Biography of Francisco [conquistador español] Pizarro (1475-1541)

Francisco Pizarro.

Spanish conquistador born in 1475 in Trujillo. In 1502, he/she embarked to India, where he/she became the position of Lieutenant Governor of Panama in 1523. Partnered in 1524 with the captain Diego de Almagro and the priest Hernando de Luque in a private company that made the conquest of the Peru defeat and submit to the Inca Empire in November 1533. Pizarro was Governor of Peru between 1533 and 1541. He/She was murdered in Lima on June 26, 1541.

francisco Pizarro is called by antonomasia El Conquistador of Peru. Natural son of the captain don Gonzalo Pizarro and Francisca González Alonso, about his childhood and youth data are scarce. Even though it is known that it did not receive any education or instruction elementary despite their status as hidalgo, there is still in doubt if he/she devoted himself to breeding pigs. At the end of the fifteenth century, between 1494 and 1498, he/she participated in the wars of Italy, fighting beside his father. Returning to Extremadura, it is believed that in 1502 joined the expedition that commanded the peacemaker Nicolás de Ovando to the Indies. Established for several years on the Spanish island (Santo Domingo), Pizarro took part in several expeditions led to the South, among them, which allowed Vasco Núñez de Balboa discover South Sea, i.e. the Pacific Ocean, November 25, 1513. Years later, in 1515, by order of the Governor of Tierra Firme, Pedrarias Dávila, Pizarro in his capacity as Lieutenant Governor of Urabá arrested to the own Núñez de Balboa, who would be executed two years later on charges of conspiracy. The protection that dispensed Pedrarias Pizarro in Exchange for their loyalty took hold when he/she decided to found the city of Panama. Pizarro took there several important positions such as the Lieutenant Governor, visitor, Alderman and, finally, Mayor of the city between 1522 and 1523, all of which allowed him to amass a significant personal fortune.

In 1524 Pedrarias, who had unsuccessfully sponsored several expeditions to the South and Southeast in order to conquer new territories, including that of Pascual de Andagoya, passed the Licentiate Gaspar de Espinoza, the maestrescuela Hernando de Luque, the captain Diego de Almagro and Francisco Pizarro formed a partnership intended to organize a new expedition. Lift company was a true prototype of Indian private company according to its provisions were partners who invested all the capital and distributed benefits. Incorporated company, the same is imposed three weekends that were, first, extend the domains of the Crown, second, find the union of both oceans and, third, achieve personal wealth. The Expedition commanded by Pizarro, composed of the ship used in his Balboa discoveries and two barges, split for the first time to the southeast of November 14, 1524. Port burned was the point of maximum advance of this company which by their results, the high cost in lives and little got booty, can be said that it was a failure. This not discouraged to Pizarro who decided to remain in the village of Chochama Indians, in Panamanian territory, waiting for Almagro to achieve new economic funding in Panama to form a second expedition. This was from the Panamanian capital early in 1526 and was composed of three ships and one hundred sixty men. Once incorporated Pizarro and his followers to the expedition, the advance on the coast until arriving at the Rio San Juan was exhausting and bloody to be attacked by the native populations. The explorers decided to make a stop there to assess the losses, and agreed to divide the host into three parts. While Pizarro stayed in place and attending to the wounded and sick, Almagro returned to Panama in search of food and aid and Bartolomé Ruiz continued the exploration southward.

