Unblinking Eye


Parroquia y Exconvento de San Miguel Arcangel - site of the auto da fe held in July 1562 by Friar Diego de Landa

“After the people had been ... instructed in religion ... they were perverted by their priests and chiefs to return to their idolatry; this they did, making sacrifices not only by incense, but also of human blood.  Upon this the friars held an Inquisition ... they held trials and celebrated an Auto, putting many on scaffolds, capped, shorn and beaten ...  Some of the Indians out of grief, and deluded by the devil, hung themselves ...”

“These people also used certain characters or letters, with which they wrote in their books about the antiquities and their sciences ...  We found a great number of books in these letters, and since they contained nothing but superstitions and falsehoods of the devil we burned them all ...”

                                                                           --Yucatan Before and After the Conquest
by Friar Diego de Landa


“... the friars of the order of San Francisco ... have inflicted irregularities and punishments on these indians never heard of in all the Indes, under color of saying that they were idolaters.”

“... they set about the business with great rigor and atrocity, putting the Indians to great tortures, of ropes and water, hanging them by pulleys with stones of 50 or 75 pounds to their feet, and so suspended gave them many lashes until the blood ran to the ground from their shoulders and legs; besides this they tarred them with boiling fat ...”

“The poor Indians, weak and miserable, afflicted and maltreated, in fear of the torture, while under the torture confessed irregularities they have neither committed nor thought of, saying they were idolaters, and had quantities of idols, and had even sacrificed human beings and done other great cruelties; all being false and stated in fear and for the pain they suffered.”

“... on which confessions, without listening to the Indians or their Defender, or making any verification beyond what came by the tortures, they sheared them, beat and punished them, usually every one in the pueblos they visited.  Some individuals ... they condemned to ten years slavery, more or less, put on them the penitential sambenito garments of the Inquisition, banished them from their signories and towns, and made them slaves ...”

“From all which, and much more I cannot tell your majesty for the prolixity, great harm to the Indians resulted; for seeing the things, they fled many to the forests, others hung themselves in despair, many others were left wounded, without hands or feet, and many others died of the tortures inflicted.”

                                                                           --Letter of Diego Rodriguez Bibanco to the
                                                                                        King of Spain, 8 March 1563

Statue of Friar Diego de Landa in Izamal.

Related Links

Wikipedia Entry on Maní
The Ghosts of Maní
Life of Diego de Landa

Copyright 2010 by
Ed Buffaloe



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