Last updateFri, 21 Sep 2018 10am

Beltran de Guzman, an unrelenting application of evil: a cruel tangle of anti-church, anti-Cortez, anti-Indian

A Spanish settler’s repeated attempts to find a satisfactory physical location was only part of its marred, repetitive attempts to drive down permanent roots.

Once these were frustratingly settled, there came the matter of Spanish brutality. 

This was an undisguised, almost unbelievably cruel tangle administered by its anti-church, anti-Cortez, anti-Indio “founder,” Nuño Beltran de Guzman. He readily spurred an unrelenting spill-over of hate among most fellow Spaniards, and unabated loathing among native Mexicans — the entire indigenous population of Mexico.

He had come to New Spain after the Conquest, appointed by Spain’s European rulers to be the Governor of Panuco, in North-Eastern Mexico. In 1528, Guzman became president of the first Royal Audiencia — the powerful High Court of New Spain. The Audiencia was created to investigate charges leveled against people such as Hernando Cortez, possibly replacing and stripping them of any military power, which Cortez had exercised even before the fall of the Aztec Empire.  

Guzman had assumed Cortez would be stripped of any of the Royal approval he often enjoyed.  New World conquests by Cortez – infuriating Guzman – stirred Mexico with Royal praise, and an “unbelievable” new title: “Marquese del Valle de Oaxaca,” a weighty estate. This was in addition to Cortez’s retention of his military authority – demonstrating Royal backing, even with divided power, limiting several of displeased Cortez-planned enterprises.

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