Latin American Studies ETDs

Publication Date



In the mid-seventeenth century, there occurred in Laicacota, site of a rich silver strike in the Viceroyalty of Peru, a wave of social conflict. The violence arose from traditional peninsular regional animosities, known as the war of the nations, and pitted Basques against Andalusians, who were led by Gaspar de Salcedo. The unrest was exacerbated by Salcedo's drive to make access to the mines an Andalusian monopoly.

The Santiesteban administration was unable to halt the conflict, which it inadvertently encouraged by the appointment of a corregidor sympathetic to the Basques, Angelo de Peredo. After Santiesteban's death, violence increased. The Andalusians, who recruited mestizos as allies, seemed to pose a threat to all Upper Peru. During the ineffectual interim government of the audiencia, the Andalusians and mestizos, many of whom Peredo had driven from Laicacota, invaded the camp with Salcedo's help and encouragement. Peredo, bereft of support from the authorities in Lima, was eventually forced to return to the capital.

Viceory Lemos arrived in Peru in 1667. Strongly influenced by a report Peredo submitted to the audiencia in 1666, he sought to restore order in Upper Peru by prosecuting Salcedo for treason and punishing some of his followers. A well-orchestrated conviction followed. The proceedings against Salcedo and his followers were the only treason trials held in seventeenth-century Peru. Salcedo's sentence was later significantly reduced by the Council of the Indies in an unusual assumption of jurisdiction. The treason convictions and the playing out of Laicacota's mines ended the social and racial conflict that threatened to cause disorders throughout Upper Peru.



Document Type


Degree Name

Latin American Studies

Level of Degree


Department Name

Latin American Studies

First Committee Member (Chair)

Peter Bakewell

Second Committee Member

Robert Korn

Third Committee Member

Edwin A. Zuniga

Fourth Committee Member

Elaine M. Barrett