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Daquilema, Fernando (d. 1872) and the 1871 Uprising, Ecuador

Natalie Mutlak


Fernando Daquilema, a peasant from Cacha, Ecuador, led an indigenous uprising in December 1871 that is considered to be one of the most important in nineteenth-century Ecuador. The uprising expressed indigenous resistance against Ecuadorian nation-state building and was caused by high church taxes and forced labor for national roadworks. Daquilema was an Indian living in the community of Yaruquies, in the province of Chimborazo, Ecuador. Personal data such as his date of birth are sparse and difficult to confirm. The uprising he led occurred during the presidency of Gabriel García Moreno (1859–65 and 1869–75), whose political project was the introduction of Ecuador to the international capitalist system and the integration of the country through the construction of national roads connecting coast and highlands. In this context, two mechanisms were of special significance. On one hand, the payment of the “tithe” was established in 1866. Under this system, the tenth part of harvest and cattle had to be paid to the church. Tithe collectors were usually part of the local oligarchy, who often abused their power by multiplying the tax. On the other hand, the “law of subsidiary work for national roadworks,” passed on August, 3, 1869, particularly affected indigenous people by creating a system of forced labor. Both mechanisms provoked demographic decline and impoverishment and were met ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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