The local political-administrative structure of the Indies was represented by the Councils (Cabildos). Each city and its district constitute a municipality, legally represented by its Council or Cabildo, under the leadership of the governor of the territory or the Corregidor of the district that belong to.
Their duties were focused in the audit process of the budgets and the municipalitys earned income, to obtain a good feeding system, the fight against crime and the administration of justice. The Council is in charge of the city´s government and its territory, delivering an important role in the colonial process. For a very long time the Councils will be the best expression of the local oligarchy.
The Council is constituted by one or two mayors and a variable number of councilmen or regidores in charge of the administration of justice and to enforce the city´s laws.
First, the descubridores will designate the mayors. After, the governor or the viceroy will try to place their candidates. In some occasions there will be an arrangement between the governors wishes, the preferences of the people and the council.
There will be also indigenous councils, constituted by two mayors and between two and four regidores, all of them indigenous. They rule by a more participative politic and they are autonomous in front of colonial organisms. Only in the indigenous villages where nobility exist, the high class of the society will rule the municipalitys duties.
With the institutional crisis caused by the Peninsular War, high cabinets for the provinces (Juntas Supremas provinciales) of both sides of the Atlantic will be created. Some of them, like the Seville one, will go further calling itself suprema de España y de las Indias. Since this moment on its possible to distinguish two centers of power: Joseph I and the Juntas Provinciales. Finally, the high cabinet unifies in the Junta Suprema Central y Gubernativa del Reino on September 25, 1808, which will proclaim that the Spanish domains in the Indies are not colonies.