Cruzoob Maya with General Juan Bautista Chuc and Commander Aniceto Tzul (Dzul) meeting with Lieutenant Governor of Yucatan Teodocio Canto to sign a peace treaty to end the Caste War, 1884
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This picture was taken January 10, 1884 in British Honduras (Belize). The Maya Yucatec (Masewal) warriors in the picture are Maya General Juan Chuc (Sitting down) and the Maya commanders Aniceto Dzul (Tzul) Crescencio Dzib (Tzib), captains Luis Naal, José Chan, and Esteban Nuñez accompanied by José Domingo Andrade meeting with Lieutenant Governor of Yucatan Teodocio Canto and Colonial Administrator of British Honduras Henry Fowler to sign a peace treaty in Belize to end the Caste War(Maya Social War). It was a very chaotic time in northern Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula. The different Yucatec Maya groups where figthing against the British, Republic of Yucatan and Mexico. Also figthing between themselves. The two most known Yucatec Maya groups where the Cruzo'ob Maya and the Icaiche Maya. The Yucatec Maya where able to maintain autonomy for over 50 years. Until the British and Mexicans join forces to control the Yucatec Maya. The caste war lasted over 85 years. The scars are still open in the memory of the Maya elders in northern Belize.

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Cruzoob Maya with General Juan Bautista Chuc and Commander Aniceto Tzul (Dzul) meeting with Lieutenant Governor of Yucatan Teodocio Canto to sign a peace treaty to end the Caste War, 1884

In 1884 the Yucatec Maya who belong to the Cruzo'ob Maya group with General and Secretary of the Maya Cross Juan B. Chuc and the commanders Aniceto Dzul, Crescencio Dzib, captains Luis Naal, José Chan and Esteban Nuñez accompanied by José Domingo Andrade met in Belize to engage in peace talks with the representatives of Yucatan in 1884.

The Maya Yucatec group known as the Cruzoob Maya with General Juan Bautista Chuc and Commander Aniceto Tzul(Dzul) second in command meeting with Lieutenant Governor of Yucatan Teodocio Canto sign a peace treaty in Belize between the Masewal (Maya Yucatec) and the Dzuloob (Spanish) to end the Caste War "Guerra Social Maya." During the celebrations following the signing, Teodocio Canto who was drunk disrespected Aniceto Tzul. Canto got into a fist fight, tearing Tzul's shirt. Tzul tore up the sign peace treaty. Canto's written apology was not accepted by the top Maya General Crescencio Poot(Pott) and the hostilities continue.

Note: For the Maya Yucatec there was no border since they viewed the British and Spanish as Foreigner/invaders in their Maya land. The Cruzoob Maya had a Maya State called Chan Santa Cruz which encompassed all of the southern and central parts of the Mexican state of Quintana Roo. With associated, buffer and splinter groups, this state was the core of a broader indigenist liberation movement that controlled virtually all of the old Iz'a territories. These territories include the eastern, central and southern portions of the Yucatán peninsula, extending from Cape Catoche south to include what is now northwestern Belize and northeastern Guatemala from 1850-1901. Today many descendants of the Cruzoob Maya rebels are still in Belize. While in Quintana Roo the identity is more stronger.

One of the reasons for the Caste War in Belize was because the British were expanding their logwood operations in areas where the Maya Máasewal (Yucatec Maya) Villages were located. The British did not want to pay tax for the use of the Maya land to the Maya Máasewal (Maya Yucatec). The Maya had the north-western Belize under their control, so the Maya Máasewal raided the British at Hillbank in 1847 - raided the British by the New River settlements in 1848 - raided the British at young Toledo & Company in 1856 - raided the British at Qualm Hill and Indian Church in 1866. Also in 1866, they fought at the battle of San Pedro Yalbac, took over Corozal Town in 1870, fought the battle of Orange Walk Town in 1872, but the attacks against them continued until 1879. The Maya Máasewal resisted until the 1930’s in the Yalbac area when their villages were burnt down by the BEC (Belize Estate Company). After the war, many Maya Máasewal became cane farmers.

Juan Chuc or Juan Bautista Chuc was a Yucatec Maya General second in command of Crescencio Poot. By 1864 Bonifacio Novelo, Berdardino Cen and Crescencio Poot became the leaders of the Maya nation. While Juan Chuc became a Tata Polín( Guardian) from the Maya Cross in 1864. Through this leadership by 1869 the Cruzo'ob Maya collected rents from the British mahogany cutters. Since the 1880's General Chuc made various trading trips to Belize City. In the 1884 Juan Chuc and some delegates from the Maya nation of Chan Santa Cruz visited Belize City to sign a peace treaty with the white Yucatecos. The Yucatecan Governer Teodocio drunk disrespected Aniceto Dzul(Maya Commander) during the celebration of the treaty. General Crescencio Poot refused to ratify the treaty because of Teodocio's actions and the war continued. Juan Chuc along with the top Maya General Crescencio Poot were killed in combat around Tulum in August 23,1885. The events of his death are mentioned in the text of the Almah T'áan which is seen as sacred by the Yucatec Maya who follow the Cruzo'ob faith. "thus,then, Something else happened; misfortune came to the leader of my village ,X-Balam Nah (Jaguar house),in the year 1885. It was on the twent-second Of August that it came to light;on the twenty-third they wanted to destroy the life of my assistant,Don Juan Bautista Chuc" - Juan De La Cruz Puc

Those Yucatec Maya surnames Tzul, Chuc, dzib, Pott are all found in Belize. Tzul(Dzul) means Gentleman, Chuc means Coal or to catch, Tzib(Dzib) means to write, And Pott (Poot) means Pierce.

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