Galindo, Juan (1802–1840)

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Galindo, Juan (1802–1840)

Juan Galindo (christened John; b. spring or summer 1802; d. 30 January 1840), émigré Anglo-Irish activist in Central America. The eldest child of Philemon Galindo, an Anglo-Spanish actor-fencing master, and Catherine Gough, an Anglo-Irish actress, Galindo arrived in Guatemala in 1827 after service with Lord Thomas Cochrane in South American wars of independence. His varied activities brought him distinction as a scientist, Liberal propagandist, military and administrative officer, and amateur diplomat. Duty and travel provided him opportunity to survey topography, examine archaeological sites, and observe native populations and natural history phenomena that he described in articles published in European scholarly journals. Galindo decried encroachments on Central American territory and involved himself in several defensive countercolonization projects, the major one of which ignited the smoldering Belize boundary and sovereignty issue. His diplomatic mission (1835–1836) to secure British recognition of Central American sovereignty over Belize proved futile. He died while fleeing the site of the battle of El Potrero, near Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

See alsoCochrane, Lord Thomas Alexander; Tegucigalpa.


Ian Graham, "Juan Galindo, Enthusiast," in Estudios de cultura Maya (Mexico City) 3 (1963): 11-35, stresses Galindo's scientific activities and achievements.

William J. Griffith, "Juan Galindo, Central American Chauvinist," in Hispanic American Historical Review 40, no. 1 (1960): 25-52, emphasizes his role in the boundary disputes and territorial encroachment controversies of the region. William J. Griffith, Empires in the Wilderness: Foreign Colonization and Development in Guatemala, 1834–1844 (1965), lays out Galindo's involvement in a number of colonization and development projects.

Additional Bibliography

Woodward, Ralph Lee. Rafael Carrera and the Emergence of the Republic of Guatemala, 1821–1871. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1993.

                                  William J. Griffith