LOS TAINOS LOS RECIBEN COMO GUAITIAO (HERMANOS)
Cristobal Colon - Christopher Columbus
Juan Ponce de Leon
MOTIVO DEL CRIMEN
"ORO" - "GOLD"
"AZUCAR" - "SUGAR"
COMIENZA LA MATANZA
Testigos de la Matanza de los Tainos
Witensses of the Taino Massacre
Fray Bartolome de las Casas
Todas estas universas e infinitas gentes a toto género crió Dios las más simples, sin maldades ni dobleces, obedientísimas, fidelísimas a sus señores naturales y a los cristianos a quien sirven; más humildes, más pacientes, más pacíficas y quietas, sin rencillas ni bollicios, no rijosos, no querulosos, sin rancores, sin odios, sin desear venganzas, que hay en el mundo. Son así mesmo las gentes más delicadas, flacas y tiernas en complisión y que menos pueden sufrir trabajos, y que más fácilmente mueren de cualquiera enfermedad, que ni hijos de príncipes y señores entre nosotros, criados en regalos y delicada vida, no son más delicados que ellos, aunque sean de los que entre ellos son de linaje de labradores. [...]
La versión de Las Casas sobre las consecuencias de la conquista de las islas de San Juan y Jamaica es claramente diferente: «(los españoles) hicieron e cometieron los grandes insultos e pecados susodichos, y añadieron muchas señaladas e grandísimas crueldades más, matando y quemando y asando y echando a perros bravos, e después oprimiendo y atormentando y vexando en las minas y en los otros trabajos hasta consumir y acabar con todos aquellos infelices inocentes: que había en las dichas dos islas más de seiscientas mil ánimas, y creo que más de un cuento, e no hay hoy en cada una doscientas personas. Todas [las demás] perecidas sin fe e sin sacramentos» (Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias, Sevilla, 1552, ff. 5r y 10v)
Fray Antonio de Montesinos
It once happened that I myself witnessed their grilling of four or five local leaders in this fashion (and I believe they had set up two or three other pairs of grills alongside so that they might process other victims at the same time) when the poor creatures 'howls came between the Spanish commander and his sleep. He gave orders that the prisoners were to be throttled, but the man in charge of execution detail, who was more bloodthirsty than the average common hangman (I know his identity and even met some relatives of his in Seville), was loath to cut short his private entertainment by personally going round ramming wooden buns into their mouths to stop them from making such a racket and deliberately stoked the fire that they would take just as long to die as he himself chose. I saw these things for myself and many others besides. These mortal enemies of human kind trained hunting dogs to track them down -- wild dogs who would savage a native to death as soon as he looked at him, tearing him into shreds and devouring his flesh as though he were a pig.
And when, as happened on the odd occasion, the locals did kill a European, as, given the enormity of the crimes committed against them, they were in all justice fully entitled to, the Spanish came to an unofficial agreement among themselves that for every European killed one hundred natives would be executed.
The fourth kingdom was known as Xaragua, and was really the heart and core of the whole island. In no other part of the island was the language as refined as here nor the court discourse as cultivated; nowhere else were the people of such quality and breeding, the leading families as numerous and as liberal -- and this kingdom boasted many nobles and great lords. Chief among them was the king, Behechio, and his sister, Anacaona, both of whom rendered great service to the Spanish Crown and gave every assistance to the European settlers, on occasion even saving their lives; after Behechio's death, Anacaona ruled in his stead. Over three hundred local dignitaries were summoned to welcome the then governor of the island when he paid a visit to the kingdom with sixty horse and a further three hundred men on foot (the horsemen alone were sufficient in number to ravage not only the whole island but the mainland as well). The governor duped the unsuspecting leaders of this welcoming party into gathering in a building made of straw and then ordered his men to set fire to it and burn them alive. All the others were massacred, either run through by lances or put to the sword. As a mark of respect and out of deference to her rank, Queen Anacaona was hanged. When one or two Spaniards tried to save some of the children, either because they pitied them or perhaps because they wanted them for themselves, and swung them up behind them on to their horses, one of their compatriots rod up behind and ran them through with his lance. Yet another member of the governor's party galloped about cutting the legs off all the children as they lay sprawling on the ground. The governor even decreed that those who made their way to a small island some eight leagues distant in order to escape this bestial cruelty should be condemned to slavery because they had fled.
After the fighting was over and all the men had been killed, the surviving natives -- usually, that is, the young boys, the women, and the children -- were shared out between the victors. One got thirty, another forty, a third as many as hundred or even twice that number; everything depended on how far one was in the good books of the despot who went by the title of governor. The pretext under which the victims were parceled out in this way was that their new masters would then be in a position to teach them the truths of the Christian faith; and thus it came about that a host of cruel, grasping and wicked men, almost all of them pig-ignorant, were put in charge of these poor souls. And they discharged this duty by sending the men down the mines, where working conditions were appalling, to dig for gold, and putting the women to labor in the fields and on their master's estates, to till the soil and raise the crops, properly a task only for toughest and strongest of men. Both women and men were given only wild grasses to eat and other unnutritious foodstuffs The mothers of young children promptly saw their milk dry up and their babies die; and, with the women and men separated and never seeing each other, no new children were born. The men died down the mines from overwork and starvation, and the same was true of the women who perished out in the estates.