pronunciation: [duˈɾaŋɡo] ( listen)), officially
Free and Sovereign State of
Durango (Spanish: Estado Libre y Soberano
de Durango) (Tepehuan: Korian) (Nahuatl: Tepēhuahcān), is a Mexican
state. The state is located in Northwest Mexico. With a population of
Durango has Mexico's second-lowest population density,
Baja California Sur. The city of
Victoria de Durango
Victoria de Durango is the
state's capital, named after the first president of Mexico, Guadalupe
1.2 Spanish colonization
1.3.1 War (1820s)
1.3.2 Confrontations (1834-1853)
3 Arts and culture
5.1 Indigenous peoples
7 Major communities
9 Popular culture
10 See also
12 External links
Durango, along with the states of Chihuahua,
Sonora and Sinaloa,
formed the historical and geographical center of Northern Mexico, for
what was the majority of the last millennium. When the territories
were reorganized after the independence struggle, they emerged as
independent entities. This broad area represents the natural corridor
Sierra Madre Occidental
Sierra Madre Occidental offered to the Toltec and Nahuatlaca
tribes, who took advantage of the large accidental stone conformations
to survive in the wilderness. The new formations formed as the only
security for the tribes that moved among Northern
Mexico and the
Valley of Anahuac, eventually becoming a home-state for these tribes
who then began to form small communities, united by language and
region. The Tepehuános, Huichol, Cora,
Tarahumara were distinct
nations, each intending to amidst a strong family structure. They
avoided the bellicose attitude of the Chichimec tribe of the center of
the then-current Republic. Settled life began in
Durango around 500
B.C. in response to population growth. The exceptions were the
Acaxee, Humas and Xiximes who were constantly at war, but always on
the lookout for final settlements in the region of the Quebradas.
On the east bank of the state a longitudinal zone can be found that
extends from the current state of
Zacatecas to the la Laguna area
Durango and Coahuila. The "Indios Laguneros" (Laguna Indians)
traveled interchangeably between this area. They were characterized by
their rebellious attitude, instability, religious customs and as
hunters and gatherers. Little was recorded of these natives who were
the first inhabitants of the region, long before they were
exterminated by the Spanish colonists. Today, only a few remain of the
Tepehuanos, Huicholes, Coras and
By around 200–300 A.D.,
Durango (along with the north central zone
from the Bajio to the states of Durango, Zacatecas, and San Luis
Potosí) was inhabited by settled groups that linked to cultures
located further south. The state was connected by a broad
commercial network that linked it to areas as north as far New Mexico
and as far south as the valley of Mexico.
Captain Francisco de Ibarra
Catedral basílica de Victoria de Durango
Once the province of
New Spain was established in the rest of the
country, Spanish explorers ventured out to conquer Northern Mexico,
establishing the province of Nueva Vizcaya, in honor of the Spanish
province of the same name. Spanish explorer Captain Francisco de
Ibarra, the first to colonize Durango, settled this part of the
northern province of Nueva Vizcaya. On July 8, 1563, he founded the
capital city and named it
Durango for the town of Durango, Biscay,
Spain. Durango, along with Chihuahua,
Sonora and Sinaloa, formed part
of the province of Nueva Vizcaya, a name that was used during the
colonial period to designate the territory discovered by de Ibarra
between 1554 and 1567.
Several important factors contributed to the name; one was that iron
mines found in
Durango also existed in Biscay, which gave more meaning
to the name. Additionally many of the soldiers who came on the de
Barra expedition were Basques.
In 1552 Spanish Captain Ginés Vázquez del Mercado discovered one of
the world's richest iron-ore deposits (now an important part of
Durango) which was named after him, present-day Cerro de Mercado.
Gradually, in the following decades, the
Franciscans and then the
Jesuits began to evangelize Nueva Vizcaya, laying the foundations of a
large diocese. The towns Nombre de Dios, Peñol (Peñón Blanco), San
Juan Bautista del Río, Analco, Indé, Topia, La Sauceda, Cuencamé
and Mezquital arose from the evangelical work of the Franciscan order.
Mapimi, Santiago Papasquiaro, Tepehuanes, Guanacevi, Santa Maria del
Oro, Tamazula, Cerro Gordo (Villa Ocampo), San Juan de Bocas (Villa
Hidalgo) and two establishments originally belonged to the
Franciscans. La Sauceda (Canatlan) and Cuencame, were established by
the Society of Jesus at the invitation of Spanish Governor Rodrigo del
Río de Lossa.
