Gainza, Gabino, 1760-1824, La declaración de la independencia de Guatemala (Guatemala, September 16, 1821)
The desires of independence from the Spanish Government are public and unquestionable, manifested by the people of this capital through written and spoken word: official notices delivered by the latest courier have been received by the diverse Constitutional Councils of Ciudad Real, Comitan, and Tuxtla, communicating the people’s proclamation of and oath to this aforementioned independence and rousing others in this city to do the same: positive that the same official notices have circulated in other Councils: in accordance with the Honorable Provincial Delegation it was determined that in order to address such a serious matter, the same Provincial Delegation, his Grace, the Archbishop, delegates of the Honorable Provincial Tribunal, the Venerable Clergyman Señor Deán y Cabildo, the Honorable Council, the M.I. Senate, the Consulate and the M.I. Lawyer’s Association, the Regular Prelates, Leaders and civil servants assemble in one of the chambers of this palace: all congregated in the same room: the expressed notices read: the matter thoroughly discussed and meditated: and the clamor of LONG LIVE INDEPENDENCE! continuously repeated by the people gathered in the streets, plaza, patios, halls and palace lobby, the following was decided by this Delegation and individuals of the Honorable Council:
1st Being that it is the Guatemalan people’s general will to achieve Independence from the Spanish government, the Political Chief, without prejudice of what the future congress will determine, orders this to be published in order to prevent any fearsome consequences that would result if proclaimed, instead, by the people.
2nd That, of course, official notices be circulated by extraordinary mail to the provinces, so that they can begin to choose their Deputies or Representatives without delay. Those elected will then meet at this capital to form the Congress which must deliberate the issue of general and absolute independence, and in the case of agreement, they must also determine the form of government and fundamental law that must govern.
6th That, in attending to the gravity and urgency of this matter, they conduct the elections in a way that makes it possible for all the Deputies to assemble in this capital on the first of March of next year, 1822.
7th That, in the meantime, if nothing novel occurs within the established authorities, they follow these Decrees and laws, exercising their respective powers in accordance with the Constitution, until the indicated Congress has determined what is most just and beneficial.
8th That the Political Chief, Brigadier Don Gabino Gainza, remain part of the Superior Political and Military Government, and, so that he can maintain the character which seems appropriate in these circumstances, a Provisional cabinet will be formed, composed of the individuals in the current Provincial Delegation and of the following respected men: Don Miguel Larreynaga, Minister of this Court, Don José del Valle, Judge Advocate : Marques de Aycinena: Doctor Don José Valdés, Treasurer of this Holy Church: Doctor Don Ángel María Candina; and Lawyer don Antonio Robles, 3rd constitutional Mayor: the 1st in de León Province, the 2nd in Comayagua Province, and the 3rd in Quezaltenango, the 4th in Sololá y Chimaltenango, the 5th in Sonsonate Province and the 6th in Real de Chiapas City Province.
10th That the Catholic religion, which we have professed in the previous centuries and will continue to profess in successive centuries, be conserved as pure and inalterable, maintaining Guatemala’s distinctive religious spirit alive, respecting the ecclesiastic, secular, and regular Ministers and protecting their person and their property.
11th That notice be given to the Prelates of the religious Communities so that, cooperating in peace and tranquility, which is the first necessity of the people when they transition from one government to another, make sure that their individuals exhort fraternity and harmony in those who are united in the general sentiment of independence, they should also be so with everything else, suffocating individual passions, which divide the spirits and produce disastrous consequences.
13th That the Political Chief publish a manifesto to make public the People’s general sentiments, the opinion of the authority and corporations, the measures taken by this government, the causes and circumstances that, at the request of the people, led them to place the pledge of independence and loyalty to the American Government which will be established in the hands of the 1st Mayor.
14th That the same oath be taken by the Provisional Assembly, the most Honorable Council, his Grace, the Archbishop, the Courts, the Political and military leaders, the regular Prelates, their religious communities, Revenue Leaders and employees, authorities, corporations, and troops of the respective garrisons.
16th That the Honorable Council negotiate the minting of a medal that will perpetuate, for centuries to come, the memory of the FIFTH OF SEPTEMBER EIGHTEEN HUNDRED TWENTY-ONE, the happy day on which independence was proclaimed.
17th That, upon being printed, this act and the expressed manifesto be circulated to the Honorable Provincial Deputies, Constitutional Councils, and other regular ecclesiastic, secular, and military authorities.
18th That on the day designated by the Political Chief, a solemn mass of thanks be offered, complete with artillery salutes and three days of illumination, with the Provisional Assembly, all the authorities, corporations, and leaders in attendance.
National Palace of Guatemala, September 15, 1821. Gavino Gainza. Mariano de Beltranena. José Mariano Calderon. José Matias Delgaos. Manuel Antonio Molina. Mariano de Larrave. Antonio de Rivera. José Antonio de Larrve. Isidoro de Valle y Castraciones. Mariano de Aycinena. Pedro de Arroyave. Lorenzo de Romaña Secretary. Domingo Dieguez Secretary.
The present act was communicated to the Messrs. D. [Don] Miguel Larreinaga. D. José del Valle, Marquez de Aycluens. D. José Valdéz, Lawyer D. Antonio Rubies, and Dr. D. Angel María Candina: and having concurred to swear the agreed upon oath, they indeed did so in the presence of 88 individuals from the Honorable Delegation and Trustees. =
Gavino Gainza. Miguel de la Reynaga. José del Valle. José Mariano Calderon. Manuel Antonio Molina. Matias Delgado. Mariano de Beltranena.Marques de Aycinena. Antonio Robles. Antonio de Rivera. José Valdés. Angel María Candina. Mariano de Larrave. José Antonio de Larrave. Isidoro de Valle y Castraciones. Mariano de Aycinena. Pedro de Arroyave. Domingo Dieguez Secretary.