Editor’s Note: Many readers of this blog will already be familiar with the atrocities committed by the Spanish during their conquest of Mexico. The collusion of the Catholic Church in these atrocities is also well-documented, as is the barbaric behavior of both the Conquistadors and the Priests toward the conquered Mexicans. Anyone not fully familiar with this part of the story of how the cockroaches of Europe spread their diseased minds and greedy doctrines throughout the “New World” can do no better than to read “The Journals Of Bernal Diaz”, whose chronicles of the Cortez conquest of Mexico are among the few reasonably accurate descriptions we have from that awful period. Click here for Volume #1, and Click here for Volume #2
However, as grossly cruel and barbaric as the Spanish conquest of Mexico undoubtedly was, and as complicit as the Catholic Church and its corrupt priesthood was in the slaughter and exploitation, the suffering inflicted upon Mexico was nothing compared with that inflicted on Peru, and the diseased and evil soul of the Priesthood displayed in Mexico was multiplied many times over with the Inca in Peru. Whereas in Mexico the priests of the Church followed behind the Conquistadors and exploited the chaos that they created, in Peru the priesthood initiated and energetically led the bloodshed and exploitation. The Conquistadors themselves were the original “Gang Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight”, evil little clowns and drunkards pretending to be soldiers. In a long and shameful history, the satanic behavior and deliberately genocidal policies of the Church in Peru mark a disgusting low point in the annals of this criminal institution whose impact has persisted to this day.
The following relatively brief excerpts from Dr. Mortimer’s 1901 “History Of Coca” will, I hope, whet the appetite of readers of this blog to pursue the story by going to the dozens of original source materials that are hyperlinked in the bibliography that is offered in “The Coca leaf Papers”. Within these original source materials you’ll find historically accurate and detailed accounts of the generations-long exploitation of the indigenous people of the Andes, which continues to a large extent even today through a feudal land-ownership and class system that has given rise, in recent times, to revolutionary movements such as El Sendaro Luminoso – The Shining Path. The fact that this revolutionary movement, like all others in Latin America, has been compromised and undercut by the Great Satan to the North through the use of mercenaries and paid assassins should not and does not take away from its historical legitimacy as a protest against exploitation and cruelty.
What follows is a brief description of the origins of the centuries of the suffering that continues to this day, and that drives the bravest among the indigenous peoples of the Andes to continue to resist by all means possible the evil and corruption that was brought to their lands so many centuries ago.
This Post Excerpted from “The History of Coca”, Chapter Three, by Dr. William Mortimer, MD (1901)
Mama Coca And the First Inca Survey Her Domain
We Come In Peace
In November, 1532, hearing that Atahualpa, with his army, was in the neighboring mountains, Pizarro crossed the desert of Sechura, and a sort of triumphal march was continued toward the interior directly to the Inca’s camp. As his troops passed on, the natives were baptized into the church, and assumed solemn vows which they could not understand, but it was sufficient that they had accepted the faith. Atahualpa learning of Pizarro’s approach – presumably supposed that so small a body could only be coming upon friendly terms – so sent a messenger with greetings to inform him that the Inca would on the following day visit him in person. In the meantime the freedom of Caxamarca was extended to the invaders, and the use of the public buildings was offered for the troops.
Pizarro concealed his forces while awaiting the sovereign, who was borne in great state upon the royal litter, was clothed in Incan splendor, a chuspa of Coca hung at his side, golden sandals were upon his feet, and his head bore the stately insignia of power – the llauta and borla of scarlet fringe, with the royal feathers of the sacred bird. He was accompanied by a numerous retinue of nobles of his court and thousands of followers.
Friar Vicente de Valverde, the ecclesiastical head of the Spaniards, acted as spokesman, and explained through his interpreters that their little band had visited this far-off land for the sake of establishing the true religion and converting the natives. He beseeched the Inca to at once acknowledge the faith and allegiance to the king, Charles the Fifth. Authority for all this he attempted to show in a Bible which he offered to Atahualpa, but the latter, saying he recognized no other king than himself, indignantly threw the book to the ground, which the vengeful friar seemed to recognize as an affront sufficient to provoke hostilities, for he shouted, “Fall on! I absolve you”, when at once the most terrible onslaught upon the unsuspecting Incas was commenced. The Spanish officers being mounted, were enabled to do some frightful work, while the troops, armed with death-dealing arquebuses, literally vomited fire upon the natives, who were massacred by thousands, while not one of the invading party was injured save Pizarro, who received a slight wound from his own men while shielding the Inca, who was taken prisoner. The monarch was at first treated with courtesy, and permitted to retain his people about him. Pizarro, ever awake to some politic move, hinted upon the advisability of adjusting the affairs of the brothers amicably, but the imprisoned chief, not realizing his own danger, became alarmed at such a suggestion, and secretly dispatched orders to assassinate Huascar, who was then a prisoner in Atahualpa’s army. Nor had his brother received very courteous treatment at the hands of the rival forces, for they put a rope around his neck and called him Coca hachu – Coca chewer – besides offering him many other affronts, while they gave him Chillea – Bacchaus scandeus – leaves to eat instead of Coca. This so outraged Huascar that he raised his eyes to heaven and cried: “O Lord and Creator, how is it possible ? Why hast thou sent me these burdens and troubles?”