The establishment of garrisons in Northern
Mexico provided security to
the people. New routes joined the military camps and thus emerged the
'Courier of the Provinces', a government scheme adopted by the Spanish
in 1767. The new territory began to split in the colonial period. The
first to emerge was
Sinaloa Province, which then included the areas
known today as
Sonora and Arizona. Later, the state of Coahuila
separated, and with the Constitution of 1824, was divided into
provinces, creating the states of
Durango and Chihuahua, and attaching
some municipalities to the state of Zacatecas.
Durango did not escape the great national struggle between
conservatives and liberals and the capital was taken several times by
representatives of both sides, as was the case of siege imposed by
Coronado and Patoni in 1858 for the liberal cause, as well as the
French intervention between 1864 and 1866 that occupied the state with
the support of conservative forces. At the time that Porfirio Díaz
was the head of the Republic.
Durango also experienced local
dictatorships such as that of Governor Juan Manuel Flores, who held
office between 1884 and 1897. Esteban Fernandez, who also became
governor, was reelected in 1908 after his four-year term only to leave
Porfiriato (reign of Porfirio Díaz),
Durango joined the
network of railway and telegraph networks that he laid down, creating
new regions, as was the case of the Laguna region from which the
cities of Lerdo and Gomez Palacio emerged. The railroad connected the
state capital with
Mexico City and the border towns, which allowed the
marketing of goods produced in the region, and the transportation of
mineral resources for export.
Photo of Gen.
Francisco Villa and his wife, Sra. Maria Luz Corral de
Durango played an important role in the Mexican Revolution. Important
revolutionary figures fought important battles between 1910 and 1924,
including Francisco Villa, Calixto Contreras and Severino Cenicero, in
support of the "Maderistas", supporters of the ideologies of President
Francisco I. Madero. On November 21, 1910, Duranguense military
personnel Jesús Agustín Castro and Oreste Pereyra, took up arms in
the Laguna region commanding a small army that joined the forces of
Francisco I. Madero, shortly after his assassination.
The splitting of the territories continued with the government of
Enrique R. Calderon, who implemented the policies of President Lázaro
Cárdenas with the distribution of 100,000 acres (400 km2) in the
Laguna region and the formation of the Municipality of Tlahualilo,
shedding Mapimí and Gomez Palacio. At the half century, the
"educational crusade" began that created colleges such as Instituto
Durango (Technological Institute of Durango) and
Universidad Juarez del Estado de
Durango (University of Juarez in
Durango). The latter was based on the historical Instituto Juarez
(Juarez Institute), which dates to the eighteenth century. At that
time, the town of Vicente
Guerrero emerged, separating itself from
Suchil an action that resulted in the geographical completion of the
state of Durango, with modern means of communication in the form of
paved roads that connected the municipalities with the capital.
Later a rural exodus to the cities, requiring many development
services that completely changed the traditional image of Colonial and
Porfirista Durango. This was a late colonization for the Spanish, due
mostly to heavy resistance by the indigenous population. From first
contact, the indigenous peoples have attempted to gain autonomy,
address grievances and maintain traditional land ownership. Spanish
colonists became highly attracted to the
Durango area for its mining
and grazing prospects. In 1823, shortly after victory over
the Mexican War of Independence,
Durango became a separate state.
Comanche Indians had begun raiding Spanish settlements in
early as the 1760s. Soon after,
Comanche warriors began raiding
Chihuahua, Sonora, Coahuila,
Durango and Nuevo León. T. R. Fehrenbach
wrote that "a long terror descended over the entire frontier, because
Spanish organization and institutions were totally unable to cope with
war parties of long-striking, swiftly moving Comanches." Mounting
extended campaigns into Spanish territory, the Comanches avoided forts
and armies. Fehrenbach states that these Amerindians were "eternally
poised for war." They traveled across great distances and struck
their victims with great speed. "They rampaged across mountains and
deserts," writes Mr. Fehrenbach, "scattering to avoid detection
surrounding peaceful villages of peasants for dawn raids. They waylaid
travelers, ravaged isolated ranches, destroyed whole villages along
with their inhabitants."
In the 1820s, the newly independent Mexican Republic was so
preoccupied with political problems that it failed to adequately
defend its northern territories. Comanches ended the peace that they
had made with the Spaniards and resumed warfare against the Mexican
Federal Government. By 1825, they were making raids deep in Texas, New
Mexico, Coahuila, Nuevo León, Chihuahua and Durango.
