Citation
Priests, parishioners, and the pastoral visita

Material Information

Title:
Priests, parishioners, and the pastoral visita the moral economy of village life in the Diocese of La Paz, 1680-1730
Creator:
Finegan, Caleb Paul Stevenson, 1966-
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
viii, 298 leaves : ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Bishops ( jstor )
Clergy ( jstor )
Complaining ( jstor )
Death ( jstor )
Llanos ( jstor )
Magistrates ( jstor )
Parishes ( jstor )
Priests ( jstor )
Sacraments ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Dissertations, Academic -- History -- UF ( lcsh )
History thesis, Ph. D ( lcsh )
Social life and customs -- History -- Bolivia ( lcsh )
Genre:
bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1999.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 280-297).
General Note:
Printout.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Caleb Paul Stevenson Finegan.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
021557470 ( ALEPH )
43743293 ( OCLC )

Downloads

This item has the following downloads:


Full Text











PRIESTS, PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISIT:
THE MORAL ECONOMY OF VILLAGE LIFE IN THE
DIOCESE OF LA PAZ, 1680-1730










By

CALEB PAUL STEVENSON FINEGAN


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


1999













ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Funding for the research used to complete this dissertation came from the J.

William Fulbright U. S. Student Programs Foundation, the College of Liberal Arts and

Sciences at the University of Florida, and the Tinker Foundation (Center for Latin

American Studies at the University of Florida).

I have benefitted immeasurably over the years from the support of several

individuals who whether by providing comic relief or a different sense of priorities -

rescued me from the sometimes perilous throes of prolonged academic pursuit. Among

those who come to mind are Preston Eckel, Tim Fox, Linda Fussell Albekis, Steve

Bombaugh, Malinda Carlen, John, Brad, and Christie Wilson, Diana Connolly, Marcus

Nenn, John Ashbrook, Marcus Harvey, Mark Smith, Barbara Thoney, Dave Tegeder,

Faith McCarthy, Steve Noll, Jack Henderson, Mike Gamble, Chris Beckman, Rich Baker,

Adam Hughes, Ken Siewert, Jim Doherty, Joy Revels, Erin O'Keefe, Mitch Stacy, Kevin

Fritz, Chris Lane, Paula van der Veen, and Chris and Cathy Lewis.

A few select friends from my hometowns of Galveston, Nashville, and Gainesville

deserve thanks for their long-term support and encouragement. They include all the

members of the Cassill family, Jenni Duke, Kerri McDaniel Miller, Lisa Fasano

Cartwright, Frank and Louis Montalbano, Andrea, Carroll, and Stephanie Sunseri, Richard

Shepherd, Kelly Forester, Allen Mathews, Jamie Arens, Jud and Cathy Magrin, Toni








Thompson, and Emma Silver. My three best friends from Vanderbilt get special

acknowledgment since they supervised first-hand my progress to higher levels of

knowledge. Despite their efforts to distract me from any and all intellectual development,

words cannot describe the affection and respect that I have for Sean Connolly, Scott

Myers and Hugh T McGill.

Colleagues who have contributed ideas or suggestions to the present study, and

who have exhibited patience as forbearing listeners to my countless stories of long-

deceased parish priests include Joe Thompson, Doug Klepper, Anne Marie O'Donovan,

Paul Wojtalewicz, Jeremy Stahl, Doug Tompson and Paul Lokken. Jeremy Clark, with

convivial spirit, helped me complete the few maps which complement the text.

Faculty and staff members from Vanderbilt University, the Universidad de Madrid

Computlense, and the University of Florida who have spurred my interest in Spain and

Latin America, or who have helped in my academic training are: Richard Andrews,

Francille Bergquist, Pepe Cepeda, Norma Antill6n, Marshall Eakin, Stephen Houston,

Simon Collier, Jane Landers, Paula Covington, Leonard Folgarait, Betty Corwin, Rene

Akins, Kimberly Brown, Barbara Guynn, Linda Opper, David Geggus, Jeffrey Needell,

Kathryn Bums, Mark Thurner, Harold Wilson, Eldon Turner, Geoffrey Giles, Tim

Cleaveland, Anna Peterson, Manuel Visquez, and Michael Gannon. From the archives in

Spain and Bolivia, Socorro Prous and Norman Reyes Davila deserve special appreciation.

