camino Felipe Carrillo Puerto-Tulum (1970).
La orientación económica de la entidad daría un giro de 180 grados, al iniciar en Quintana Roo la industria turística, hasta entonces poco explotada en la República Mexicana: el turismo. Iniciaba la gestación de Cancún.
A fines de 1970 falleció Javier Rojo Gómez, le sustituyó, el 4 de enero de 1971, David Gustavo Gutiérrez Ruiz, quien fue el último gobernador de Quintana Roo como Territorio Federal. En 1972, el presidente Luis Echeverría Álvarez, emitió un acuerdo presidencial que otorgó para todo el Territorio la condición de zona libre durante los siguientes ocho años. Al fin Quintana Roo reunía las condiciones necesarias establecidas en el artículo 73 de la Constitución el cual dispone, que para dejar su condición de Territorio, debía contar con una población mínima de 80 mil habitantes, ingresos propios suficientes para cubrir los gastos de administración pública, así como la existencia de infraestructura agrícola, industrial, comercial y educativa, entre otras.
El 2 de septiembre de 1974 Echeverría envío al Congreso de la Unión una iniciativa de ley para que Quintana Roo y Baja California Sur fueran elevados a la categoría de estados. Tras la aprobación de las legislaturas estatales, el 8 de octubre de 1974 Quintana Roo nació como estado libre y soberano con los mismos límites y extensión que se le había otorgado en 1902. David Gustavo Gutiérrez Ruiz fue nombrado gobernador provisional.
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