"Such conditions were permitted to continue in the north," writes Mr.
Fehrenbach, "because independent
Mexico was not a homogeneous or
cohesive, nation it never possessed a government stable or powerful
enough to mount sustained campaigns against the Amerindians." As a
Comanche raiders killed thousands of Mexican soldiers,
ranchers and peasants south of the Rio Grande.
Mexico signed its third peace treaty with the Comanches of
Texas. However, almost immediately
Mexico violated the peace treaty
and the Comanches resumed their raids in
Texas and Chihuahua. In the
following year, Sonora, Chihuahua and
Durango reestablished bounties
Comanche scalps. Between 1848 and 1853,
Mexico filed 366 separate
Apache raids originating north of the
A 1849 government report claimed that twenty-six mines, thirty
haciendas, and ninety ranches in
Sonora had been abandoned or
depopulated between 1831 and 1849 because of
Apache depredations. In
1852, Comanches raided Coahuila, Chihuahua, Sonora, and
even Tepic in
Jalisco (now in Nayarit), approximately 700 miles south
of the United States-Mexican border.
View toward the canyon at the Mexiquillo (es) nature reserve.
Durango is the fourth largest state in Mexico. The state is
bordered to the north by Chihuahua, to the northeast by Coahuila, to
the southeast by Zacatecas, to the southwest by Nayarit, and to the
west by Sinaloa.
With an average elevation of almost 2,000 metres (6,600 ft), most
of the state is mountainous and forested. The Sierra Madre Occidental
occupies two-thirds of the state, mostly in the western and central
part. In the western parts of the Sierra Madre, the geography is
characterized by deep ravines and rivers that mostly flow
westward. The highest point in the state is Cerro Gordo at
3,340 m (10,960 ft) above sea level. This mountain range
contains minerals, including the silver that encouraged Spanish
occupation. These mines extend north into Chihuahua and south into the
state of Zacatecas. Vast desert basins in the Laguna District are
irrigated by the
In summer, the average maximum temperature range is from 35.0 °C
(95.0 °F) in the eastern parts of the state to a low of
20.0 °C (68.0 °F) in the western parts. In winter, the max
ranges from 15.0 °C (59.0 °F) to a low of 0 °C
(32.0 °F) in the winter. Except for the mountainous areas
and small lowland areas in the west such the Quebradas area, the state
is fairly dry because the Sierra Madre blocks most of the humid air
coming in from the Pacific coast.
The climate in the mountains tends to be cool with snowfalls common in
winter and heavier precipitation in the summer than the rest of the
state. However, the snow that falls does not linger. The
average temperature reaches a maximum of 16.0 °C (60.8 °F)
in June in the Sierra Madre. Precipitation is highly seasonal with
70-80% falling from June to September. East of the Sierra Madre,
the climate is drier and warmer and precipitation is just enough to
support agriculture. Most of the precipitation falls during the
summer months, owing to the monsoon in southern
Mexico that moves
northward to reach the northern states and parts of the US by
July. Drought-like conditions and extreme temperature changes are
common in the central parts. Owing to the contrast in climatic
conditions, between January and April, the state has strong winds that
run from the southeast. The average precipitation in the state
varies from a low of 273 millimetres (11 in) in
Ciudad Lerdo in
the far-eastern part of the state to 890 millimetres (35 in) in
El Salto in the west.
Arts and culture
A mine tour in Mapimi
Durango is known nationally and even internationally as "the land of
the scorpions" and as "the land of cinema".
Durango has hosted over
120 film productions, both domestic and foreign.
Mexican Revolution began in 1910, film producer Raoul Walsh
recorded the battles of General Francisco Villa. These scenes were
included in the film
The Life of General Villa
The Life of General Villa produced by D. W.
Griffith, and directed by
Christy Cabanne in 1914. Hollywood
Durango in the mid-century.
In 1954, the film industry officially entered the state; American film
art director Jack Smith was enthralled by the landscape. The first
movie filmed in
Durango was White Feather, directed by Robert D. Webb.
Durango had close ties with John Wayne, an American actor and icon of
Western movies. The close friendship between
Durango and Wayne started
in 1965 and resulted in the films The Sons of Katie Elder, The War
Wagon and Chisum, among many others. Wayne even acquired a ranch in
the state.
In 1971, in a
Durango town called Chupaderos, located 9 miles north of
the State capital, the Western film titled
Buck and the Preacher was
partly shot (other scenes were shot in Kenya). The stars were Sidney
Poitier as Buck, and
Harry Belafonte as the Preacher. The movie was
released in the United States in 1972.
