In pre-colonial times, the Andean mountains were occupied by various groups of indigenous Indians, accustomed t the high attitudes and cold weather. Many of the names in the countryside in the State of Mérida still bear names that come from these times (anything starting with Mucu- for example). In 1558, Capitan Juan Rodriguez Suarez, a Spaniard revolutionary founded Mérida, as the city of the Horsemen and Gentlemen. However due to the laws at the time, it was declared that Senor Suarez did not have the right to found a city, so the city was refounded by the peoples in 1561. The name ´Mérida´, comes from the roman name of Mérida, Spain, which was Emerita Augusta.