When the conquistadors discovered the Yucatan Peninsula they found it divided into 19 separate districts. Each of these had its own capital and its own cacique or chief. The chief was called "Halach Uinic" and he had unlimited powers. This position was inherited by the oldest son or the most competent son. Under the Halach Uiniques were the Batabes who were like town mayors. The Batalo was in charge of crop cultivation, town finances, judicial decisions, as well as the local military.