The Spanish brought their recipes and the first ungulate herds. Among
the dishes is "caldillo", particularly noted for its antiquity. Along
with beef it can be prepared with chile verde (green chile), chile
Colorado (red chile), or chile pasado (dehydrated green chiles). The
broth was the state's first culinary preparation, and demonstrates the
influence of cultures that were part of the genesis of Durango. Its
origin dates to the days of de Ibarra. The oldest surviving written
mention is in a manuscript that belonged to Joseph del Campo Soberón
and Larrea Soberon, the Count of
Durango is known for its marmalades and preserves made from quince,
figs and peaches, as well as the native pitahaya..Gallina Borracha or
'drunken chicken' is a dish unique to Durango, made mostly of Spanish
ingredients, such as raisins, sherry and almonds. Traditional drinks
include Licor de Membrillo, a liquor made from quince.
known for its cheese, in particular queso chihuahua, also called
'queso menonita', a type of cheese made by
Mennonite residents as well
as the traditional ""Queso Ranchero"" usually made in the high
Sierra's (mountains) of Durango. Another plate unique to Durango
(usually more to North Western Durango) is Venorio, made with pork
ribs cut into pieces, nopales (cactus) and a special chile sauce made
with different ground seeds of pumpkin as well as chile seeds, and has
a distinctive orange look to the sauce. Carne seca (beef jerky) is
another traditional food that can be used to make ""machaca con huevo"
(jerkey with eggs) and caldillo con papas (jerkey with potato soup).
Duranguense enjoy traditional Mexican dishes, such as tamales, tacos,
cabrito and enchiladas.
Major crops grown in the area include cotton, wheat, corn, alfalfa,
beans, sorghum, and other vegetables.
Durango is famous for its scorpions. The scorpion is a common symbol
representing the state. Mexicans generally refer to the people of
Durango as Alacrán de
Durango (Scorpions from Durango). The demonym
for the natives of
Durango is Duranguense(s).
The major occupations in
Durango are farming, logging, mining, and
Durango's geographical diversity allows sports enthusiasts to
participate in extreme sports such as kayaking, mountain biking,
abseiling, free climbing and more;
Durango is also home to many
gorges, and voluminous waterfalls that measure 80 feet (24 m) one
of which is Salto del Agua LLovida. The state also has numerous lakes
that measure over 800 meters in diameter such as Lago de Puentecillas
According to the 2005 census,
Durango had just over 1.5 million
inhabitants, 24th within the 32 federal entities, and reports an
average growth rate so low that it would take more than 250 years to
double its numbers.
90% of the population are baptized
Catholics who are mostly
concentrated in rural areas. Urban areas contain significant religious
minorities consisting of Protestants, Orthodox Christians, Ashkenazi
Atheists and Buddhists.
Population density is only 12 inhabitants per km2. 60% of the
population is concentrated in three of the 39 state municipalities:
Durango, Gómez Palacio and Lerdo. The rest live in small and disperse
locales. As many as 6,258 communities fill the state, 82% of which
have fewer than 100 inhabitants.
Some 67% of the population lives in urban areas, below the 76%
national average. Even so, the migration of people from the rural
zones towards urban environments represents a complex issue for the
government, because it implies satisfying a high demand for urban
public services and utilities.
Of the 65 ethnic groups that exist in Mexico, five coexist in Durango
Tepehuanes or O'dam, Mexicaneros or Nahuatl, Huichol, Cora
Tarahumara or Rarámuris. At least 2% of the population over 5
years of age speak an indigenous language, 80% of which belong to the
Tepehuan ethnic group, which is indigenous to the state. Other smaller
indigenous groups include the
Huichol and the Mexicaneros, the latter
of unknown descent who speak a variety of Nahuatl. The indigenous
population is approximately 29 thousand people: the majority is
Tepehuano followed by the Huichol, Cora, Los Mexicaneros
the Tarahumara, each at less than 10%.
Main article: Municipalities of Durango
Durango is divided into (39 municipalities).
Population in 2000
Population in 2010
Victoria de Durango
Cuencamé de Ceniceros
Fanny Anitua, opera singer
Domingo Arrieta León, former governor of
Ricardo Castro, composer
Jaime Correa, footballer
Dolores del Río, actress
Marlene Favela, actress
Ramon Navarro, actor
Andrea Palma, actress
Silvestre Revueltas, composer
Norberto Rivera, Cardinal of Mexico
Guadalupe Victoria, first president of Mexico
Francisco "Pancho" Villa, Mexican Revolutionary general and one of the
most prominent figures of the Mexican Revolution
Bob Dylan's song, "Romance in Durango", is on his Desire 1976 album.