Four people stand out among those who have been instrumental in my academic

progress. First, my father, Philip Finegan, gave me the incentive and confidence to pursue

the best education we could afford. Red Cassil was and is the intellectual I have always

aspired to be. Tom Spaccarelli has been my soul mate and main source of guidance since I








was twenty years old. And Murdo MacLeod has provided the direction, wisdom, and

congeniality rarely seen, I suspect, in dissertation advisors.

Finally, a few other members of my family deserve mention because of their

undying faith in me as I earned this degree. Gertie Love Finegan is the best dog a family

could ever have. My in-laws, Bob and Betty Huson, could not have possibly been more

understanding and supportive of their son-in-law as he labored through with significant

help from their daughter his years as a graduate student. Sam Finegan and Marta

Stevenson Sullivan are the people I know best in this world; I am so very proud and

thankful to have them as my older brother and sister. I can hardly express what my

mother, Paula, has meant to me throughout my childhood and adult life. I thank her from

the bottom of my soul for loving me so unconditionally, and for providing the best

example of how to live one's life. In a meaningful way, this achievement is as much hers

as it is my own.

Lastly, and with indescribable emotion and sincerity, I acknowledge my wife of

eight years, Beth Huson Finegan. She is, in short, my strength and inspiration. Any

accomplishments I have made in the last ten years; any dreams I have been fortunate

enough to realize; and all the hopes I have for the future depend, most profoundly, on her

participation in my life. Beth's patience, wide smile, tenderness, hearty laugh, and

tremendous mind have been sources of energy and comfort. To borrow a phrase from one

of my favorite song-writers: "If ever there's an angel, it is you..." This work is dedicated

entirely to her and to our beautiful son of four months, Noah Lewis Finegan.














TABLE OF CONTENTS
page

A C K N O W LED G M E N T S........................................................................ .............. ii

A B S T R A C T ........................................................ ................. ................... ..... ............ vii

CHAPTERS

1. IN T R O D U C T IO N ........................................................................................ 1

2 T H E SE T T IN G ............................................................................................. 17
The Audiencia of Charcas and the City of La Paz ........................................... 18
Catholicism in Charcas, 1535-1680 .............................................................. 31
The Pastoral Visita y Escrutinio ...................................................................... 43

3. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS ........................................... 58
Sources and Sam ples..................................................................................... 59
Priests as Members of Colonial Andean Society............................................. 66

4. PRIESTLY EDUCATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS.............................. 86

5. THE VILLAGE VOICE: WITNESS TESTIMONIES, 1680-1700 ................ 112

6. REACTIONS AND RULINGS, 1680-1700.................................................... 150
P riests on D efense........................................................................................... 150
F inal Ju dg m ents ...................................................................... ............. ........... 17 1
T hree C ase Studies.......................................................................................... 187
Antonio de Vivero: Parish Priest of Ancoraymes.............................................. 187
Curas of Sapaqui: Bernardo Pacheco y Zerguera and
E steban de Prado y R aya...................................................................... 199

7. PRIESTS, PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISIT, 1680-1730... 213
Bargaining by Complaint and Self-Defense, 1680-1700.................................... 215
Crimes, Final Sentences, and the Colonial Bureaucracy.................................... 234
The Decline of the Pastoral Visita after 1700: Some Explanations and
R am ifi cations....................................................................................... 240








8. C O N C L U SIO N ............................................................................................. 262

APPENDICES

A DIOCESAN PARISHES IN 1627................................................................ .. 271

B THE VISITA INTERROGATION................................................................. 276

C THE SENTENCIA FINAL OF PEDRO DE MONTESDOCA......................... 279

R E F E R E N C E S ......................................................................................................... 2 80

B IO G R APH ICAL SK ETCH ...................................................................................... 298














Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy

PRIESTS, PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISIT:
THE MORAL ECONOMY OF VILLAGE LIFE IN
THE DIOCESE OF LA PAZ, 1680-1730

By

CALEB PAUL STEVENSON FINEGAN

December 1999


Chairman: Murdo J. MacLeod
Major Department: History

This dissertation focuses, in general, on how parish priests who lived and worked in the

Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 managed their lives as cultural brokers between the