It corresponded to the ship manned by Bartolomé Ruiz collecting the first signs of a high culture after discovering the Punta de Passaos, el Gallo island and the lands of Coaque in the current coast of the Ecuador. However, the sufferings of the crew stationed at the el Gallo island came to the ears of the new Governor of Panama, Pedro de los Ríos. Tradition has it that a wounded soldier, surname Sarabia, transmitted to the blind Governor in a ball this verse: "as Governor, well look at it entirely; There goes the dustpan and here is the butcher." Of the Ríos ordered the dispatch of a ship's collection with strict orders that all the expedition members return to Panama. But Pizarro and thirteen of his followers, the so-called thirteen of the el Gallo Island, refused to comply with the order and chose to continue with the business Explorer. In boat collection that returned to Panama with those who resigned to pursue the trip was also Bartolomé Ruiz, although its task consisted of a new permit from the Governor to continue the journey in addition to achieve new reinforcements. Ruiz managed authorization giving within six months Pizarro to achieve any positive result. The expedition, this time consisting of a single nave, resumed its March in the Gorgona Island, close to the Ecuador, and headed for the coasts of Tumbes where they came into contact with the first native groups that confirmed them the existence of a rich and prosperous Kingdom more towards the South. All this way the followers of Pizarro managed to move up to the valleys of Lambayeque, located on the North coast of the Peru. At the beginning of 1528, Pizarro decided to interrupt the exploratory trip at the end of the six months. He/She returned to Panama carrying after Yes the discovery of a long coastal strip as well as a booty in gold, blankets, animals and goods, trusting him would be sufficient to achieve a new authorization to continue your company. But the Governor of the Ríos refused to support legal and economically a new trip.

The new obstacle, the three partners decided in 1528 recourse to the King of Spain to obtain authorization and necessary means to continue the conquest. Pizarro was commissioned to make such arrangements before the King Carlos I and the 26 June 1529 both signed the capitulation of Toledo. This agreement Pizarro obtained permission and financial support needed to continue the discovery and incorporation into the Spanish Crown of the southern Kingdom foreshadowed. In return, Pizarro won lifetime titles of Governor, Captain General, advance and Sheriffs throughout the Strip land, up to a maximum of two hundred and fifty leagues, who discovered from Tumbes. For its part, the capitulations just granted to Hernando de Luque the bishopric of Tumbes and Diego de Almagro Tumbes Mayor.

Palacio del Marqués de conquest in Trujillo (Cáceres).

Pizarro returned to Panama with a contingent of men recruited mainly in his native land, Extremadura, which highlighted the presence of his three brothers, Gonzalo, Juan and Hernando, who were to have an enormous influence on the future conduct of the conquering company. The desire of all three to achieve a role disproportionate, to which are added excessive personal concessions obtained by Francisco Pizarro before the King, would be the two causes that were to become strained relations between this and Diego de Almagro.

The third trip of the conquering expedition composed of one hundred and eighty men departed from Panama from December 30, 1530. Pizarro established their headquarters in the region of Puna, on the Ecuadorian coast, and there was war which faced each other the two sons of Emperor recently deceased Huayna Capac , Huáscar and Atahualpafor the succession to the top job of the inca. Pizarro decided to disembark in Tumbes and after submitting to the native population, in may 1532, began their advance towards the interior of the Peruvian territory. In this way, where was founded the first Spanish city in the Peru, San Miguel de Piura, Pizarro learned that Atahualpa after defeat and capture Huascar had set in the Incan city of Cajamarca. November 15, 1532, the expedition members arrived on the outskirts of the city of Cajamarca. The conquistadors knew monitored by the armies of the Inca by what its strategy to survive consisted in using a ruse of border wars: ambush and kidnap the boss enemy in order to make him hostage. To achieve this goal the Spanish host had little more than one hundred and fifty soldiers, more contingent of natives become allies, who had to confront an inca army calculated on ten thousand men. Therefore, the element of surprise was essential to the success of the company. Two emissaries, Hernando de Soto and Hernando Pizarro, managed to arrange a meeting with Atahualpa in Cajamarca main square. On the morning of 16 November Pizarro sent the priest Valverde to read before the Inca the requirement of acceptance of the sovereignty of the King of Spain and the submission to the Christian faith. Atahualpa threw the Bible that Valverde was carrying by what this immediately delivered the key word, "Santiago", which kicked off the Battle Royale. The rumble of strategically placed cannons and confusion that gripped the inca army, were two factors that facilitated the capture of Atahualpa. This action began the dismantling of the Inca Empire.

