The Cuitlahuac Monument is at the southern end of the Cuitlahuac Macroplaza in the Historic Center of Izapalapa. The last lord of Iztapalapa, the giant figure is positioned above an eight-sided pedestal. Each side engraved with one of the names of the tradional eight barrios of ancient Iztapalapa. The work is the crown jewel of the Macroplaza which serves as a civic plaza and center for the entire alacaldía.
An honorific form of Cuitlahuac’s name, “Cuitlahuatzin” is often applied to this monument. He was the 10th Huey Tlatoani (emperor) of Tenochtitlan for 80 days during 1520. But his maternal grandfather, with the same name, had been the ruler of Iztapalapa. Cuitlahuac began his political career in the same position.
Following the death of Moctezuma II in 1520, Cuitlahuac led the resistance to the Spanish and Tlaxcalteca invasion. For this reason he is honored, especially in Iztapalapa, to this day. He became the penultimate Huey Tlatoani only upon the flight of the Spanish from Tenochtitlan on the Victorious Night of June 30, 1520. Cuauhtemoc assumed the position as the final Huey Tlatoani upon the death of Cuitlahuac in September of 1520.
The Iztapalapa we know today descended from a colonial-era town called Iztapalapa de Cuitláhuac.
Another enormous park in Iztapalapa is named for the same ancient ruler. It shouldn’t be confused with the plaza and monument in the Historic Center.
Metro Iztapalapa is about a 5-minute walk from the south end of the plaza where the Cuitlahuac Monument stands.