Spanish Franciscan priests tried once again to spread European Spanish control into the interior of Belize and they and their train of warriors were repulsed by the Itza and the Tipu (Belizeans) residents just east of Tipu at Hubelna.

The expedition to Tipu the Belizean capital, in western Belize was organized by the Franciscans as a peaceful overthrow of the independent Mayan government of Belize in Tipu, which the Spanish considered rebels from their viewpoint. This Belizean government indicated they would meet with Franciscan representatives on the condition that the old secular priest at Bacalar, Gregorio Marin de Aguilar be replaced. Fray Bartolome de Fuensalida was appointed as comisario because of his previous travels in the area and knowledge of the local language. This new reduction planned by the Spanish received 500 pesos of support for a six month period by the governor in Merida. The old priest willingly gave up his position in Bacalar and received another one with a guarantee of lifetime income further north in the Yucatan. Three other Franciscans arrived with Fuensalida. One of these was a creole lay Friar of mixed Mayan and Spanish blood named Fray Juan de Estrada who had served as alcalde in Bacalar before.

A lottery was held to see which vecinos in Bacalar would accompany the expedition. Various tame Maya would accompany the expedition in a position of carrying labor. It was decided that Fuensalida and Estrada should go to the capital of Belize, which was Tipu, though the Spanish simply referred to it as the center of the rebellion. Becerril would attempt to reduce the coastal towns and Tejero should stay behind at Bacalar. There were fourteen tame Maya in the party from San Juan Extramuros under the leadership of the alcalde Don Francisco Chable, recruited as paddlers for the dugouts. At Chinam (Corozal today), the town alcalde Andres Pech joined the party as a skilled navigator and fisherman, along with three other Corozaleanos (Chinam) and two women who would make tortillas for meals.

At Lamanai the party found the houses and church burnt. The residents had retreated to the bush to observe and watch the party. Near the end of the lagoon, they hid their dugouts and walked the path to the Belize River. Somewhere in here at a milpa, or rancho, there was disagreement on how to proceed. Finally, Fuensalida convinced the two alcaldes Don Francisco Chable and Don Andres Pech to go in advance to Tipu and arrange for dugouts to meet them on the Belize River bank. The Maya from Tipu had placed warning statues on posts on the trail, to signify no Spanish should pass further from this spot.

Further on, when the party reached the Belize River bank they found what we today, would call a customs and immigration post near a cacao orchard, but which Fuensalida called a party of rebels and his messengers waiting for them. The so called rebels were from Holpatin which had been long abandoned and burned and was now grown over. The Belizean Maya were in formal attire which consisted of being painted and had let their hair grow long according to the olden customs, not permitted under the Spanish colonial rule. The officials of the Maya government of Belize present, were Don Pedro Noh the previous cacique of Holpatin, his sons and six other persons and had been charged by the Mayan Belizean government authority in Tipu to refuse entry to any Spanish expeditions. In this regard Pedro Noh the leader of the Belizean officials gave a wild f owl to the Spanish friars and the f riar was told by his Mayan guides from the Yucatan that this was a declaration of war, not peace. Despite this, the friars pressed on and were carried in dugouts upstream to the riverside town of Zaczuz, which had been burnt to the ground like Lamanai before it. Even the bell had been cast aside into the forest, whereas earlier in 1631, the Sibun River valley (Xibun and Soite communities had moved and carried the bells with them.

At this point Pedro Noh went up to two of the Friars tame colonial Maya from the Yucatan and checked to see if they had coats of mail for protection from arrows and slapped them around, taunting them. These Maya fled back to Chantome leaving the friars with only three tame Maya companions from Bacalar and one Lazaro Pech from Kini, a servant. All the rest of the expedition then fled. Pedro Noh took the letters of introduction from the Friars and proceeded upriver to Tipu and the authorities. The town of Zaczua had been burned and the inhabitants had moved up into the hills to build a new town called Hubelna. This was along Roaring Creek known then as Yaxteel Ahau, near Belmopan today. While the Friars and their companions waited, they were generously fed by the previous cacaique of Zaczuz, Francisco Yam who allowed them to camp in his cacao orchard.

A lot of days were spent waiting and eventually the Friars convinced the people to let them go to the new town of Hubelna because they had no protection from the rainy season which had just started in the orchard. Here they were unwelcome, but given someone's small home. Eventually after more days of waiting, an official military party from Tipu arrived armed with machetes and bows and arrows. The group were insulted, threatened and at one point tied up. Eventually they were permitted to leave and return to Spanish controlled territory in the Yucatan, which the Friars and their faithful companions did in post haste bereft of their belongings. The official Mayan officials that had first greeted them on the Belize River at the control post, we would call an immigration point, Noh and his companions, came under censure by the official party from Tipu as having violated orders by providing transportation up river to Hubelna for the Spanish. They were threatened with punishment of 'pechnil, which was the punishment of having your nose broken and then later be executed. This was not carried out.

The group finally made it back to Bacalar, but not without fear of retribution and pursuit and so traveled fast and light. Their dugouts on the lagoon had been destroyed by the local Maya citizens and food cachement had been thrown away, but they dug some old canoes out of the mud and repaired them enough, to proceed past the burnt town of Lamanai. The tame Maya from the Yucatan with the group, raided plantations and caught fish for food going down New River. At the entrance to New River a camp was made and Andres Chi and Lazaro Pech went on ahead to Bacalar to get a more safe and seaworthy dugout. The friars were hungry and attempted to cross Corozal Bay to a rancho known as "El Rancho del Obispo", which is the location of present day Chetumal. This is when they nearly capsized and drowned. Through all this forty day trip, Lazaro Pech had unfailingly served Friar Fuensalida and later the Friar would write of him fondly.

By this time the Maya of Belize understood clearly that there was little difference between the catholic clergy, or the civil military arm when a new conquest was coming. Both were functions of the dictatorship of the crown in Spain. They were two arms with the same body and head, and while one talked religion and peace, the other would enslave with harqebus, mail armour and metal swords. Either way, the result would eventually be the same, slavery!

The recommendation of the Friars to Merida was that a military expedition would be needed to reduce the Maya communities in Belize once again and since by that time there were insufficient military might available for conquest by the Spanish, the Friars recommended that they come home from Bacalar and give it up.

There was intermarriage between the nobility of the Itza in central Peten and the Tipu Mayan nobility in western Belize for several hundred years during this period. Belize at the town of Tipu (now the Negroman ranch) had control of the cacao and the river trade route to the north and to the Caribbean Sea trade routes to the east, while Tayasal (FLORES) had more people and perhaps more military strength along with the export product of cotton cloth. Immigration continued to come down from the north in the Yucatan as the Maya fled the Spanish reductions and control.

Marriage between the Itza in the Central Peten was still recorded in 1695 and the people of Tipu in western Belize.

The town of Tipu was at the end of a string of Spanish visita missions extending south-southwest from Salamanca de Bacalar along the river routes and far upstream beyond miles of treacherous rapids in a small fertile valley in the foothills of the Belize Maya mountains. Tipu was never visited by anyone important in the Yucatan Spanish Colonial government as it was several days travel further than the remote town of Bacalar, which itself was distant from Merida.

The Maya both in their religious and civil beliefs believed in recurring cycles. These were measured in katuns. A katun measured 7,200 days. Thirteen katuns another cycle was 256 years. This meant the Maya were able to believe and calculate recurring cycles of war and politics in a historical cycle, foreign to our method of calculating linear time. Much of this was recorded and written in books called the Chilam Balam.

During the Spanish period beginning in 1539, a particular katun was identified by the name of it's first day, beginning the year with a Katun 11 Ahau. The next katun began in 1559 and was Katun 9 Ahau. The Itza's themselves were then able to predict by these cyclic histories, their own succumbing to Spanish rule. The Spanish conquest of Tah Itza in fact occurred in 1697, the first year of the katun. The Maya believe then and now, that the cycles of history repeat every 13 katuns.

