Pedro de Alvarado

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Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras (born Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, ca. 1485 or ca. 1495, died Guadalajara, New Spain, 4 July 1541) was a Spanish conquistador and governor of Guatemala.[1] Known for his skill as a soldier, Alvarado's cruelty to native populations is represented in various sources, including the Lienzo de Quauhquechollan, wherein his conquest is depicted. This document shows that he enslaved natives, and murdered them by means such as hanging, burning, and throwing them to dogs.[2] His wife, Doña Beatriz de la Cueva, of Úbeda, became governor after his death,[3] but died in September 1541 during the mudflow of the Guatemalan "Agua" volcano.[4]

Indigenous people, both Nahuatl-speakers and speakers of other languages, called him Tonatiuh, meaning "sun" in the Nahuatl language.

Contents

Early life

Pedro de Alvarado was born in 1485 in the town of Badajoz, in Extremadura. He was the son of Diego Gómez de Alvarado y Mexía de Sandoval, born in Badajoz in 1460, who was also the Commander of Lobón,[1] Puebla, Montijo and Cubillana, Alcalde of Montanchez, Trece of the Order of Santiago, Lord of Castellanos, a Maestresala official instructor of Henry IV of Castile and General of the Frontier of Portugal. Pedro de Alvarado's mother was Diego's second wife, Leonor de Contreras y Gutiérrez de Trejo. His first wife, Teresa Suárez de Moscoso y Figueroa, had died years before.

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