Spanish crown and the predominantly indigenous communities they served. Specifically, I

explore the possible causes for and the character of contested relations between members of the

secular clergy and their parishioners as reported to ecclesiastical officials who periodically

visited Indian villages of this jurisdiction throughout the period under review. I conclude,

among other things, that priests and their parishioners engaged in constant negotiations with

each group vying for advantages, respect, and financial benefits according to a constantly

evolving yet essentially consistent view of social norms and obligations. Theoretical support

for my argument comes from E. P. Thompson's ideas on "the moral economy of the poor,"














which, he argued, gave legitimacy to the English crowd's demands for fair, if not uncorruptible,

market practices in eighteenth-century England.

Like the riots which served as a medium for the working people of England to voice

their objections in the late eighteenth century, I argue that the pastoral visitalinspection), as

practiced in the 1680s and 1690s, proved to be an effective tool of social and political

bargaining between priests and their parishioners. It was effective because it served as a check

on parish priests the majority of whom allegedly sought to abuse their positions of authority

for personal gain and concomitantly empowered native elites by providing them an

opportunity to air grievances on behalf of their exploited communities. After 1697, the visit

ceased to be an institution that parishioners, particularly Indians, could rely on to negotiate for

relief or advantage. This was due, in part, to more relaxed enforcement of Church policies by

the bishops of the early eighteenth century and because travel and administrative duties were

hampered by a series of epidemics which plagued the region in the late 1700s and throughout

the 1710s.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

To the first-time visitor's eye and mind, the transition from the tranquility of the

Bolivian altiplano to the confusion that dominates street life in that country's biggest city

is sudden and astonishing. I first traveled to Nuestra Sefiora de La Paz in the summer of

1994 as a student and a tourist. I remember being rudely introduced to the city by means

of its offspring, El Alto, with its squalid sprawl of makeshift homes, muddied streets, and

darting pedestrians. By the time our bus began its descent from El Alto to La Paz, my

imagination had taken firm hold of my senses, and I wondered to myself how I would

manage to complete my studies, let alone survive, in such a place.

The first sight of La Paz took my breath away, both figuratively and literally.

Located at between 12,000 and 11,000 feet above sea level, depending on how far down

the valley you are, it resembles a large, irregularly shaped bowl with skyscrapers at the

base and shacks perched on cliffs which rise all the way up to the rim. As in most big

cities around the world, the contrast of affluence and poverty is immediately striking.

Most of the wealth is concentrated in the downtown area and further down the valley. In

these zones, bunches of business people with cell phones dress in tailored suits and drive

Mercedes Benz Sports Utility Vehicles. At the higher elevations, where the poorer

pacehos live, running water is rare, electrical and phone lines dangle haphazardly from

posts and homes, and people work hard to climb and descend the dirt and gravel streets










which wash away every year during the rainy season from November to March. The rich

and poor, and those in between, however, are not segregated in La Paz; the city's central

avenues and main plazas overflow with middle-class families, well-to-do cholas, half-

clothed beggars, shoe-shine boys, and street kids of all socioeconomic classes playing

soccer with their T-shirts on the ground as goal markers. I appreciated in the first few

hours after arriving in La Paz the appeal and the charm of the city's stark human contrasts.

I came to La Paz to study native religion during the colonial period. I had learned

from a few American scholars of an ecclesiastical archive there which had scarcely been

investigated by historians. I had been told that the Archivo Central Canonigo Felipe

L6pez Menendez (the Archive of the Archbishopric of La Paz) may contain some cases

involving Indians accused of witchcraft and idolatry. After making contact with the

archivist, Professor Norman Reyes Divila, and perusing the index of the main series of

documents, I determined that nothing of the sort existed in this particular archive. With

little money to travel elsewhere (to Sucre and the Archivo Nacional, perhaps), and since I

genuinely liked the atmosphere, if not the altitude, of La Paz, I decided to stay and focus

my attention on what appeared to be the documentary strength of the Archivo Central -

a series of pastoral inspections called visitasy escrutinios.