The Inca captive ordered secret collaborators run Huascar, locked up in Cuzco, so that he/she could ally themselves with the Spaniards. Then, Atahualpa offered and paid his captors a stunning ransom in gold and silver, but, after a sham process that was accused of infidel, he/she was sentenced to the penalty of the fire that ultimately was commuted by the Club. With the death of the Inca was guaranteed the rapid submission of the rest of the native population before the might of the new "wiracochas". With the crucial collaboration of various ethnic groups unhappy with the inca domination, including huancas of the Valley of the Mantaro River, and the blessing of the incas partisans of the defunct Huascar, Francisco Pizarro and his men made their way to take the capital of the Empire, Cuzco, the Royal inca road. The journey appeared before Pizarro the Manco inca, brother of Huascar, who joined the expedition as a member of the Royal panaka. The entry in the Cuzco capital occurred in November 1533. After proceed to the distribution of the huge treasure in gold and silver found in this town, Pizarro, according to the capitulations of Toledo that established that the conquered provinces they should be governed by "people of those Nations", it invested Manco II as SapaInca and made the population to recognize him as Supreme inca authority of Cuzco.

Completed the initial phase of the conquest, Pizarro stepped up its policy of resettlement of all the conquered territory. Cuzco was remodeled as a Spanish city in 1534 and was confirmed as Governor Juan Pizarro. The same thing happened with Quito that was converted into a governance in charge of Sebastián de Belalcázar, while the own Pizarro was responsible to seek the most suitable site to establish the capital of their Government. The city of Jauja, which founded in 1533 and where initially had set his residence and the chapter, not seemed appropriate as the capital by their difficult geographic position. The envoys that Pizarro had sent to investigate on the coast persuaded him that the Valley of the Rimac was the most suitable place to establish the seat of Government. The relocation of the residents of Jauja was enacted at the end of 1534 and the Foundation of Lima, then called Ciudad de Los Reyes, occurred on January 18, 1535. Pizarro personally attended the design of the city, which became grid and whose center was placed the Governor's Palace.

The same year in which Pizarro established the capital Lima, the friendship between the two partners of the conquest, crumbled when Diego de Almagro received Crown the title of Governor of all the territories that followed to the limit of those granted to Pizarro. This would have involved to give control of the city of Cuzco to Almagro but Hernando Pizarro, in addition to managing governance for Almagro, before the King obtained an additional sixty leagues Award for his brother Francisco on those granted originally in 1529. The question of whether Cuzco fell or not within the limits of his Government forcing Pizarro to dilate the possibility of arbitration, which encouraged Almagro to organize an expedition to the South where predicted the existence of another powerful and rich Kingdom. The Chile Expedition departed in 1535, but the result of exploration failure, Almagro decided to leave it in 1537 and immediately headed for Cuzco to demand the surrender of the inca as part of their governance capital.

Pizarro, Almagro return complicated a situation which in itself was already sensitive to having exploded in Cuzco in 1536, the largest inca armed resistance against the presence Spanish led by Manco II. The troops sent by Pizarro to Cuzco under the command of his brother Hernando to control the situation were besieged by the rebel incas. At that moment there was the arrival of Diego de Almagro who claimed that the delivery of the capital Cuzco. Hernando Pizarro refused to comply with such request, reason why Almagro, who had come to an understanding with Manco II, took the city on April 18, 1537, and made prisoner. This action was the prelude to a war without quarter that was going to face each other to the conquerors almagristas and exists.

Pizarro and Almagro became to find, for the last time, on November 13, 1537 in the Indian village of Mala in an attempt to find a settlement to their dispute to the mediator, the mercedarian Friar Francisco de Bobadilla. Not come to any agreement and suspect Almagro of a helmet which caused him to abruptly leave the appointment, Bobadilla was responsible for giving the award that was granted to Pizarro the Government of Cuzco. Despite this outcome in its favor, Pizarro to fear for the life of his captive brother insisted a provisional agreement with Almagro where he/she gave his acceptance to this possessed Cuzco until the King had what had become. Under these conditions was signed the latest agreement between the two partners of the conquest in Chincha on November 24, 1537.

