Essay: the opposite of a “genocide on the sly”

Essay: The opposite of “genocide on the sly”< /p> UPDATE DAY

Motivated by the unbridled desire for wealth, Spain and Portugal enriched themselves by plundering the American continent they had just “discovered”, massacring in the process all those who resisted them. A new “civilization” was being born, with the sword and the cross, which would eliminate 90 to 95% of the indigenous peoples. This captivating book tells the story of this massacre.

Christopher Columbus, this great “discoverer” of America, was, in fact, only a lost sailor who thought he was in India, as the anthropologist Serge Bouchard said. He was also an intractable governor who was not averse to the use of violence to achieve his ends. The Taino Indians of the island of Quisqueya/Hispaniola were its first victims. Opposing the forced labor in the gold mines that the Spanish conqueror imposed on them, they were massacred without mercy. 

The soldiers, the authors recount, “on foot and on horseback, carrying spears and swords and accompanied by hunting dogs, entered the cities, towns and villages, sparing neither the lives of the children nor that of the elders, nor that of pregnant women or women who had just given birth. Opening their bellies, they cut them into pieces. They killed the Indians, burned them and threw them to the dogs to be devoured”. The cruelty of the Spaniards knew no bounds. 

Deceit and trickery

Forced labor, hunger and disease eventually decimated the natives. “By the end of the 16th century, the Arawak Tainos had been practically wiped out on the main islands (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica and Hispaniola) and also on the minor islands; only a few Caribs survived on the small island of Dominica.” So much so that they began to import slaves from Africa to replace them.

Mexico, where very advanced civilizations predominated, such as those of the Aztecs and the Mayas, suffered the same fate. < /p>

“Over the next 30 years (1519-1548), the native population of the region declined by 20 million people, or about half a million per year. […] From 1519 to the year 1600, less than 3% of the original population survived. And five kingdoms disappeared. […]» Five centuries after the conquest and two centuries after the independence of Mexico, the indigenous populations continue to seek their place in the sun, affirm the authors.

Then it was the turn of the Inca Empire (Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia) to receive an unwanted visit from the Spaniards. In 1532, Francisco Pizarro arrived in Peru from Panama. Using cunning and trickery, he succeeded in taking the Inca chief Atahualpa prisoner, but not without having massacred the five thousand unarmed soldiers who accompanied him. 

After executing Atahualpa and seizing all the gold and silver found there, Pizarro marched on Cuzco, the capital of the Empire, which he plundered thoroughly. The city of Potosí, Bolivia, became the epicenter of mining, especially silver. The equivalent of five billion dollars was thus sent to Spain, while more than eight million Indians perished in the mines during the colonial period.  

Conquest of Portugal< /strong>

Not to be outdone, Portugal also set out to conquer the New World. We landed in Brazil in April of the year 1500. Four to five million inhabitants and hundreds of different peoples lived there.

Finding no precious metal there, the colonizers were interested in Brazil wood, which contained a precious dye, useful for the textile industry, then in sugar cane. They took over the land, regardless of the indigenous people who lived there. Then began another genocide, that of the Guarani peoples.

Then the British Empire moved further north where about 18 million Indigenous people lived. Today, they are only 2.5 million. The genocide lasted three centuries. The same barbaric methods were applied to establish the colony. As for France, which already dominated the north of the continent (Canada) and extended to the Mississippi River, it was defeated by England at the end of the Seven Years' War and ceded all its possessions to it. p>

For those who still doubted the genocide of the First Nations undertaken with the arrival of Europeans in America, this easily accessible book will certainly convince you.