Cuitlahuac (c. 1476 – 1520) or Cuitláhuac (in Spanish orthography; in , honorific form Cuitlahuatzin) was the 10th tlatoani (ruler) of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan for 80 days during the year Two Flint (1520).
Cuitlahuac was the eleventh son of the ruler Axayacatl and a younger brother of Moctezuma II, the previous ruler of Tenochtitlan. His mother's father, also called Cuitlahuac, had been ruler of Itztapalapan, and the younger Cuitlahuac also ruled there initially.
Cuitlahuac was made tlatoani of Tenochtitlan during the Spanish conquest of Mexico; After Pedro de Alvarado had ordered a massacre in the Templo Mayor, the Aztecs were very upset and started to fight and put a siege to the Spaniards. Hernán Cortés ordered Moctezuma to ask his people to stop fighting. Moctezuma told him that they would not listen to him and suggested Cortés free Cuitlahuac so that he could convince them to dispose of their arms and not fight anymore. Cortés then freed Cuitlahuac and once Cuitlahuac was free he led his people against the conquistadors. He succeeded and the Spaniards were driven out of Tenochtitlan on June 30, 1520.
After having ruled for just 80 days, Cuitlahuac died of smallpox that had been introduced to the New World by the Europeans. His elder brother Matlatzincatzin, who had been cihuacoatl ("president"), resigned upon Cuitlahuac's death. As soon as Cuitláhuac died, Cuauhtemoc was made the next tlatoani.
The modern Mexican municipality of Cuitláhuac, Veracruz and the Mexico City Metro station Metro Cuitláhuac are named in honor of Cuitlahuac. The asteroid 2275 Cuitlahuac is also named after this ruler.
There is an Avenue in Mexico City Called Cuitlahuac (Eje 3 Norte) that runs from Avenue Insurgentes to Avenue Mexico-Tacuba and that is part of a inner ring; also many streets in other towns and villages in Mexico are so called.