Vicente de Valverde

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Vicente de Valverde

Vicente de Valverde y Álvarez OP (* around 1490 in Oropesa , Extremadura , Spain ; † October 31, 1541 near Guayaquil , Puná ) was a Spanish Dominican who took part in the conquest of Peru . He became the first bishop of Cuzco .


Origin and early years

Vicente de Valverde was born towards the end of the 15th century - the exact date and year of birth are unknown - as the child of Francisco de Valverde and his wife Ana Álvarez de Vallegada. He was related to the Pizarro brothers , the conquerors of Peru , as well as to the family of Hernán Cortés , the conquerors of Mexico . He made his profession as a Dominican in April 1524 in the convent of San Esteban in Salamanca .

Stay in Peru

Valverde set out for Peru as a missionary with the Pizarro brothers in 1529. In 1532 he accompanied Francisco Pizarro on his journey to the Andean highlands. On November 16, 1532, he held a meeting with the Inca ruler Atahualpa in order to persuade him to give up peacefully, but the meeting culminated in the Battle of Cajamarca , in which Atahualpa was captured. Valverde later taught and baptized the fallen Inca.

Episcopate and death

When Charles V heard of Pizarro's victories, he appointed Valverde Bishop of Ciudad Real (now Cusco) in 1533 and in 1535 appointed the Dominican to report to the Spanish court. In January 1537, Pope Paul III confirmed . the appointment. Valverde returned to Pizarro with supplies in 1538. He was increasingly hindered in his spiritual duties by Pizarro's soldiers since he was appointed "Protector of the Aborigines". Again and again he clashed with brutal soldiers and adventurers who did not want to waste any thought on justice to the indigenous population. He tried to mediate between Diego de Almagro and Pizarro, but had to flee Peru after the latter's murder in 1541. On the way to Panama , which is also given as his bishopric, he was killed by Indians living there during a stopover on the island of Puná.


Vicente de Valverde's behavior in his negotiations with Atahualpa has been passed down in various ways. It was rumored by some contemporaries that the Dominican had arrogantly and disregarded the Inca ruler and that when he did not obey, he called on the Spaniards to attack. On the other hand, Francisco de Xerez , an eyewitness to the event in Seville, reported in 1534 that Valverde only turned to Pizarro after the Inca refused, and that he then ordered the Spaniards to advance. Even Pedro Pizarro reported in its 1571 written Relación otherwise. Alonzo Enrique and Oviedo make negative comments about Valverde , referring to Diego de Molilna, a Spanish soldier and conquistador; however, both expressly take sides with Almagro.

The allegations against Vicente de Valverde are therefore very likely to have been fabricated for political reasons.