Huajuapan De León - History


The first inhabitants of this area are called the Ñuu Yate (ancient people) who formed their settlement in what is now the town of Huajuapan around 400 BCE. The initial settlement had about 500 to 1500 inhabitants, but as the city grew to it height between 350 and 800 CE it had up to 300,000 people in the valley. The next culture to flourish here was the Mixteca-Puebla culture at about 1200. During this time period, Huajuapan was one of several population centers on the slopes of the Cerro del Sombererito and Cerro de Acatlima, but it was the economic, cultural and ceremonial center of the valley. Sometime shortly after 1521, the Spaniards took control of this region. It is known that Francisco Orozco, along with Augustinians Fray Bernardino Minaya and Fray Gonzales Lucero were the first Spanish to arrive here. However, no Spanish records exist for this region until 1542.

The Spanish town of Huajuapan was founded in 1561 by order of the viceregal authorities in Mexico City. Prior to this the low parts of the valley were not organized and merchants travelling through the area often suffered from highway bandits. Residents of the hill areas around the valley were ordered to move to the valley floor to found the city. The economy here during the colonial period was dominated by haciendas that exploited the native labor of the region.

During the Mexican War of Independence, this village was subject to a siege by insurgent forces that lasted 111 days. Resistance of the town was finally broken in June 1812 by Coronel Valerio Trujano, with help from General José María Morelos. After Independece, the villaje began to grow, becoming a town named Huajuapan de León. In 1884, the town was declared a city by then-governor Mariano Jiménez.

Initially, the city of Huajuapan was the seat of a district under the 1825 Oaxaca state constitution, with the name of Huajuapan-Silacayoapan. In 1844, the state was reorganized into new districts with Huajuapan being one of them. In 1858, it was reorganized again, but Huajuapan remained the seat of a district.

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