In The Name Of The “True Religion”, The Spanish Slaughter The Welcoming Inca Royalty
Now commenced the downfall of the Empire of the Incas. Atahualpa, chafing under restraint, suggested paying for his ransom with as much gold as the room in which he was imprisoned would hold; and as that space was seventeen feet broad by twenty-two feet long, and was to be filled to a height of nine feet, the Spaniards were only too ready to agree to his proposition. But even their most sordid expectations had not pictured the vast store of riches which, at the command of the Inca, was at once brought to them from all sections of the country. It literally poured in a golden stream of vases, vessels, utensils, ornaments, the golden Coca shrubs from the temples, immense plaques, and golden animals, and statues of life-size, and in nuggets and golden dust. All this did not seem enough to satisfy the greed of the conqueror. Instead of freeing Atahualpa, who had shown too keen a wit to be permitted at liberty, it was decided to make away with him. He was charged with the murder of his brother, and after a hasty trial was condemned to death. In August, 1533, after receiving the last rites of the Church, he was executed in the square of Caxamarca by the garrote, as a distinctive torture to being burned alive in consideration for his having at the last moment submitted to baptism. The following day, amidst the most impressive solemnity, the service for the dead being performed by Father Valverde, the body of the Incan sovereign was buried, Pizarro and his principal cavaliers assuming mourning as hypocritical emblems of their grief at the loss of this mighty lord. The greatest lawlessness now commenced, and booty was free among the Spaniards. Villages were destroyed, houses were ransacked, and the gorgeous temples and palaces were plundered.
Pizarro advanced rapidly to Cuzco, but little of its golden splendor was now left. The cupidity of the invaders had over-leaped itself, for as the Peruvians saw that the sole desire of the Spanish was for gold, they secreted the beautifully wrought golden emblems of Coca and other elaborate workings of the precious metal, together with the sacred vessels and the venerated bodies of the Incas which had been set up in the Temple of the Sun. From that day to this these treasures have never been fully recovered, although some years later Polo Ondegardo, while Corregidor of Cuzco, found five mummies in a tomb in the mountains, three of them men and two women. These were said to be the bodies of the Incas Viracocha, Tupac Inca Yupanqui, and Huaynia Ccapac, together with Mama Runtu, the queen of the first named, and Ccoya Mama Ocllo, mother of the last. Each of the bodies was well preserved, even the hair with the eyebrows and lashes remaining, while the peculiar wrappings and the sacred llauta about the forehead, betokened their rank. These bodies were conveyed to Lima, where they were buried with appropriate rites in the courtyard of the hospital of San Andres.
Pearls Cast Among Swine
When the first vast treasure of capture was divided among the officers and followers of the conquerors, each of the invaders was allotted a fortune, and Hernando Pizarro was dispatched to Spain with the royal fifth. The amount taken to the Crown proved sufficient to establish this new country in the name of the king, who magnanimously divided it into New Castile in the north, which was assigned to Pizarro, and New Toledo south of that, which was given to the control of Almagro. So bloated were the Spaniards with their newly acquired riches that the most ordinary commodities were paid for in fabulous sums, and many anecdotes are related of this prodigality of wealth. The men fell into riotous living, spent their days in lawlessness and their nights in gambling, the stakes at these bouts often being for whole fortunes. In one of these orgies the massive emblem of the Sun, taken from the Temple at Cuzco, was staked and lost at a single throw by the cavalier to whom it had fallen in the division of the spoils, from which an after allusion of arrant profligacy was referred to as: “He gambles away the sun in a night.”
It is recorded that when Atahualpa was imprisoned one of the priests wrote the name of God at his request upon the Inca’s finger nail. This he showed to several of the guards, who, upon their pronouncing the name correctly, it excited his admiration and astonishment that characters so unintelligible to him could be read by the Spaniards. On showing the name to Pizarro – who could neither read nor write – he remained silent, and by thus displaying his ignorance provoked a contempt which his prisoner could not well conceal. It has been asserted that it was through pique at this incident that determined an approval to the Inca’s death.
The Empire of the Incas being now without a chief, fell into confusion, and the governors of the several provinces each set up an independence, which Pizarro was quick to appreciate would be more difficult to overthrow than to conquer the country under one revered ruler whom he might influence through stratagem. He therefore determined to install Manco, the legitimate brother of Huascar, who had already placed himself under his protection, and he was established as the successor and sovereign Inca amidst all the ancient splendor and formality that such an occasion might demand. So much harmony had been occasioned by this shrewd course that it now seemed as though the whole country might proclaim allegiance to Pizarro’s guardianship, but the avarice of the invaders had not yet been appeased by the gold they had received. Their persistent search for treasure, which did not respect even the sacred buildings and palaces, proved to the Indians the new religion was not one of peace, but rather suggested they were to be reduced from their former freedom and happy state to become the mere slaves of a body of tyrants. A succession of internal wars now commenced, and the Incas, led by Manco, took a final stand at Cuzco, which they battled so nobly to defend that for a time it seemed the Spaniards must be routed, but the ultimate result was the complete overthrow of the Incan Empire, and Manco, chagrined and humiliated by his defeat, escaped to the mountains near Vilcabamba, where he maintained a sort of regal independence with a few loyal followers, until his death in 1544. After the overthrow of Cuzco, Pizarro, desiring a location near the coast in easier communication with Panama, established the seat of his government on the river Rimac, and the new capital was named Ciudad de Los Reyes – City of the Kings – in honor of the sovereigns of Spain, the modern name, Lima, being a corruption of Rimac.
And here the conqueror, enthroned in power, took to him Añas, the daughter of Atahualpa, by whom he had a son – Francisco, who became a schoolmate of the Incan historian, Garcilasso de la Vega, but died young in Spain. As though to unite his name more profoundly with the Incan race, Pizarro took also the sister of Huascar, who bore him two children, a son, who died young, and a daughter, Francisca, who in after years married his brother, Hernando, in Spain. As if by marriage and intermarriage the invaders might atone for the destruction of a mighty race.
For a complete historical narrative of this disgraceful period in the European conquest of the “New World” please see “The Coca Leaf Papers“.