- 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
year_start = 1838
date_start = May 31
year_end = 1840
date_end = April 2
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
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 Americain the 1830s. Its capital was Quetzaltenangoand it occupied the west of present-day Guatemalaand parts of the Mexican state of Chiapas.
The state originated from the political differences and tensions between
Guatemala Cityon one side, and Quetzaltenangoand other parts of western Central America on the other. Debate about separation from Guatemala dated from shortly after Central American independence from Spainin 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 Juneof that year. The flagof Los Altos was a modification of that of the Central American Union, with a central seal showing a volcanoin the background with a quetzal (a local bird symbolizing liberty) in front. This was the first Central American flag to use the quetzalas 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 factoruler, forcibly annexed Quetzaltenangoand 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 Carrerabriefly reproclaimed the independence of Los Altos.
The region is still distinctive today, and "Los Altos" is still a nickname for the region of
Guatemalaaround Quetzaltenango. Similarly, the Mexican portion of the former state is known as "Los Altos de Chiapas".
* "Historical Atlas of Central America", C. Hall, H.P. Brignoli, J.V. Cotter,
University of Oklahoma Press, 2003.
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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