Anachronistic considerations aside, I decided after a few days of reading these

primary records that certain elements of human activity had changed little in the city of La

Paz in the last three hundred or so years. First and foremost, as arguably the most

"Indian" of all South American nations, Bolivia as a whole still retains an indigenous

quality about it; the Aymara culture in particular dominates the countryside around La Paz










and the Lake Titicaca region. Mixed in to this cultural and ethnic majority in varying

proportions depending mostly on the distance from urban areas are people of ostensibly

different backgrounds and socioeconomic levels. Indeed, apart from the cholas and the

men dressed in traditional Andean garb, it is difficult, especially as an outsider, to

understand the complexity of cultural variations that now defines modem Bolivia.

But Bolivians of different ranks and ethnicities, as stated earlier, do not live

insulated and separate lives. As profoundly public people, their relations, interactions, and

interconnections are part of the public forum which can be said to constitute social life in

this land-locked Andean nation. It is at this point at this confluence of human activity

- that life in Bolivia today, I suspect, coincides with that of the past. Indeed, the most

striking feature of the visitay escrutinio cases that I came to know that summer in 1994

was that they dealt precisely with this issue of public exchange, popular action, and the

interrelationships between peoples of different cultural backgrounds and legacies.

This dissertation examines how parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese

of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 managed their lives as cultural brokers between the Spanish

Crown and the predominantly indigenous communities they served. Specifically, I explore

the possible causes for and the character of contested relations between members of the

secular clergy and their parishioners as reported to ecclesiastical officials who periodically

visited Indian villages of this jurisdiction throughout the period under review.

William Taylor, Nancy Farriss, and David Brading, among others, have confirmed

in their respective studies of religious life in colonial Latin America that parish priests








4

operated as agents of both the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church.1 Especially during

the Hapsburg era, "no sharp line had divided secular and religious life,"2 so priests -

particularly those working in Indian villages were expected to maintain public order,

uphold Christian morality, judge and discipline their parishioners according to a strict

social and religious ethic, and perhaps most importantly, mediate the often delicate

relationships between God, the Spanish state, and the members of their congregations.

Each of these scholars demonstrates that in the course of managing these responsibilities,

the moral, religious, and sociopolitical authority of parish priests did not go unchallenged.

That priests enjoyed a privileged position in the hierarchical colonial society, and that they

often desired a comfortable, if not prosperous, life, added dimensions to the strained

relations they sometimes had with other colonial groups, namely royal authorities and their

own parishioners.




'William Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in
Eigtheenth-Century Mexico (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996); Nancy Farriss,
Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, 1759-1821 (London: Athlone, 1968); David
Brading, Church and State in Bourbon Mexico: The Diocese ofMichoacan, 1749-1810
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). Other works on the secular clergy in
colonial Latin America include John Frederick Schwaller, The Church and Clergy in
Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1987);
Schwaller, Origins of Church Wealth in Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
Press, 1985); Adriaan Van Oss, Catholic Catholicism: A Parish History of Guatemala,
1524-1821 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986); Lincoln Draper,
"Archbishops, Canons, and Priests: The Interaction of Religious and Social Values in the
Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Bolivia." Ph.D diss., University of New Mexico, 1989; and
Raymond Patrick Harrington, "The Secular Clergy in the Diocese of Merida de Yucatan,
1780-1850: Their Origins, Careers, Wealth, and Activities," Ph.D. diss., Catholic
University of America, 1983.

2Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 12.










All three of these scholars concentrate on the Catholic clergy in late colonial

Mexico, and they dedicate much of their attention to the Spanish crown's efforts to

control priests during the contentious era of the Bourbon reforms. Farriss considers the

last two decades of the eighteenth century as a period of crisis between Church and State

- "a crisis provoked and sustained in large part by a basic conflict between the State's

need to exert authority over a powerful and influential clergy and the latter's claim to

exemption from that authority."3 Similarly, Taylor focuses in part on the problems that

erupted between secular priests and Bourbon district governors when priests perceived

their judicial jurisdiction to be threatened by new initiatives implemented in the last four

decades of the eighteenth century. Brading, in his discussion of priests and laity, basically

follows Farriss' lead and accounts specifically for the unrest created by royal laws that

challenged priests' legal authority in the Diocese of Michoacan after 1795. Unlike Farriss,

who scarcely discusses how parishioners fit into these relations between religious and

secular authorities, Taylor and Brading are more cognizant of the nature of grass-roots

tensions and of the social and political nuances of the relationship between priests and

their parishioners. While Brading focuses more on elements of priestly power, methods of

coercion, and the apparent acceptance by some members of the secular and regular clergy

of some aspects of native religion, Taylor is more interested in how priests performed as

brokers between two cultural worlds. He writes:

