Spanish Invaders Were Not the Cause of Mexico’s 16th-Century Megadeath Cocoliztli Epidemics

The historical narrative of the Spanish conquest of Mexico states that, armed with modern weapons and Old World diseases, several hundred Spanish soldiers toppled the Aztec empire in 1521.

By the end of the century, the invaders had wiped out 90 percent of the natives, according to Jewish authors like Jerod Diamond of “Guns, Germs and Steel.” Diamond argues that Eurasian civilization is not so much a product of ingenuity but of opportunity and necessity. That is, civilization is not created out of superior intelligence but rather is the result of a chain of developments, each made possible by certain preconditions, including advantages in germ resistance.

It’s a key piece of the “Black Legend,” the tales of atrocities committed by the Spanish Inquisition and colonizers of The New World. But it may be just that — legend, according to Rodolfo Acuña-Soto, a Harvard-trained epidemiologist.

Acuña-Soto, who spent 12 years dissecting colonial archives, census data, graveyard records and autopsy reports. He’s convinced that many historians are wrong about what killed the Aztecs.

“The problem with history is that it’s very ideological,” Acuña-Soto said. “In this case, it was a beautiful way of accusing the Spaniards of unimaginable cruelties and of decimating the population of Mexico.”

More recent work by scientists swept aside smallpox, measles, mumps and influenza (brought in by Europeans) as likely suspects. They instead point to a typhoid-like “enteric fever” for which there is DNA evidence on the teeth of long-dead victims.

A physician named Francisco Hernandez, who witnessed the outbreak in 1576, stated that the symptoms suffered included high fever, severe headache, vertigo, black tongue, dark urine, dysentery, severe abdominal and chest pain, head and neck nodules, neurological disorders, jaundice and profuse bleeding from the nose, eyes and mouth. Death frequently occurred within three to four days. This epidemic mainly afflicted young people and seldom elder ones.

A study by Ashild Vagene of the University of Tuebingen in Germany states, “The 1545-50 cocoliztli was one of many epidemics to affect Mexico after the arrival of Europeans but was specifically the second of three epidemics that were most devastating and led to the largest number of human losses estimated at 12-15 million. The first cocoliztli of 1520-1521 devastated 8 million.”

Study co-author Alexander Herbig, also from Tuebingen University, stated, “We tested for all bacterial pathogens and DNA viruses for which genomic data is available,” and salmonella enterica was the only germ detected.

The epidemic in 1576 occurred after a drought stretching from Venezuela to Canada, according to a study published in the science journal “Nature Ecology & Evolution.” The cocolitzli epidemics appeared to be preceded by several years of drought. Acuña-Soto also found that the epidemics didn’t happen during the drought. They appeared only in the wet periods that followed it. That was the crucial clue he had missed: It was raining when people got sick.

Analyzing DNA extracted from 29 skeletons buried in a cocoliztli cemetery, scientists found traces of salmonella enterica bacterium of the Paratyphi C variety. This is virulent haemorrhagic fever, or “bleeding-eye fever,” that is transmitted through tick-bites and contact with the blood of infected animals. Very ill patients may suffer organ failure after the fifth day of illness.

All types of hemorrhagic viruses share traits. They are extremely simple, composed only of RNA enveloped in a fatty membrane, and they all must develop first in an animal host, often rodents or bats. They are commonly spread by insects, such as ticks or mosquitoes. An insect bite or direct exposure to rodent feces or urine or indirect exposure through windblown particles can pass the virus to humans. The virus must have been native-born.

The threat of such lethal disease still exists given the prolific rat populations in California cities.

Read “Rat-Infested California’s Squalor and Disease Outbreaks”

11 Comments on Spanish Invaders Were Not the Cause of Mexico’s 16th-Century Megadeath Cocoliztli Epidemics

  1. Spanish histories of the time always give Hernan Cortez the starring role in the conquest of the Aztecs. He deserves it – he was truly a remarkable man, but his achievement was not the military conquest of the Aztecs but rather the organization of a Mexican revolt against Aztec rule. More than 98% of the soldiers at the siege of the Aztec capital,Tenochtitlan, were Mexicans, not Spaniards.

  2. A big ‘virus crime against the less-developed world’ happening at this moment:

    “In the developing world, in countries such as Uganda, India and Indonesia with little social safety net, the lockdown is catastrophic, and people are literally starving to death.

    It is clearly a violation of human rights for any government to tell people to stay at home, without ensuring that household’s supply of food and life’s basics, including continuing housing.

    Yet we have almost no developing world leader, speaking out against this insanity. Leaders of India and Indonesia, for example, barely hesitated to order starvation and death for their own people, in order to please international masters seeking their ‘coronavirus cooperation’.

    It is simply satanism, to impose a ‘lockdown’ on any poor population, without giving them the means of economic survival to get through the days and weeks of deprivation.”

    • thanks! On 4/9/20 “Lugenpresse” – LeadPipeDreams posted an excellent video – (it’s embedded, can’t find link)

      Seems as if the Presidents of Brazil and Mexico are vociferous dissenters from the current madness.

    • You made the moral case very well. Though I think it will apply to the developed world within a short lag. The sheer idiocy of it bespeaks of planning.

      Dr. Malcolm Kendrick had a fascinating discussion regarding the moral calculations that Britain’s National Health Service make every day to determine who gets what healthcare in a rationed system and what an extra unit of life would be worth at 80 versus 30.

      It seems to me we are sacrificing the most red pilled generation, Gen Z, I suspect deliberately.

  3. Political Correctness is about removing white Christian men from the history books, by ret-conning history and rebranding hero’s as untouchable & unmentionable. This was done all the time in Soviet Russia all.the.time.

    In Soviet America History, Hebrews discovered America, Founded America, invented everything of value, and suppress the goys at the same time.

    Good Bye Thomas Edison, you monster!!.

  4. Has the United States Seal been removed from all media?

    Copywrite violation?

    Can’t seem to find it anywhere except in old footage..

    Trumps podium no longer presents it.

    Was there a coup?

    Inquiring minds want to know….


    Just watch 15 seconds of this from 50 seconds to 1 minute 5 second mark


    This was a 13 March speech…Notice the presidential seal…Just before Trump Resigned the Presidency

    Satanists sense of humour

  5. I agree, the continent was probably completely emptied by the time the Spanish got there. But get this, the Aztecs also didn’t conduct human sacrifice. Cortez and the gang were just spinning tales about what happened.

  6. “Ideology” = Tenacious Business-Model (recipe for making profit).
    “Plagues/Viruses/Immune-Systems” are misunderstanding of how the human body disposes of gunk emmanating from poisoning, cold and radiation,
    while also undergoing shortages in minerals and vitamins:
    Vitamin B1 (a pound of pork a day) + potassium (potato) regulate insulin, thus sugar.
    “black-death” was radioactivity from asteroids – seen in abundance in a lithography of that time and carrying 2/3 of their weight radioactivity.

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