While Fuensalida failed with his expedition through mainland Belize, his two Franciscan companions Fray Bartolome Becerril and Fray Martin Tejero had better luck in pacifying and reducing the coastal towns accessible by the sea routes and paddling dugouts. By the same reasoning, the Mayan capital of Belize at that time in the western hills at Tipu on the Macal River had difficult communications problems to anywhere on the coastal plain running up to the Mayan mountains past the Sibun River. Between this narrow coastal plain and the western reaches of Belize lie some very difficult terrain and rugged Mayan mountains.

Chanlacan was on the eastern side of the lagoon from former Lamanai which ha:4 been burned, the town of Zacatan was at Rocky Point directly west of the town of San Pedro on Ambergris Caye today, situated on a higher bluff along the swampy coast and shallow waters, Holzuz was a town situated where Belize City lies today, Manan was a small town where Gales Point lies today in Manatee Lagoon, Soite was a town located about three days paddling up Sittee River, Campin was a town on the coast, today called the village of Monkey River, Paliac was a town up the Rio Grande River somewhat east of Forest Home in Toledo today. All of these towns were accessible by paddling dugout.

Fray Becerril tried to recruit some of the Belizean Maya in the tame Spanish communities close to Bacalar to travel with him, but they all refused having been warned by the Mayan government in Tipu. Fray Becerril met no resistance at Manan (Gales Point), actually they were living on the shore, but heavy rains flooded the spot and they abandoned the town, but some time later Fray Becerril returned from a trip to Bacalar and brought a Spaniard named Lucas de San Miguel to be in charge of the people and they resettled them on an island called Zula, which is believed to be Gales Point peninsular today.

Both the Dutch and the English were exploring the coast and since these new explorers and settlers were considered to be trespassing on Spanish sovereign territory given to Spain by the Pope in Rome, they were labelled pirates by the Spanish. Dutch sailors and explorers captured Tejero and San Miguel, holding them prisoner for a while. These boats were in need of provisions and did indeed raid both Soite and Cehake around Sittee River taking the stored corn and beans from the milpas. Tejero eventually sought and sent down more maize and beans from Bacalar to these two towns in order to discourage the Mayan inhabitants from moving away further inland to less inaccessible spots. Both Soite and Cehake had a mixed population of two different speaking Mayan languages Some spoke Yucatec and others spoke Manche Chol of the Peten.

Campin (Monkey River) was exclusively all Manche Chol Maya There was an alcalde for Soite on Sittee River, whose name was Diego Canche, who was a Yucatec but who also spoke Manche Chol, much like many western and southern Maya do today in Belize. There was fairly regular passage between Campin and Soite at the time.

In October of 1642, Canche took Fray Tejero's message to the people of Campin up Monkey River, the trip lasting about eight days round trip. Here they agreed to meet him at the mouth of the river with passage in a dugout. The trip up stream took three days with paddlers and a small village was found with ten families. They said they had not seen any Spaniards for more than twenty five years. People came in from outlying milpas and family groups and eventually nearly seventy five families gathered together. They spoke of another town over the mountains in the interior of Manche Chol speaking people. Fray Tejero left the town with the promise to return in 1643, with the intention of forming a Spanish organized town, but failed to do so.

The war between the Dutch, English and Spanish came to the western Caribbean at this time and a raid was made on Bacalar, which was captured. Thereafter Spanish attempts to colonize south of the Rio Hondo collapsed and were never more.

By 1643, due to the frontier wars between the Spanish and their tame Maya and those Maya seeking to expel the Spanish invaders, the population of the western capital of Belize, Tipu, had swollen again to more than 1000 people fleeing from the violence up north and along the Belize river systems.

In late 1642 a pirate leader by the name of Diego Lucifer de los Reyes el Mulato sacked the Spanish town of Campeche in the Gulf of Mexico and began to raid all along the coast around the tip of Yucatan, along the coast of Belize and to the Gulf of Dulce. The pirates were made up of many different nationalities and colors. black and white, English, French, Dutch and others were among them. These were true pirates. Their homesite was Port Royal on the island of Roatan off the coast of Honduras. Captured men were used as slave labor to repair ships and the women put into prostitution and cooking labors.