He was both a father and a stranger, traditionally required to stand apart
and above, his conduct to be measured by a higher standard. Parishioners
were drawn to the priest by his spiritual power, his ability to sanctify the


'Farriss, Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, ix.










local community, and his patronage in parlous times, but they found
themselves distanced from him by his demands for money, labor, and
obedience, [and] by his institutional ties.4

This study of the parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese of La Paz

from 1680 to 1730 builds on Taylor's emphasis on personal relations, since I seek to

achieve a better understanding of how these men figured into the broad social matrix that

was village life in the southern Andes in the mid-colonial period. Specifically, I am

interested in why in spite of their duties to serve as agents of a protective Spanish

crown and as spiritual models of proper conduct a majority of secular priests who

served in this district during the last two decades of the seventeenth century had to defend

themselves against widespread charges of corruption and sacerdotal neglect. Surely, just

as in Bourbon Mexico, priests who worked in the Diocese of La Paz one hundred years

earlier engaged in legal and moral disputes with secular magistrates over matters of

authority and jurisdiction, but the focus here is squarely on the allegations of impropriety

brought by members of their congregations, most of whom were Indians.

One of my main arguments is that throughout the period under review but most

vividly in the 1680s and 1690s, priests, parishioners and the visiting bishops or visitadores

generates operated within a moral economy that saw each group bargain, from fairly

equitable footing, for advantage, legitimacy, and social order. The medium of contact -

the instrument which enabled representatives of these three groups to articulate their

sentiments, attitudes, and opinions was the episcopal visit, which, I argue, empowered

Indian witnesses during the 1680s and 1690s with a valuable tool to resist colonial policies


4Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 25.










and forms of exploitation which they deemed unfair, unscrupulous or against the common

good of their communities. As I discuss in the second half of Chapter 7, this era of overt

negotiations, bargaining, unwritten contracts, and jostling for power, profit, and favor, at

least as seen through the lens of the visitay escrutio process, fell apart after 1700. This

was in part due to the fact that after this date, the visit marginalized the primary voice of

previous discontent monolingual Indians and because the visit itself became an

infrequent and undependable source through which native elites could air their grievances.

Which other outlets native elites sought to voice their displeasure, remains, at least in

terms of the present study, a topic of future research, but surely even if with reduced

numbers they found other ways (perhaps through corregidores) to negotiate

boundaries of acceptable conduct with village priests.

Taylor's explicit goal in Magistrates of the Sacred, which studies the role of the

secular priests in the Archdiocese of Mexico and the Diocese of Guadalajara, is to

examine the social, political, and religious lives of parish priests and "to offer several

perspectives on how public life was organized and to gauge the scope and consequences

of some Bourbon administrative reforms."5 He attests also to the effectiveness of parish

priests who served as the grass-roots agents of social control whose dedication and

loyalty emboldened Spanish imperial efforts to maintain control of most of its original

American territories without the expense of a standing army.6 In fulfilling these goals, he


'Ibid., 3.

6Farris made this same point nearly thirty years earlier when she remarked,
"Whatever its gradations, clerical influence was a strong force in colonial society, not only
in Mexico but throughout the entire Indies, a force which had significant political and










is mostly successful; Taylor's book is a veritable gold mine of useful data on priests, their

social backgrounds, educations, behavior, career paths, religious views, involvement in

secular activities, and on how priests responded to the Bourbon initiatives which

ostensibly reduced their capacities as authority figures. But Taylor does not ignore how

Indian parishioners played a role in the clergy's development and influence. He discusses,

among other things, their views on Christianity and native religion, their keen predilection

for miracles and other Christian icons like Santiago and the image of Guadalupe, their

participation in Church activities, and finally, their involvement in the movement toward

Independence after 1810.

