Andrés de la Tovilla

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Andrés de la Tovilla (1513–1554) was a Spanish conquistador and soldier in the Americas. He was born about 1513 in Cazorla, Spain. He is most remembered as a participant in the expedition to Mexico (1520) led by Panfilo de Narváez and the expedition for the conquest of Guatemala (1524–1525) commissioned by Hernán Cortés. He, along with Diego de Mazariegos, founded the City of “Villareal de Chiapa de los Españoles”, now San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico, in 1528 as a regional base for the conquest of Guatemala.

Expedition to Mexico[edit]

Tovilla was a soldier trained in Italy who came with Panfilo de Narváez to fight Hernán Cortés in Mexico in 1520. He joined Cortés' side, and fought against Narváez in Zempoala, Veracruz on May 24, 1520. After Narváez' defeat, he participated in the conquest of Mexico. Prior to the defeat of Narváez, Andrés de la Tovilla devised weaponry consisting of indigenous spears, longer than the Spanish spears, where the copper and stone sharp blades were changed with iron knives instead. Around this time, he gathered 2,000 Chinanteca Indians, who joined Cortés and fought against Narváez in Zempoala,[1] well documented on the best historian at the time in The True History of the Conquest of New Spain, by Bernal Díaz del Castillo.[2]

Expedition to Guatemala[edit]

After several attempts to conquer Guatemala, in 1525, Hernán Cortés sent Diego de Mazariegos and Andrés de la Tovilla, along with a group of 150 foot soldiers and forty horses, to complete the conquest. Mazariegos, Tovilla and others signed the establishment of the first Spanish city in the Guatemala region in 1528, known first as “Villareal de Chiapa de los Españoles”, later known as "Ciudad Real," and presently known as "San Cristobal de las Casas". During the independence of Guatemala, the northern portion remained within Mexico and is now part of the State of Chiapas, Mexico.[3]


  1. ^ The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, 1517-1521, Bernal Díaz del Castillo, Translated by A.P. Mausdlay, DaCapo Press.
  2. ^ (1963) The Conquest of New Spain, J. M. Cohen (trans.), 6th printing (1973), Penguin Classics, Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-044123-9. OCLC 162351797.
  3. ^ Architecture and Urbanization in Colonial Chiapas, Mexico, Sidney David Markman.