Almagro liberated Hernando Pizarro in Exchange for the promise of the Governor obtain a ship, which zarparía to Spain to inform the Crown of new agreements. But the ship arrived and Hernando Pizarro gave up on their attempt to exterminate the almagristas, this time with the support of the own Francisco Pizarro. Troops of Diego de Almagro and Hernando Pizarro were found in the so-called field of las Salinas, at half a League of Cuzco, 6 April 1538. The defeat of the Chile and the public execution of Diego de Almagro in June 1538 quiet for a brief time the clash between the conquerors.

Gone his partner, Francisco Pizarro set his temporary residence in the sierra, place where dedicated itself to continue the general division of land, making the encomiendas of the Indians, founding new cities, and at the same time, restrain the personal ambitions of the conquerors. One of his most frustrating acts was his attempt to capture Manco II, who with his rebel troops engaged in hostilizar Spanish settlements. However, none of their mission succeeded and Manco II remained impregnable for many years its redoubt in Vilcabamba, where he/she founded a dynasty. Pizarro decided to definitely return to Lima in 1539. At his residence lived from 1538 the son of Diego de Almagro, called the young man, who had been given shelter. But this one, namely the return of the Pizarro, decided to move home from some old friends of his father. The economic hardship and continuing reprisals suffered by the almagristas did I Almagro el Mozo finished joining the Group of conspirators who were preparing an assassination attempt against the Governor.

Pizarro received in 1539 the noble title of Marquis of the conquest, a late recognition of King Carlos I for the conquest of the Peru. Since then their authority became known throughout the Peruvian as the Marquis Governor. One of their latest decisions was to authorize the departure of the expedition that Pedro de Valdivia had organized to conquer Chile in 1540. But in June of 1541 his concerns focused on rumors that roamed the city and talked about an attack that was plotting against a known almagrista, Juan de Rada. Pizarro met with Rada, but not to confirm anything against her gave him a bunch of oranges as a sign of friendship. Rada interpreted the fact as a ploy of the Governor Marquis in order to win time to organize a retaliation, so he/she decided to advance the date of the plot. Sunday, June 26, 1541 Pizarro did not start as it was his custom to hear mass at the Church on the recommendation of their relatives. But those of Chile not desisted in their intention to kill that day Pizarro and everyone went to the Palace, where penetrated without any resistance. Visitors who had heard mass with Pizarro fled, so he, his brother Martín de Alcántara, and his two pageboys must confront all the almagristas. Pizarro was mortally wounded after the sixteen thrusts that received in his room and died but not before draw a cross on the floor and yell Jesus!. The remains of the Conqueror of Peru, shrouded by his sister-in-law Inés Muñoz, were transferred to the Church where they was made a provisional burial. Later the body was definitely buried beneath the high altar of the Cathedral of Lima. In 1983 the Peruvian archaeologist Hugo Ludeña discovered his remains which are now deposited in a ballot box in the same premises in Lima.

Pizarro's death did not end with the civil war. Far occur that, for several years the Pathfinders almagristas and exists clashed first among them and, then, the latter declared war the authorities sent by the King to the creation of the Peru Viceroyalty in 1542. The final defeat of the conquerors at the end of the 1960s meant the definitive end point of governance made by Francisco Pizarro and his conversion in the powerful Viceroyalty of Peru.


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BALLESTEROS GAIBROIS, Manuel: Francisco Pizarro. Madrid: Ediciones Quorum, 1987. (History 16).

BUSTO DUTHURBURU, José Antonio of the: Francisco Pizarro. The Governor Marquis. Madrid: Rialp, 1965.

PORRAS BARRENECHEA, Raúl: Pizarro. Lima: Editorial Pizarro, 1978.

MALE GABAI, Rafael: The illusion of power. Peak and decline of the Pizarro in the conquest of the Peru. Lima: IEPIFEA, 1996.