Querrán matarlo y no podrán matarlo
Tupac Amaru Biography
Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui (Tupac Amaru, 1742-1781) was the leader of the largest Native American revolt in the Americas. He was a man of sufficient learning, had a passion for reform, and hated injustice.
Born in Tinta south of Cuzco, Peru, Jose Gabriel Condorcanqui later took the name of the last Inca Emperor, in which he claimed he was a descendent, Tupac Amaru.
Born to a Spanish father and Incan mother, Tupac Amaru II was a mestizo. However, he identified more with his mother's indigenous side than he did with the Spaniards. At the age of ten he went to Cuzco to study in the Jesuit College of San Francisco de Borja, built for Native American boys of noble birth. He read Latin readily and spoke Spanish correctly and Quechua with grace. Tupac Amaru II was an intelligent and educated man, who had attended law school.
He married Michaela Bastidas Puyuahua, a pure-blooded Spaniard from Abancay. From this marriage he had three sons--Hipólito, Mariano, and Fernando.
Tupac Amaru was a wealthy man and owned a large cacao estate in the province of Caravaya. His income came chiefly from transporting merchandise and quicksilver. His enemies called him the "Muleteer Cacique." He traveled extensively and was in touch with the people and conditions in all parts of Peru. He informed the viceroy and other officials of the hardships suffered by the Indians under the mita system--forced labor in the mines, on plantations, and in workshops.
Frustrated by the conditions of the indigenous and the treatment they received by the Spaniards, Tupac Amaru II mounted a rebellion. His rebellion would strike fear in the hearts of all Spaniards living in Spanish-America for years following the uprising.
Initially, Tupac Amaru II appealed to both the criollos (Spaniards born in the Americas) and the indigenous, who were more than ready to drive out the peninsular Spaniards living in the Americas.
The Spanish crown and its administrators had implemented a series of changes, known as the Bourbon Reforms. The indigenous had been subjected to heavy taxation, while criollo administrators, on orders from the crown were replaced by peninsular Spaniards.
After the kidnapping and execution of Spanish governor, Antonio de Arriaga on November 4, 1780 by Tupac's army, the climate of the rebellion changed. Criollos and mestizos, who had once supported Tupac Amaru II, began to doubt his motives.
Tupac Amaru was captured in May of 1781. His wife, Micaela Bastidas, who some believe to have been his military strategist, along with his sons, family members and captains were all sentenced to death. Túpac Amaru had to witness the execution of his wife, oldest son, an uncle, and some of his captains before his own death.
Tupac was drawn and quartered, and his remains were scattered across the region. The brutal spectacle lasted over six hours. When the revolt continued, the Spaniards exterminated the remainder of the Inca's family, except Fernando, who was imprisoned in Spain for the rest of his life. The revolt resulted in some minor reforms in Peru.