Aycinena, Juan Fermín de (1729–1796)

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Aycinena, Juan Fermín de (1729–1796)

Juan Fermín de Aycinena (b. 7 July 1729; d. 3 April 1796), first marqués of Aycinena. He has been called the most powerful man in the history of Central America. Born in Siga, Navarra, in July 1729, he immigrated to New Spain in 1748 and began his commercial career as a mule runner, principally in Oaxaca, before arriving in Santiago de Guatemala (today Antigua) in 1753 or 1754. Subsequently he became the leading indigo exporter, wholesale merchant, and creditor in the Kingdom of Guatemala, and perhaps its only millionaire. He acquired several estates, especially Salvadoran indigo plantations, many through foreclosure. He was among the leading trasladistas, or supporters of the transfer of the capital city after 1773 to Guatemala City, and a generous benefactor of church and state. In 1783 he acquired the only Castilian title in late colonial Central America. In 1794 he became the first prior of the Consulado de Comercio of Guatemala City. Married three times, his numerous offspring became the center of the oligarchy in late colonial and early republican Central America.

See alsoGuatemala .


Diana Balmori, Stuart F. Voss, and Miles L. Wortman, Notable Family Networks in Latin America (1984), pp. 61-69.

Ralph Lee Woodward, Central America: A Nation Divided, 2d ed. (1985), pp. 74-75.

Additional Bibliography

Brown, Richmond F. Juan Fermín de Aycinena: Central American Colonial Entrepreneur, 1729–1796. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997.

                                   Richmond F. Brown

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Aycinena, Juan Fermín de (1729–1796)

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