Tupac Amaru II
Tupac Amaru II was the nom de guerre of José Gabriel Condorcanqui Noguera, a Jesuit-educated mestizo from Peru who organized one of the greatest indigenous rebellions against the Spanish in South America. Inspired by Garcilaso de la Vega’s seminal Comentarios Reales de los Incas, and claiming to be a descendant of the last great Inca leader Tupac Amaru, who had perished over two hundred years earlier, Condorcanqui began his insurrection with the public execution of a local colonial governor. He gathered up an army of several thousand indigenous people who quickly occupied various smaller colonial towns before successfully defeating the Spanish in the Battle of Sangarará in 1780. His rebel army was eventually met by a string of defeats, and he was ultimately betrayed to the Spanish by some of his collaborators. Tupac Amaru II was sentenced to a brutal death in Cusco, where he was decapitated and quartered, his various body parts strewn all over the country. Most of his family met a similar fate, and all his properties and goods were confiscated and destroyed. His rebellion led the colonial Spanish government to ban all outward expressions of Inca culture and traditions, and inspired similar indigenous revolts elsewhere in the continent.
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