Magistrates of the Sacred has influenced the present study in three important

ways. First, it has served as a guide for how to organize my thoughts on the different

levels of interaction between priests and other social groups, and how religious life and

public life often coincided during the colonial period. Second, Taylor has written a

resource book that contains information on seemingly every imaginable element of

Catholicism as it was practiced and administered in colonial Spanish America. Third, and

most importantly for my emphasis on conflict and patterns of domination, his abundant

examples of the controversies that arose between parish priests and parishioners provide

useful sources of comparison for my own ideas on the motives and essential qualities of


social implications in the history of the Spanish empire. Whether condemning or praising
Spanish rule in America, both contemporary observers and present-day historians agree
that a large share of the credit for maintaining this rule for almost three centuries belongs
to the colonial clergy. The peaceful subordination of a vast empire with only a token force
of troops during most that period was possible.., because the priests and bishops
constantly impressed upon the people their duty to render obedience and devotion to their
temporal sovereign as well as to God." Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, 3.








9

priestly behavior during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in the southern

Andes.

Unfortunately, while Taylor has much to say about dissension between priests and

parishioners he offers at various points, for example, snapshot theoretical explanations

for popular action and how this affected competition for pueblo leadership he is so

wary of the hazards of generalization that his many contextual citations of contested

relations lack a general theoretical construct. Nevertheless, he offers a view of the secular

clergy rarely found in historical scholarship, and several of his conclusions relate directly

to the present study.

For example, Taylor finds, as I do, that Indian parishioners "were players more

than counterplayers in the colonial order, even in their resistance to colonial officials' new

laws."7 His analysis, furthermore, of the "explosion of disputes" over clerical fees in the

second half of the eighteenth century shares many of the same qualities found in the era of

intense negotiation and bargaining (1680s and 1690s) that I discuss in Chapters 5, 6 and

7. On the fissures caused by overcharging for religious services, he rightly contends that

"the fees were as much a pretext as the cause for dispute, an opening advertised by the

colonial administration that engaged deeper tensions over control among competing

interests and order within the community or local territory."9 In this respect, he

understands that personal ambitions, as well as traditional feuds and village factionalism


7Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 345.

'Ibid., 425.

9Ibid., 345.










played key roles in the controversies which arose between priests and parishioners.

Frequently, and as I also point out, priests found themselves in the middle of inter- and

intra-village political squabbles which had little to do with their job performance or

character. Many priests were, as a result, compelled to defend their actions before visit

officials. And finally, Taylor cites a number of different sources of conflict that strained

relations between priests and their parishioners, and confirms, as I do in Chapter 5, that

political wrangling, clerical fees, and "other economic demands were at the heart of most

disputes."10

In the end, while Taylor is interested in the multiple and evolving interfaces

between priests and their Indian parishioners (he rightly acknowledges, by the way, that

these relationships were constantly being redefined, reformulated and contested), he

generally supports the idea that erring priests were members of a corrupt colonial society

who, like other colonial agents of control, sometimes abused their positions of authority

for personal gain. Certainly, civil and criminal trials, ecclesiastical visitas, and other

Church records contain ample evidence from Mexico, Alto Perui, and throughout colonial

Latin America, of a delinquent clergy which sought to enrich itself at the expense of the

poorer and more vulnerable sectors of society. But a more difficult task, and the one

which I take on in this study, is to reconstruct elements of the social and moral order

which enabled these priests to take advantage of their positions of power while remaining

in good (or at least acceptable) standing with the bishop's office, other royal officials, and

in many cases, the very communities they allegedly exploited.


'0lIbid., 353.










To help explain the nature of priestly misconduct and the ways in which

ecclesiastical officials responded to allegations of impropriety, and to understand how

bishops, priests, and parishioners managed the pressures, anxieties, and temptations of a

corrupt, paternalistic society such as colonial Spanish America, E. P. Thompson's ideas on

the moral economy of the eighteenth-century English crowd are instructive. In his analysis

of the cost and supply of food staples and the impact fluctuating prices and corrupt market

activity had on uprisings among the poor, Thompson argues mainly that riots occurred not

"spasmodically ... [as] rebellions of the belly," but rather as supremely organized,

disciplined reactions by people defending traditional rights."