Also famous is Fabrizio De Andrè's "Avventura a Durango", an Italian
version of "Romance in Durango".
The Champs released the song "The Man From Durango" on their album
Wing Ding in 1993.
North America portal
Latin America portal
^ "La diputación provincial y el federalismo mexicano" (in
^ "Senadores por
Durango LXI Legislatura". Senado de la Republica.
Retrieved November 5, 2010.
^ "Listado de Diputados por Grupo Parlamentario del Estado de
Durango". Camara de Diputados. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
^ "Resumen". Cuentame INEGI. Retrieved February 12, 2013.
^ a b "Relieve". Cuentame INEGI. Archived from the original on April
18, 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
^ "Encuesta Intercensal 2015" (PDF). Retrieved December 8, 2015.
^ "Durango". 2010. Retrieved November 5, 2010.
^ "Reporte: Jueves 3 de Junio del 2010. Cierre del peso mexicano".
www.pesomexicano.com.mx. Retrieved August 10, 2010.
^ a b c Hamnett, Brian (May 4, 2006). A Concise History of Mexico.
Cambridge University Press. p. 39. Retrieved February 12,
^ a b c d Fehrenbach, T R (12 August 2011). Comanches: The History of
a People. Random House. ISBN 978-1-4070-9122-8.
^ a b c d e f g h i j Standish, Peter (March 20, 2009). The States of
Mexico: A Reference Guide to History and Culture. Greenwood Publishing
Group. pp. 125–138. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
^ a b c Heyerdahl, E.; Alvarado, E. (December 6, 2002). "Influence of
Climate and Land Use on Historical Surface Fires in Pine-Oak Forests,
Sierra Madre Occidental,
Mexico (pg 199)" (PDF). Fire and Climatic
Change in Temperate Ecosystems of the Western Americas. Retrieved
January 19, 2013.
^ "Mexico: extended population list". GeoHive. Archived from the
original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2011-07-29.
^ "Encuesta Intercensal 2015" (PDF). INEGI. Retrieved
^ "INEGI". Censo de Población y Vivienda 2010. INEGI. Retrieved 18
^ www.durango.net.mx; Gomez, Eduardo Ortega - Juan Arturo. "Domingo
Arrieta Leon". www.durango.net.mx. Retrieved 2017-07-15.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Durango.
Geographic data related to
Durango at OpenStreetMap
Durango State Government
Film Commission Durango
Durango thousands of pictures of local rural communities
John P. Schmal, "The history of indigenous Durango" detailing the
series of revolts
(in Spanish) Territorial Division (legal text)
Places adjacent to Durango
State of Durango
Canatlán (Ciudad Canatlán)
Coneto de Comfort (Coneto de Comonfort)
Cuencamé (Cuencamé de Ceniceros)
Durango (Victoria de Durango)
El Oro (Santa María del Oro)
General Simón Bolívar
General Simón Bolívar (General Simón Bolívar)
Gómez Palacio (Gómez Palacio)
Guadalupe Victoria (Ciudad Guadalupe Victoria)
Hidalgo (Villa Hidalgo)
Lerdo (Ciudad Lerdo)
Mezquital (San Francisco del Mezquital)
Nombre de Dios (Nombre de Dios)
Nuevo Ideal (Nuevo Ideal)
Ocampo (Villa Ocampo)
Pánuco de Coronado (Francisco I. Madero)
Peñón Blanco (Peñón Blanco)
Poanas (Villa Unión)
Pueblo Nuevo (El Salto)
San Bernardo (San Bernardo)
San Dimas (Tayoltita)
San Juan de Guadalupe
San Juan de Guadalupe (San Juan de Guadalupe)
San Juan del Río (San Juan del Río)
San Luis del Cordero
San Luis del Cordero (San Luis del Cordero)
San Pedro del Gallo
San Pedro del Gallo (San Pedro del Gallo)
Santa Clara (Santa Clara)
Santiago Papasquiaro (Santiago Papasquiaro)
Tamazula (Tamazula de Victoria)
Tepehuanes (Santa Catarina de Tepehuanes)
Tlahualilo (Tlahualilo de Zaragoza)
Guerrero (Vicente Guerrero)
States of Mexico
Baja California Sur
San Luis Potosí