Otatitlán, Veracruz

Otatitlán, Veracruz

Otatitlán is a city in the state of Veracruz, Mexico. It stands at 18°11′N 96°02′W / 18.183°N 96.033°W / 18.183; -96.033, just across the state border from Tuxtepec, Oaxaca. The city serves as the municipal seat for the surrounding municipality of the same name.

In the year 2000 census, Otatitlán municipality reported a total population of 5,236, with 4,554 of those living in the city. The municipality's covers a total surface area of 53.46 km², and it is drained by the Río Obispo, a tributary of the Río Papaloapan.

Otatitlán is also referred to as "Santuario". It is famous for its church, which is home to el Cristo Negro – one of three black Christ images that exist in Mexico.

A banana chip factory is also located there.

El Cristo Negro

The "Black Christ" of Otatitlán is a sacred relic, the focus of ritual worship among Mexico's Roman Catholics.

Tradition states that the blackened image, representing the figure of Christ Crucified, was washed up, on a raft, along the town's riverport dock in 1597. It was embraced by the local converts to Roman Catholicism as a replacement for the local god Yacatecutli, a commerce deity who was also traditionally depicted with black skin. Over the ensuing years, the town became a pilgrimage site.

In 1931, during the Cristero War between the secular state and Catholic rebels, the image was stolen and taken to the nearby village of San Antonio. There, anti-clerical forces under orders from Veracruz Governor Adalberto Tejada tried to set fire to it, but it refused to catch; the desecrators had to be satisfied with decapitating it. After recuperating their profaned icon, the townsfolk carved a new head for it. In 1950, the original head was recovered and put back in place; the replacement was also put in a display case in a place of honour in the sanctuary.

See also

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