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Juan Santos Atahualpa Rebellion

Gabriel Cabrera M.


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The Juan Santos Atahualpa Rebellion was an anti-colonial and millenarian armed uprising carried out by the indigenous population of Peruvian central Amazonia during Spanish domination. It took its name from its leader, Juan Santos, named Atahualpa. Though one of the most important indigenous rebellions in the eighteenth-century Peruvian viceroyalty, and the longest, most of the facts surrounding both the rebellion and its leader are unclear. Some are mixed with legend, while others are hypotheses or possibilities. It is known that Juan Santos and his army, recruited from among different Amazonian indigenous peoples, fought the Spanish army for more than 14 years and were never defeated. While they could not chase the colonial powers out of Peruvian territory, they did manage to expel Franciscan evangelist missions from the central jungle for several decades. Juan Santos was born around 1710. He was educated in Cusco by the Jesuits, so he was probably a member of the indigenous nobility. Santos learned Spanish and Latin and traveled with a priest to France, Spain, England, and Angola. That trip allowed him to contrast life in Europe to that of most Indians in Peru and may have helped form his anti-colonial consciousness and influence his decision to rebel. When he did return, he built a movement calling for the expulsion of the Spanish; the eradication of social, economic, political, ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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