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The pochtecas: merchants and spies

The networks of commercial exchange were in the hands of the great merchants called Pochtecas. They were in charge of supplying the external markets called tianguis, with the products bought in wholesale in distant regions. True professionals in commerce, they were a class connected with nobility and with a certain hierarchy. These international traders traveled the trade routes traced by their ancestors from the Teotihuacán era. In fact, merchants transported their products from the central part of the country to places at a great distance and were in charge of distributing the culture of Teotihuacán to places like Veracruz, Oaxaca, and Guerrero.

Even more in the fifth century D.C. They were able to reach areas as far away as Guatamela and Honduras, they traveled in caravans similar to those of the Sahara desert, they exchanged between towns and were related to other groups of Pochtecas that visited different places. Travel could have lasted for years on difficult roads and not very friendly territories. They once had espionage work in favor of the Aztec monarchs, and there are some known cases where they had to impersonate local inhabitants in order to have a deeper appreciation of the situation. The pochtecas had a very firm formation. Apart from learning the trade routes they knew the cultures and languages ​​of the towns to which they traveled. Although the work did not constitute military training, they knew martial arts, to defend their products from attacks by thieves and enemies. As they sometimes played the role of ambassadors, they had knowledge of the traditions and protocol of the court. To the point that the pochtecas arrived at the squares regularly due to the tradition, this has lasted until our days, counting on open markets in the streets in pre-determined days of the week.