Los Altos, Central America

Los Altos, Central America

Infobox Former Country
native_name = Estado de los Altos
conventional_long_name = Sexto Estado de los Altos
common_name = Los Altos
continent = North America
region = Central America
status = State
event_start =
year_start = 1838
date_start = May 31
year_end = 1840
date_end = April 2
event_end =
p1 = Federal Republic of Central America
flag_p1 = Flag of the Federal Republic of Central America.svg
s1 = Guatemala
flag_s1 = Guatemala 1838 - 1843.svg
s2 = Mexico
flag_s2 = Flag of Mexico (1823-1864, 1867-1968).png





capital = Quetzaltenango
currency = Central American Republic real
government_type = Republic
common_languages = Spanish

Los Altos ("The Highlands" in the Spanish language) was an area of Central America, which was added as a sixth state to the Federal Republic of Central America in the 1830s. Its capital was Quetzaltenango and it occupied the west of present-day Guatemala and parts of the Mexican state of Chiapas.

The state originated from the political differences and tensions between Guatemala City on one side, and Quetzaltenango and other parts of western Central America on the other. Debate about separation from Guatemala dated from shortly after Central American independence from Spain in 1821. Such a separate state was provided for by the Federal constitutional assembly of November 1824, but there was sizable opposition to the separation in Guatemala City.

The independence of Los Altos from Guatemala was officially proclaimed on 2 February, 1838. The Federal government recognized Los Altos as the sixth state of the union and seated the representatives of Los Altos in the Federal Congress on 5 June of that year. The flag of Los Altos was a modification of that of the Central American Union, with a central seal showing a volcano in the background with a quetzal (a local bird symbolizing liberty) in front. This was the first Central American flag to use the quetzal as a symbol; since 1871, it has been on the present flag of Guatemala.

Los Altos consisted of the administrative regions of Totonicapan (the modern Guatemalan departments of Totonicapán, Huehuetenango), Quetzaltenango (the modern departments of Quetzaltenango and San Marcos) and Suchitepéquez-Sololá (the modern departments of Retalhuleu, Suchitepéquez, Sololá, and Quiché).

As the Federation crumbled into civil war, Los Altos declared itself an independent republic. On 2 April, 1840, the majority of the government officials from Los Altos were captured by Rafael Carrera's horde army, then quickly shot on his orders. Rafael Carrera, de facto ruler, forcibly annexed Quetzaltenango and much of Los Altos into Guatemala. Taking advantage of the chaos and unsettled situation, Soconusco, part of what had been the Federal Republic of Central America in modern eastern Chiapas was annexed by Mexico.

In 1844, 1848, and 1849, unsuccessful revolts against the dictatorship of Rafael Carrera briefly reproclaimed the independence of Los Altos.

The region is still distinctive today, and "Los Altos" is still a nickname for the region of Guatemala around Quetzaltenango. Similarly, the Mexican portion of the former state is known as "Los Altos de Chiapas".

References

* "Historical Atlas of Central America", C. Hall, H.P. Brignoli, J.V. Cotter, University of Oklahoma Press, 2003.

ee also

* History of Guatemala

External Links (in Spanish)

* [http://mx.geocities.com/ciudaddequetzaltenango/sextoe.htm El Sexto Estado]
* [http://thingy.apana.org.au/~fjc/scn/mirrors/chochi/xela.html Quetzaltenango en la Historia]


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