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The Spanish king, Carlos V, had begun to curtail the abuses of the conquistadors, and had appointed a viceroy to take over the administration of the New World. The New Laws had been passed in Spain, which limited the conquistadors' powers in the New World and outlawed slavery and the encomienda system. Many of the Spanish in Peru rebelled against the King and these new laws. Gonzalo decided that his mission would be to win back Peru. As the leader of the anti-royal forces, Gonzalo crowned himself the King of Peru and fought against the King of Spain's viceroy. On April 9, 1548, Gonzalo was captured – and the next day he was beheaded.

The Fate of Orellana

Orellana returned to Spain in May 1543, expecting to be greeted with honors, a governorship, and possibly a new expedition. Instead, he encountered contempt due to a letter written to the King of Spain by Gonzalo Pizarro claiming that Orellana had deserted him. Wanting to clear his name and achieve the expected honors due a conquistador, Orellana petitioned the king to authorize and finance another expedition that would further explore and exploit the Amazon.    [more]
Disease and Death in Amazonia
Disease and Death in Amazonia