Tupac Amaru II

▪ Incan revolutionary
original name José Gabriel Condorcanqui
born 1740, –42?, Peru
died May 18, 1781, Cuzco, Peru

      Peruvian Indian revolutionary, a descendant of the last Inca ruler, Tupac Amaru, with whom he was identified when he led the Peruvian peasants in an unsuccessful rebellion against Spanish rule.

      Tupac Amaru II was a cacique (hereditary chief) in the Tinta region of southern Peru. He received a formal Jesuit education but maintained his identification with the Indian population. In 1780 he arrested and executed the corregidor (provincial administrator), Antonio Arriaga, on charges of cruelty. This act led to the last general Indian rebellion against Spain, at first with the support of some Creoles (Spaniards born in America). The revolt, which spread throughout southern Peru and into Bolivia and Argentina, lost this support, however, when it became a violent battle between Indians and Europeans. Tupac Amaru II and his family were captured in March 1781 and taken to Cuzco. After being forced to witness the execution of his wife and sons, he was mutilated, drawn and quartered, and beheaded. The revolution continued until the Spanish government issued a general pardon of the insurgents.

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