Cochabamba Department, Bolivia Genealogy
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Guide to Cochabamba Department family history and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, and military records.
The area got its name, from Quechua Kochaj-pampa, as part of the Inca civilization. The area was conquered by Topa Inca Yupanqui who ruled from 1471 to 1493. His son Huayna Capac turned Cochabamba into a large production enclave or state farm to serve the Incas.
The city, called Villa de Oropesa, was founded on 2 August 1571. It was to be an agricultural production centre to provide food for the mining towns of the relatively nearby Altiplano region, particularly Potosí which became one of the largest and richest cities in the world during the 17th century — funding the vast wealth that ultimately made Spain a world power. The city entered a period of decline during the 18th century as mining began to wane.
In 1786, King Charles III of Spain renamed the city to the Villa of Cochabamba. This was done to commend the city's pivotal role in suppressing the indigenous rebellions of 1781 in Oruro by sending armed forces to Oruro to quell the uprisings. Since the late 19th century it has again been generally successful as an agricultural centre for Bolivia.
In 1812, Cochabamba was the site of a riot against the Spanish Army. On May 27, thousands of women took up arms against the Spanish. To celebrate their bravery, Bolivia now marks May 27 as Mother's Day.
In January 2007 city dwellers clashed with mostly rural protestors. The protestors blockaded the highways, bridges, and main roads, having days earlier set fire to the departmental seat of government, trying to force the resignation of Reyes Villa. Citizens attacked the protestors, breaking the blockade and routing them, while the police did little to stop the violence. Further attempts by the protestors to reinstate the blockade and threaten the government were unsuccessful, but the underlying tensions have not been resolved.
Cochabamba Department is divided into the following provinces: