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  • La perla tapatía
  • la perla de occidente
  • La ciudad de Las Rosas
  • City of Guadalajara

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Guadalajara

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  Summary  

Guadalajara is the capital of the Mexican state of Jalisco, and the seat of the municipality of Guadalajara. The city is located in the central region of Jalisco in the western-pacific area of Mexico. With a population of 1,564,514 it is Mexico's second most populous municipality. The Guadalajara Metropolitan Area includes seven adjacent municipalities with a reported population of 4,328,584 in 2009, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Mexico, behind Mexico City. The municipality is the second most densely populated area in Mexico; the first being Ciudad Nezahualcóyotl in Estado de México.

The city's economy is based on industry, especially information technology with a large number of international firms having manufacturing facilities in the Guadalajara Metro Area. Other, more traditional industries, such as shoes, textiles and food processing are also important contributing factors. Guadalajara is the cultural center of Mexico, considered by most to be the home of Mariachi music and host to a number of large-scale cultural events such as the International Film Festival of Guadalajara and the Guadalajara International Book Fair and a number of globally renowned cultural events which draw international crowds. It is also home to the Chivas football/soccer team, one of the two most popular in Mexico. This city was named American Capital of Culture in 2005 and hosted the 2011 Pan American Games.

Guadalajara is the 10th largest city in Latin America in terms of population, urban area and Gross Domestic Product.
The city is named after the Spanish city of Guadalajara, with the name originating from the Arabic word wādi l-ḥijāra (واد الحجارة or وادي الحجارة) the literal translation of the Iberian name Arriaca, meaning "Valley of stones".

In a 2007 research of the fDi magazine Guadalajara was the highest ranking major Mexican city having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city and only Chicago scored more highly for sheer economic potential, in the same research was considered the "city of the future" due to its youthful population, low unemployment and large number of recent foreign investment deals, it was also found the third most business friendly city in North America.

  History  

The city was established in three other places before where it is now. The first settlement in 1532 was in Mesa del Cerro, now known as Nochistlán, Zacatecas. This site was settled by Juan de Oñate as commissioned by Nuño de Guzmán. The purpose of the city was to secure the recent conquests made and to provide defense against still-hostile natives. This site did not last long due to the lack of water, so in 1533, it was moved to a location near Tonalá. Two years later, Guzmán ordered that the village be moved to Tlacotán. While the settlement was here, Spanish king Charles V granted the coat of arms the city has today.

This settlement was ferociously attacked during the Mixtón War in 1541, by Caxcan, Portecuex and Zacateco peoples under the command of Tenamaxtli. This war was initiated by the Indians due to the cruel treatment of Indians by Nuño de Guzmán, especially the enslavement of captured natives. Viceroy Antonio de Mendoza had to take control of the campaign to suppress the revolt after the Spanish were defeated in several engagements. The conflict ended after Mendoza made some concessions to the Indians, including the freeing of Indian slaves and amnesty.
The village of Guadalajara barely survived, and credit was given to the aid requested from the Archangel Michael, who remains as patron of the city. It was then decided to move the city once again, this time to Atemajac, as it was more defensible. The city has remained here to this day. In 1542, records indicate that 126 people were living in Guadalajara, and in the same year, the status of city was conferred by the Spanish king. The settlement's name came from the Spanish hometown of Nuño de Guzmán.

In 1560, royal offices for the province of Nueva Galicia were moved from Compostela to Guadalajara, as well as the bishopric. Construction of the cathedral was begun in 1561. In 1570, religious orders such as the Augustinians and the Dominicans arrived, which would make the city a center for evangelization efforts.
The historic city center encompasses what was four centers of population, as the villages of Mezquitán, Analco and Mexicaltzingo were annexed to the Atemajac site in 1667.

In 1791, the University of Guadalajara was established in the city, which was then the capital of Nueva Galicia. The inauguration was held in 1792 at the site of the old Santo Tomas College. While the institution was founded during the 18th century, it would not be fully developed until the 20th, starting in 1925. In 1794, the Hospital Real de San Miguel de Belén, now simply known as the Hospital de Belen, was opened.

Guadajara's economy during the 18th century was based on agriculture and the production of non-durable goods such as textiles, shoes and food products.

Guadalajara remained the capital of Nueva Galicia with some modifications until the Mexican War of Independence. After Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla decided not to attack Mexico City, despite early successes, he decided to retreat to Guadalajara in late 1810. Initially, he and his army were welcome in the city, as living conditions had become difficult for workers and Hidalgo promised to lower taxes and put an end to slavery. However, violence by the rebel army to city residents, especially royalists, soured the welcome. Hidalgo did sign a proclamation ending slavery, which was honored in the country since after the war. During this time, he also founded the newspaper El Despertador Americano, dedicated to the insurgent cause.


