On a previous occasion, we pointed out that Yucatán did not have an active participation in the independence process, and we also said that the peninsula was not alien to the ideas of freedom and emancipation that existed in New Spain at that time and in the entire American continent.
Yucatecan writer Roldán Peniche Barrera points out in his book “Mérida, a Reflec- tion of the History of Yucatán”, that the struggle for Independence in Yucatán was not distinguished by the bloody events in other parts of the country, but by the ex- change of ideas and the dialogue. There were two clearly defined factions: the Ru- tineros who opposed the independence ideas, and the Liberals who expressed solidarity with the movement started in 1810 by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla.
Peniche Barrera points out that among the members of the Liberals, the group called San Juanistas stood out because they met in the parish church of San Juan Bautista. It was a liberal group, led by a priest, Vicente María Velázquez.
When the Plan of Iguala was pro- claimed in 1821, the idea of independence from Spain gained a greater presence in Yucatan. The governor then convened in the city of Mérida, a public assembly in the town hall, which was attended by the Bishop of Yucatán, Pedro Agustín Es- tévez y Ugarte, the plenary session of the City Council, the main military and politi- cal leaders, among other people.
This public meeting was held on Sep- tember 15, 1821, twelve days before the entry of the Triguarante Army into Mex- ico City, and the result was the procla- mation of the independence of Yucatan from Spanish rule. For this purpose, a re- cord was drafted with six paragraphs pre- sented below.
- That the province of Yucatán, united in affections and feelings to all those who aspire to happiness on American soil, knowing that its political indepen- dence is demanded by justice, required by necessity, and paid for by the desire of all its inhabitants; proclaims it under the assumption that the independence system is not in contradiction with civil liberty, hoping to do so solemnly after those in charge of establishing its bas- es, pronounce their agreement and the manner and time to bring it to due and punctual execution.
- To more effectively strengthen the sa- cred rights of liberty, property, and legit- imate security, elements that constitute public order and social happiness, they agreed that existing laws be observed without the slightest alteration, according to the constitutional order, and authorities are respected in all branches of the gov- ernment currently established.
- All the Americans and European Span- iards shall be recognized as brothers and friends, without disturbing the civil repose enjoyed by the entire province, which is desired to be preserved as a pre- ferred object to communicate peacefully with its inhabitants, as well as all the busi- nesses and transactions of civil life.
- That the M.I. Campeche City Council, in agreement with the Lieutenant named by the King of Spain, and most trusted by him, to go to the province of Tabasco and manifest to the Commander that on behalf of the Imperial Army, sending the resolution taken, agreeing with the con- tinuation and observance of the currently existing political and civil relations. be- tween Campeche and Tabasco.
- That to prevent the irreparable dam- ages that would result from the inter- ruption of trade in Yucatecan ports, its continuation is agreed in the same way under the rules, tariffs, and securities, currently established.
- To make this determination more no- ticeable and effective, Mr. Juan Rivas Vértiz and Mr. Francisco Antonio Tarrazo are commissioned to communicate to the superior Chiefs or provisional govern- ment they have agreed to establish in N.E. so that as soon as possible and with the most complete instruction, they inform this province of their defined resolutions.
In this way, without firing a single shot, Yucatan became independent from Spain and expressed its interest in joining the new Mexican nation.
By Indalecio Cardeña Vázquez
For The Yucatán Times / Times Media México
Mérida Yucatán, México
Indalecio Cardeña Vázquez. – Anthropologist, researcher, and writer.
He has collaborated with the “Unidad Yucatán de la Dirección de Culturas Populares”, Instituto Nacional Indigenista and was the director of the Pinacoteca “Juan Gamboa Guzmán” of the INAH
Among his anthropological works is the iconographic analysis of the colonial sacred art of the Yucatan Peninsula; the symbolisms in the facade of Conquistador Montejo’s house, in Mérida; the Mayan symbolism in the Yucatan Cathedral, and the archaeoastronomy among the Mayans.
Professor Cardeña has written several books and articles since the mid-1980s to this date.