Some Spanish agents for the Governor from Merida were supposed to travel south along the coast to take documents to Guatemala but were captured with four dugouts, off the Belize River mouth (Rio Balis) where the pirates had set up camp. The whole party then returned to Bacalar with the prisoners to guide them.

To travel to Bacalar and get into Chetumal Bay, the boats had to be shallow draft, a maximum of three feet deep would be all that is practical; so it is presumed the raid on the Spanish headquarters took place in dugouts. Since they passed by the town of Punta de Chinam, the passage would have been very shallow indeed.

The pirates once arriving in Bacalar raided the houses and the church, succeeding in getting the church treasury of 14, 000 pesos and the government treasury of 800 pesos. They also took the religious gold and silver ornaments for Catholic ceremonies. The pirates were armed with machetes, harquebuses and one shot ball pistols. Fray Becerril I s indian servant lost three fingers off one hand which were chopped off in an altercation and Manuel Rodriguez and Sebastian Rodriguez the two Spanish agents which were captured off the Belize River mouth were kept prisoner and Luis Fernandez a mixed mulatto and two Maya were taken away as prisoners. The Maya who helped carry off the loot, were finally set free, but nothing more was heard of the other prisoners.

The Governor in Merida asked for Royal permission to arm the thirty men from Bacalar, who were hiding in the bush near the lake and purchase arms and ammunition for them from excise tax revenues, but this never came to pass and the heyday of Bacalar controlling the frontier province of Chetumal (Belize) passed.

Bacalar was sacked again in 1648 by a pirate leader named Abraham. One vecino was killed and three others were wounded. The attractive women were taken prisoner to a place called cayos about twenty leagues along the coast. They suffered under the pirates for about two months, when a party of Spanish and Maya from Bacalar rescued them. Shortly afterward Salamancar de Bacalar was abandoned and the community moved to an old Mayan town called Pacha along the road to Valladolid. Any remaining Spanish influence or control over Belize ended at this period. The way was now open for British invasion and occupation of Belize and a new era of colonial history for the native Belizean Maya.

During the early 1650's, Captain Francisco Perez from Bacalar tried to get the agreement of the independent, autonomous Maya in Belize to accept renewed Spanish control of the territory. He was trying to resurrect the failed attempt of ten years earlier by Father Fuensalida. Unfortunately, for the Spanish, the British were now becoming entrenched along the Belize coast and without military support from Merida the villa in Bacalar had become powerless and the population had abandoned it in favor of exile at Pacha to the north, leaving Belize to the Mayan government out of Tipu in western Belize and what they called the buccaneers, or British settlers along the islands and coast.

The towns of Uatibal and Chanlacan had remained loyal to the Spanish, at least in name. These were located on New River on the east side of the lagoon. Dutch pirates though, had paddled in dugouts up the river seeking slaves in December and to steal food supplies. The Spaniard Francisco Perez alcalde in name of the Bacalar province succeeded in getting some maize supplies from interior Yucatan towns for relief of the inhabitants of Uatibal and Chanlacan. They were after all his encomienda according to the grant from the Governor in Merida, if Spanish military might could recover the Belizean territory and he was protecting his future interests.

The native Belizeans that were left, though few in number, thought otherwise. They thought the country was theirs by thousands of years of heritage and the Spaniards were foreign invaders to be resisted and expelled if possible.

The two towns of Uatibal and Chanlacan on the New River lagoon had been abandoned and burned by the inhabitants as too easy a target for pirates, but Perez was serving as alcalde ordinario of Bacalar and trying to reinstate his wealth and encomienda. He formed an expedition of six armed Spaniards and fifteen tame Yucatec Maya to pursue a second entrada to gather up the citizens who had f led into the forest. He was using two old dugouts for the purpose. They found the runaway citizens in several small family villages about twenty leagues south of Bacalar and managed a reduction by forcing about 200 total adults and children back to the original towns. Perez suffered malaria on this trip and the winter October rains flooded the lowland, causing difficulty of travel. At one point his group had an altercation with pirates on Corozal Bay. Support troops were sent from Merida by the Spanish governor, but turned back at Chunhuhub, halfway down the Yucatan peninsular to Bacalar because of the heavy rains and flooding.

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