I mean that the men and women in the crowd were informed by the belief
that they were defending traditional rights or customs; and, in general, that
they were supported by the wider consensus of the community it is of
course true that riots were triggered off by soaring prices, by malpractices
among dealers, or by hunger. But these grievances operated within a
popular consensus as to what were legitimate and what were illegitimate
practices in marketing, milling, baking, etc. This in turn was grounded upon
a consistent traditional view of social norms and obligations, of the proper
economic functions of several parties within the community, which, taken
together, can be said to constitute the moral economy of the poor.'2

Throughout his argument, Thompson describes an intricate system of social and

economic relations between governmental regulators, farmers, millers, dealers, bakers, and

the labouringg people,""' all of whom continually tested the limits of their customary

responsibilities in order to achieve maximum benefits for either themselves or their specific


"Edward P. Thompson, "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the
Eighteenth Century," Past and Present 50 (February 1971): 76-77.

12Ibid., 78-79.

13Ibid., 80.










class. In other words, interwoven into the social fabric of English society at that time

were traditional customs and unwritten contracts between different socioeconomic classes,

with each group vying for advantage over others either through legal or illegal means.

When a group or an individual within a given group violated the social contract; when

traditional mores of market behavior were out of balance; or when the level of moral

turpitude exceeded customary levels of corruption and exploitation (characteristics,

indeed, of all societies),'4 riots almost always initiated by the oppressed ensued. On

the other hand, as long as consumers and producers honored the principles of acceptable

behavior, bargained effectively, and operated within the ever-changing confines of the

paternalistic, traditional order, peace however tenuous prevailed.

In this dissertation, I argue that three groups the various bishops of the Diocese

of La Paz who served from 1680 to 1730, the hundreds of priests who staffed the parishes

throughout the diocese at this time, and the Indian "flocks"'5 who formed the demographic

majority of the supposed Catholic population in the region operated within, and

behaved according to, a standard of conduct and code of morality which delineated,

however ambiguously, acceptable conduct in this particular colonial (and paternalistic)

setting. Just as "grievances operated within a popular consensus as to what were



"I tend to agree with William Taylor when he writes in a different study: "I am
inclined to view conflict and temporary accommodation as perennial among and within the
groups that formed colonial [Spanish American] society." William Taylor, Drinking,
Homicide & Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages (Stanford: Stanford University Press,
1979), 9.

"Priests and bishops primarily used the termsfeligresia and rebaho to refer to
their native constituents.










legitimate and what were illegitimate practices in marketing, milling, [and] baking" in

Thompson's eighteenth-century England, complaints against parish priests, their responses

to the charges and the bishop's final sentences reflected what were acceptable and

unacceptable violations of the social standards which members of these three groups used

to organize their lives.16 As I discuss in the central chapters, people's actions, corrupt or

not, and the prevailing code of morality depended on a variety of different factors,

including, among others, an awareness by priests and parishioners of current crown and

Church laws; the diligence of presiding religious officials; opportunities for exploitation

(i.e., the relative wealth or poverty of a given area); the willingness of witnesses to speak

out against their priest; a region or a town's noted predilection for peace or turmoil; the

local demographic and ethnic composition; the strength of native Andean social and

religious traditions; past controversies between priests and parishioners; the bishop's

preference for, or dislike of, a particular priest on trial; and the scope and severity of

corrupt activity.

Other colonial actors were significant in the creation and maintenance of this moral

economy; corregidores, their lieutenants, hacendados, miners, members of the local

business community, to name just a few, certainly added conditions and attitudes which

helped define norms of conduct and boundaries of permissible exploitation. But my main

focus here is on the social behavior of parish priests who as a group, I argue (like Taylor

does in Magistrates of the Sacred) were more immersed in rural communities than other

royal officials and Spanish citizens.


16Ibid., 79.








14

That a career in the priesthood, at least in the Diocese of La Paz, was a desirable

job during the late Hapsburg and early Bourbon eras is unquestionable. Despite the

hardships of work and poverty parish priests described in their numerous reports to the

bishop,17 the sheer number of applicants for jobs and ordination reflect an occupation not

lacking in qualified professionals. One probable explanation for this high level of interest

in the priestly profession involved the economic and social benefits the position offered.

