The Debate at Valladolid took place in 1550. By that time, Cortés had
conquered Mexico and Pizarro had destroyed the Incas. Despite Las Casas' technical victory at Valladolid, Charles V had allowed further violent conquest in the Americas. Half a century later, the results of their policy with forced Christianization or punishment were obvious.
The Confession, 1589
On his death-bed in Cuzco on September 18, 1589, at the age of
78, Mancio Sierra de Leguízamo addressed this remarkable testament to King Philip II:
"For the peace of my soul and before I start this will, I declare
that for many years now I have desired to speak to the Catholic
majesty of King Philip our lord, knowing how Catholic and most
Christian he is, because I took part in the name of the Crown
in the discovery, conquest and settlement of these kingdoms when
we deprived those who were the lords, the Incas, who had ruled
them as their own. And it should be known to His Most Catholic
Majesty that we found those realms in such good order that there
was not a thief or a vicious man, nor an adulteress, nor were
there fallen women admitted among them, nor were they an immoral
people, being content and honest in their labor. All things from
the smallest to the greatest had their place and order. And that
the Incas were feared obeyed and respected by their subjects as
being very capable and skillful in their rule, as were their governors.
I wish your majesty to understand the motive that moves me to
make this statement is the peace of my conscience and because
of the guilt I share. For we have destroyed by our evil behaviour
such a government as was enjoyed by these natives. They were so
free of crime and greed, both men and women, that they could leave
gold or silver worth a hundred thousand pesos in their open house.
So that when they discovered that we were thieves and men who
sought to force their wives and daughters to commit sin with them,
they despised us. But now things have come to such a pass in offence
of God, owing to the bad example we have set them in all things,
that these natives from doing no evil have turned into people
who can do no good, something which must touch your Majesty»s
conscience as it does mine, as one of the first conquistadors
and discoverers, and something that demands to be remedied."
I inform your Majesty that there is no more I can do to alleviate
these injustices other than by my words, in which I beg God to
pardon me, for I am moved to say this, seeing that I am the last
to die of the conquistadors."