|This guide describes all of the Los Tuxtlas municipio, many of its villages and towns, including
maps, photos, statistics, and most major attractions.
|The North Tuxtlas Municipios and Villages
Catemaco - has its own chapter
San Andrés Tuxtla
Hueyapan de Ocampo
The South Tuxtlas Municipios and Villages
Tatahuicapan de Juarez
Other Los Tuxtlas Municipios
Angel R. Cabada
|Los Tuxtlas Municipios
|Municipios are the basis of territorial division and political and administrative organization of the Mexican states. They have
rest of Europe.
Article 115 of current Mexican constitution dating from 1917, proclaims the autonomy of local governments, but gives
states the right to proclaim their own uniform laws applicable to the governing of all its municipios.
As of 2009 there are 2554 municipos distributed in 31 Mexican states ranging in population from 102 inhabitants to 1.8
million. Mexico City has its own form of government and the equivalent of municipios are called delegaciones there.
Most of the municipios have the same name as its major town. In Veracruz, when another ciity within the municipio grows
in political strength or attitude, it requests approval from the Veracruz legislature to form its own municipality. In Los
Tuxtlas, the last one to do so was Tatahuicapan de Juarez breaking away from Mecayapan.
After Mexican independence, Veraruz codified its municipios and established their territorial limits, forming the first Los
Tuxtlas municipio, then called "canton" in Santiago Tuxtlas in 1825.
|The terms used to describe the local government and officers have no exact English translations, so here are my
Municipio translates to municipality, but is actually a city/county combination
Ayuntamiento means municipal government or municipal council, but is used like "city hall" in English
Cabildo is the municipal government council, and cabildes are the municipal government officers, sort of like city counsel
Presidente Municipal, or alcalde is the mayor
Sindico Unico means trustee but is technically the second most powerful position in the municipal government, combing
functions of city attorney and city treasurer.
Regidor means councilman, but the office functions as a department head.
The following 2 are appointed by the presidente:
Secretaria of a municipio is not a secretary, but is much more like the city manager.
Tesorero means treasurer, but lacks the oversight authority and acts as a bookkeeper.
|Municipal elections are along state authorized party lines, and are held every three years, and the duration of the elected
government is referred to as a trienio (3 year term).
By law the winning party gets the presidencia and the sindico unico position. The regidores offices are proportionally
assigned to all parties, including the winning one. The total number of regidores are assigned by the state according to
latest census figures.
The elected mayor may not be reelected to a second term until another trienio has passed. To be elected and be part of
the ayuntamiento, candidates must be a Mexican citizen, a 5 year resident of Veracruz and can´t be a religious minister,
among other requirements. Judicial and legislative powers are reserved to the state, but they are often circumvented by a
|The presidente, by unwritten law, has enormous political power, and in effect makes all decisions in the government.
Officially though, the cabildo controls government actions and assigns regidores to head departments authorized by the
state government, including:
Potable Water and Drainage
Streets, Parks and Gardens
Municipal Police, but not traffic police
plus anything else the state authorizes.
Although they are authorized to collect property taxes and user fees, municipalities have historically lacked the means to
do so, and relied mainly on transfers from state governments for most of their revenues. A 1984 constitutional amendment
to Article 115 expanded municipalities' authority to raise revenue and formulate budgets. Further federal programs have
now transferred reliance on revenue to many federal sources of revenue, thereby undermining the previous strangle
holds by state governments in exchange for federal strangle holds. (see Wikipedia).
|Locally, there is almost no interaction between municipios unless obliged to do so by state or federal forces. Officially the
Los Tuxtlas municipios are split into 3 Veracruz regions. Angel R Cabada belongs to Sotavento. Catemaco, San Andres
Tuxtla and Santiago Tuxtla belong to Los Tuxtlas, and the southern municipalities are joined in Los Olmecas, together with
another dozen cities. The function of the regions seems to be only for state statistical purposes.
Political gerrymandering subdivides Los Tuxtlas into numerous state and federal electoral districts.
|Veracruz State Government
|Vera Cruz (true cross) was created a state in 1824 and is the only one of Mexico´s 31 states plus the Distrito Federal with
a 6 word name.
After the death of Ignacio de la Llave (1818-1863), a general and also the governor of Veracruz between 1857 and 1860,
the state was renamed Vera Cruz - Llave in his honor.
During the Mexican revolution and the attendant anti clericalism, Vera Cruz - Llave was renamed Veracruz Llave
presumably to shed its religious connotation.
In 2004, the name was changed from Veracruz - Llave to Veracruz de Ignacio de la Llave.
The state is run like a personal kingdom by a governor, elected to a single non repeatable, 6 year term.
The state maintains branches of many of its agencies in the major municipios. Most unpopular are Hacienda (State IRS),
Transito (traffic police) and Ministerio Publico (state attorney)
|Intra municipal Government
|Their government may be self evident to local inhabitants, but I have a hard time understanding the dynamics of political
power in community governments. Give me some time.
|Mexican Federal Government
|A 1995 estimate claims 48% of Mexican territory is community or ejido property. There are hundreds of ejidos in Los Tuxtlas.
Ejidos are Mexico´s contribution to modern socialism, designed to rectify the wholesale injustice perpetrated on campesinos
(country folk, farmers) from Cortes to the 1917 revolution and to improve agricultural production.
Communal ownership of land had been widely practiced by native peoples, but the institution was in decline before the
Spanish arrived. The conquistadors instituted the encomienda, which was superseded by the repartimiento and finally, after
independence (1821), by debt peonage.
Although legally abolished by the constitution of 1917, which provided for the restoration of the ejido, peonage remained a
general practice until 1934 when enactment of new ejido laws with teeth resulted in wholesale expropriation of private and
native´s lands for redistribution as ejidos.
After noticing that the system did not work, Mexico issued a new set of laws in 1992, "La Nueva Ley Agraria", The New
Farm Act (NLA), under which all of the Tuxtlas ejidos now operate.
Basically ejidos are an agricultural co-op composed of 3 types of lands:
1. Land for human settlement - the village with solares (lots) for individuals.
2. Common Land - grazing, forest, etc.
Ejidos are administered by a comisario ejidal, generally elected by an asamblea.
|The federal Mexican government maintains a heavy hand in many Los Tuxtlas municipios. Most prominent is the federal Highway
police and army outposts near major cities.
5 Senators are elected along party lines. 2 are elected direct, the other 3 by proportional appointment. At present (2009) Los
Tuxtlas have a resident senator in Santiago Tuxtla.