Introduction of Chiapas
State in SE Mexico on the Pacific Ocean, bordered on the E by Guatemala. The Spanish had great difficulty in conquering the area, which in colonial times was part of the captaincy general of Guatemala. After independence from Spain and after the collapse of the Mexican Empire in 1823, Chiapas attained a degree of independence until it became part of Mexico in 1824. Its present boundaries were set in 1882. Near Tuxtla Gutierrez, which is the capital, are the Mayan ruins of Bonampak, discovered in 1946 and containing colorful frescoes. Also in Chiapas is another splendid Mayan city, Palenque, with well-preserved temples. Chiapas has been the site of local revolutionary activity since 1994 by the Zapatistas led by Command ante Marcos that have made armed and political struggle for the benefit of the indigenous populations. The state’s economic development has been delayed by the local unrest and lack of adequate transportation facilities.