Chakán Putum's victory day, in Champotón, Campeche, is celebrated every March 25. Photo: (John Carter Brown Library)

Champotón, Campeche, (March 25, 2021).- Today the Government of Mexico commemorates the Victory of Chakán Putum, in Champotón, that is why The Yucatan Times explains the meaning of that date and the reason why it is commemorated every March 25th.

The city of Chakán Putum

According to Antonio Benavides Castillo, from the National Institute of Anthropology and History, the original name is “Chakán Putún” (with an “n”), however, over the years and due to the variety of forms used, it ended up being called “Chakán Putum” (with an “m”).

It was one of the main cities of Acalán-Tixchel, close to the mouth of the Grijalva River and where the town of Santa María de la Victoria was later founded, in the present-day, part of the state of Tabasco. The population was one of the most important in this province.

Image: (“Mayan Chiefdoms in the 16th Century” by Ralph Roys)

The territory of Chakán Putún was dominated in the 16th century by the Couohes, that is, the Cohuó family, the lineage from which Moch Cohuó comes, a character that will lead to the important victory that we are about to tell you.

Victory day

In 1517 the Spaniards, led by Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, reached the Bay of Champotón, where they carried out an expedition, which was even prior to that of Hernán Cortés, who arrived in Veracruz three years later.

After their arrival, they assured the Maya that they were only looking to supply themselves with water and then retreat, however, the Spanish decided to stay on land, which was not well seen by the Maya, who decided to act against them.

It was on March 25, 1517, when Moch Cohuó, who was the religious and political leader of the local Maya settlement, summoned his people to take up arms and thus force the Spanish to leave.

The Spanish then suffered an ambush in which they were surprised by the Maya, as they defeated them with bows and cane arrows, as well as rodelas and spears.

They killed 26 of his men and left at least 50 injured, so Captain Hernández de Córdoba, who end up with 33 wounds himself, accepted the painful defeat and decided to escape with those who had survived.

After his retirement, Hernández returned to Cuba and finally died fo the inflicted wounds in Havana.

Having won this battle against the Spanish and having heroically defended their territory, the descendants of the Maya warriors that fought that day decided to call it Chakán Putum’s Victory Day, and is commemorated every March 25 to pay tribute to the bravery and resistance of the Maya people.

Francisco Hernández de Córdoba Photo: (Book “The true stories of the conquest of New Spain”)

Three day celebration

Since March 23 until today, the Campeche state government carried out various activities to celebrate this date.

On March 23, the National Lottery unveiled a commemorative ticket and the winners of the Campeche children’s painting contest were awarded.

While on March 24, the Autonomous University of Campeche held a historic colloquium to finally close this Thursday 25 with a representation of the Spanish invasion at that time, and a special ceremony, led by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his guest, the President of Bolivia, Luis Arce.

The Yucatan Times
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