During this time, royalist forces marched to Guadalajara, arriving in January 1811 with nearly 6,000 men. Insurgents Ignacio Allende and Mariano Abasolo wanted to concentrate their forces in the city and plan an escape route should they be defeated, but Hidalgo rejected this. Their second choice then was to make a stand at the Puente de Calderon just outside the city. Hidalgo had between 80,000 and 100,000 men and 95 cannons, but the better trained royalists won, decimating the insurgent army, forcing Hidalgo to flee towards Aguascalientes. Guadalajara would remain in royalist hands until nearly the end of the war.
After the state of Jalisco was erected in 1823, the city became its capital. In 1844, General Mariano Paredes y Arrillaga initiated a revolt against the government of President Antonio López de Santa Anna, which the president managed to quell personally. However, while Santa Anna was in Guadalajara, a revolt called the Revolution of the Three Hours brought José Joaquín Herrera to the presidency and put Santa Anna into exile. During the Reform War, President Benito Juárez had his government here for a time in 1856. French troops entered the city during the French Intervention in 1864, and the city was retaken by Mexican troops in 1866.

Despite the violence, the 19th century was a period of economic, technological and social growth for the city. After Independence, small-scale industries developed, many of them owned by immigrants from Europe. Rail lines connecting the city to the Pacific coast and north to the United States intensified trade and allowed products from rural areas of Jalisco state to be shipped. The ranch culture became a very important aspect of Jalisco's and Guadalajara's identity since this time. From 1884 to 1890, electrical service, railroad service and the Observatory were established.

Guadalajara again experienced substantial growth after the 1930s, and the first industrial park was established in 1947. The city's population surpassed one million in 1964, and by the 1970s it was Mexico's second largest city, and the largest in western Mexico. Most of the modern city's urbanization took place between the 1940s and the 1980s, with the population doubling every ten years until it stood at 2.5 million in 1980. The population of the municipality has stagnated, and even declined, slowly but steadily since the early 1990s.


The increase of population brought with it the increase in the size of what is now called Greater Guadalajara, rather than an increase in the population density of the city. Migrants coming into Guadalajara from the 1940s to the 1980s were mostly from rural areas, who lived in the city center until they had enough money to buy property. This property was generally bought in the edges of the city, which were urbanizing into "fraccionamientos", or subdivisions. In the 1980s, the city was described as a "divided city" east to west based on socioeconomic class. Since then, the city has evolved into four sectors, which are still more-or-less class centered. The upper classes tend to live in Hidalgo and Juárez in the northwest and southwest, while lower classes tend to live in the city center, Libertad in the north east and southeast in Reforma. However, lower class development has developed on the city's periphery and upper and middle classes are migrating toward Zapopan, making the situation less neatly divided.(napolitano21-22) .


Since 1996, activity by multinational corporations has had a significant effect on the economic and social development of the city. The presence of companies such as Kodak, Hewlett-Packard, Motorola and IBM has been based on production facilities built just outside the city proper, bringing in foreign labor and capital. This was made possible in the 1980s by surplus labor, infrastructure improvements and government incentives. These companies focus on electrical and electronic items, which is now one of Guadalajara's two main products . This has internationalized the economy, steering it away from manufacturing and toward services, dependent on technology and foreign investment. This has not been favorable for the unskilled working class and traditional labor sectors.

On April 22, 1992, numerous gasoline explosions in the sewer system over four hours destroyed 8 kilometers of streets in the downtown district of Analco. Gante Street was the most damaged. Officially, 206 people were killed, nearly 500 injured and 15,000 were left homeless. The estimated monetary damage ranges between $300 million and $1 billion. The affected areas can be recognized by the more modern architecture in the areas that were destroyed.

Three days before the explosion, residents started complaining of a strong gasoline-like smell coming from the sewers. City workers were dispatched to check the sewers and found dangerously high levels of gasoline fumes. However, no evacuations were ordered. An investigation into the disaster found that there were two precipitating causes. The first was new water pipes that were built too close to an existing gasoline pipeline. Chemical reactions between the pipes caused erosion. The second was a flaw in the sewer design that did not allow accumulated gases to escape.

Numerous arrests were made in an attempt to indict those responsible for the blasts. Four PEMEX officials were indicted and charged, on the basis of negligence. Ultimately, however, these people were cleared of all charges. Calls for the restructuring of PEMEX were made but they were successfully resisted.

On May 24, 1993, Archbishop Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, along with six other people, was assassinated on the parking lot of Guadalajara International Airport. He was inside his car and received 14 gunshot wounds. A government inquiry concluded he was caught in a shootout between rival cocaine cartels and was mistakenly identified as a drug lord, but no one was ever imprisoned for the slaying. Juan Francisco Murillo Díaz "El Güero Jaibo" and Édgar Nicolás Villegas "El Negro", members of the Tijuana Cartel, were identified as the masterminds of the homicide.

The city has hosted several important international events, such as the first Cumbre Iberoamericana in 1991, the Third Summit of Heads of State and Governments from Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union in 2004, the Encuentro Internacional de Promotores y Gestores Culturales in 2005, and will be the host city of the 2011 Pan American Games. It was also named the American Capital of Culture in 2005, Ciudad Educadora in 2006 and the first Smart City in Mexico due to its use of technology in development.


In its 2007 survey entitled "Cities of the Future", FDI magazine ranked Guadalajara highest among major Mexican cities, and designated Guadalajara as having the second strongest economic potential of any major North American city, behind Chicago. FDI Magazine also ranked the city as the most business-friendly Latin American city in 2007.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Guadalajara (Jalisco)", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.