Chiapa de Corzo was the first official Spanish settlement in present-day Chiapas. Originally called Villa Real, and later Chiapa de Indios, it was founded in 1528 on the banks of the Río Grijalva by conquistador Diego de Mazariegos, following the bloody subjugation of the dominant Chiapa indigenous people.
The Chiapanecs, a warrior people who had themselves conquered the native Zoques around A.D. 1000, held off better-armed Spanish invaders for four years, and many are said to have thrown themselves from the Sumidero Canyon walls rather than be captured. Within a month of the city’s founding, however, rampant disease forced Mazariegos to move the new capital upland to present-day San Cristóbal.
Some settlers remained, however, and the city slowly grew, establishing vast cacao and sugarcane plantations, and eventually was selected, in 1545, as the site of a major Dominican mission. The city adopted its current name in 1888 in honor of Ángel Albino Corzo, a revered municipal president.
© Liza Prado and Gary Chandler from Moon Chiapas, 1st Edition