Cuauhtémoc (c. 1495–1525), last Aztec emperor of Mexico, nephew and son-in-law of Montezuma. Cuauhtémoc defended the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, in a 4-month siege led by the Spanish conqueror Hernando Cortez. The subsequent capture of the city, in 1521, led to its destruction and massive Aztec casualties. Cuauhtémoc was captured and tortured to get him to reveal the location of supposed Aztec treasure. He refused to speak, and several years later he was hanged on the order of Cortez. Many modern Mexicans honor Cuauhtémoc as a national hero.