alcalde

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alcalde

(ălkăl`dē, Span. älkäl`dā) [Span., from Arab.,=the judge], Spanish official title, in existence at least from the 11th cent. Since the late 19th cent. it has been used for the mayor of a town or village who also acts as justice of the peace. Originally, however, it designated a judge whose scope of jurisdiction varied and who had administrative functions as well. There were, for example, alcaldes de la hermandad (judges attached to the tribunals of the town federations formed to assure public order and safety; see hermandadhermandad
[Span.,=brotherhood], a peacekeeping association of armed individuals, a characteristic of municipal life in medieval Spain, especially in Castile. Hermandades are known to have existed as early as the 12th cent.
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) and alcaldes de corte (judges whose jurisdiction extended over the royal residence and the surrounding area). The alcaldes were distinguished from the regidores, whose functions were primarily administrative. In the 14th cent. the corregidores, royal appointees charged with assisting the regidores in their duties, encroached upon the judicial functions of the alcaldes, depriving them of all but minor civil and criminal jurisdiction. Moreover, alcaldes were increasingly chosen by the crown, with only a few towns keeping the right to choose their own alcaldes (these being known thereafter as alcaldes ordinarios). Since the corregidores were often inadequately versed in law, each usually received advice from two trained lawyers, termed alcaldes mayores, who specialized in criminal and civil law, respectively. The office was also instituted in the Spanish colonies, but changed its character. There the alcalde mayor was the administrator of a provincial division usually smaller than that of a corregidor; he also presided over the town ayuntamiento (later known as the cabildocabildo
, autonomous municipal council, the lowest administrative unit in the Spanish government. The institution was especially influential in Spanish America, where it was set up in the early 16th cent.
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). The alcalde ordinario was an elected municipal officer who frequently exercised the powers of mayor and sheriff and was in some villages the sole representative of the law.
References in periodicals archive ?
Habiendo confirmado sus sospechas, pidio al Alcalde Mayor que lo acompanara un guarda para ir a casa del rey Juan.
17) Regardless of what was said about governance, two Americans--Price and Gilchrist--now held the most powerful local positions as alcaldes.
The alcaldes de barrio and the alcaldes ordinarios typically served for a two-year period.
These individuals included cabildantes, of which corregidores, regidores and alcaldes ranked as the most prominent, musicians, and others deemed capable by the curas.
He wishes to demonstrate that Indians were not passively oppressed victims of this system, and also that alcaldes mayores were not wildly successful exploiters of it.
Based on information from injured victims, relatives, neighbors, and witnesses, the local alcaldes or, in larger villages, their equivalent corregidores/justicias mayores, soon undertook the investigation of the crimes.
Although most curas fulfilled their responsibilities to co-operate with the alcaldes mayores and later with subdelegados under the intendant system, disputes and litigation became more common.
Et qui mas diesse desto que yo man-/do pecharie cinquaenta morabetis en coto, los veynt ami et los diez alos Jurados, et los diez alos Alcaldes, et los diez al que los descubriesse (Urena 860).
From the President down to the smallest players, the alcaldes, you see these destructive attitudes.
Arzans's critique of the corregidor's behavior, reinforced by a soliloquy on the evils of ambition and greed, represents a stark contrast to his insistent praise throughout the chapter of the generosity and nobility of the alcaldes ordinarios and the cabildo, who, together with some of the wealthier guilds, bear the expense of the costly festivities.
twenty-two years of age, no previous criminal convictions, resident of number 44 Calle Alcaldes, of this city, as the information on his driver's license attests.
Puebla Mayor Eduardo Rivera Perez, who is also president of the national mayors association (Asociacion Nacional de Alcaldes, ANAC), said a better solution is to allow re-election.