All parish priests working in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 either earned a set

stipend (designated by the bishop and paid for by members of their parishes) or lived from

the proceeds of a capellania, a type of ecclesiastical endowment used to support a cleric

and donated usually by a rich relative." In either case, the "legitimate" wages priests

made were insufficient. As Murdo MacLeod explains in his essay on the delegation of

functions in the colonial period in Central America, colonial agents (including parish

priests) simply made up the difference between what they earned and what they needed to

live comfortably through a systematic exploitation of the local, in this case, Indian

population. "A discreet amount of fee gouging," he writes, "influence peddling and direct

extortions such as derramas and repartimientos de efectos among the rural powerless,





"I refer here of course to the relaciones de miritos y servicios, submitted by
priests either in the course of applying for orders or during competitions for vacant
curalos.

"Priests supplemented their annual wage by charging fees (obvenciones) for
religious services such as burial masses, wedding ceremonies, baptisms. Exceeding the
charge prescribed by the arancel (schedule of ecclesiastical fees) was a frequent source of
conflict between a priest and his parishioners and between priests and bishops on visit.










especially the Indians, were part of the unwritten contract."'9

For the purpose of my thesis, these unwritten contracts and subtle negotiations

between different (and sometimes rival) colonial groups constituted the foundation upon

which the moral economy rested. Of course, bishops, priests, and parishioners were all

well aware of the countless royal decrees, papal edicts, and other forms of official,

recorded policy designed to curtail exploitation by royal officials. Indeed the written laws

and regulations, even if not practiced, helped to define the Spanish crown's vision of ideal

behavior, and thus set standards which affected social behavior. But the measure of

priestly conduct, of course, cannot be assumed by examining what ecclesiastics and

parishioners were supposed to do, rather what they actually did. The documentary

evidence from the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1700 (and probably before and

beyond) suggests that all three parties (bishops, priests, and parishioners) operated with an

acute awareness of the multitude of written laws and regulations (the equivalent of

Thompson's "paternalistic model," which he adds, "parts company at many points with

eighteenth-century actualities"20) but negotiated, bargained and jostled for advantage

according a constantly evolving, reformulated, and redefined standard of permissible

behavior.



'"Murdo J. MacLeod, "The Primitive Nation State, Delegation of Functions, and
Results: Some Examples from Early Colonial Central America," in Essays in the Political,
Economic and Social History of Colonial Latin America, ed. Karen Spalding (Newark,
DE: University of Delaware, Latin American Studies Program, Occasional Papers and
Monographs No. 3, 1982), 56.

2Thompson, "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth
Century," 84.








16

Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are background chapters which set the stage for the

conclusions I draw in the later chapters. Chapter 2 deals with the establishment of colonial

society in this particular zone of the southern Andes. In addition, I also trace the evolution

of ecclesiastical administration in the Audiencia of Charcas, and I examine some of the

nuances of the pastoral visit as it was practiced in this particular jurisdiction. Chapters 3

and 4 focus on biographical details of the men who comprised the secular clergy in the

Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730. I discuss, among other things, their origins, social

and economic backgrounds, and aspects of their educational and professional careers.














CHAPTER 2
THE SETTING

To establish the setting for my study of parish priests who worked in the Diocese

of La Paz in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, this chapter describes the

historical formation of the southern Andean region from Spanish arrival in the mid-1530s

up to Juan Queipo de Llano Valdes' installation as bishop in 1680. Specifically, I examine

the colonization of La Paz and the city's emergence as the main political and commercial

center linking the city of Cuzco and the important silver mines ofPotosi.' I then outline

the foundation of the Catholic Church in Alto Peri, highlighting the enduring tradition of

the episcopal visit which, among other things, elucidated the relationship between priests,

the communities they served, members of the upper clergy, and ultimately the Spanish

crown.

The historiographical record is rich in studies of the city of La Paz, the Audiencia

of Charcas, and the Catholic Church in colonial Bolivia.2 But rather than rely exclusively


'Two major transportation links connected Charcas with Lower Peru The camino
de la sierra began in Lima, then traveled through Jauja, Ayacucho, Andahuaylas,
Abancay, Cuzco, La Paz, La Plata, and finally Buenos Aires. The camino de la costa ran
from Lima to Arica, then east to La Paz, and south to Potosi. Luis Pefialoza Cordero,
Nueva Historia Economica de Bolivia (La Paz: Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, 1984),
81.

2On La Paz and the surrounding area, see Mario Bedoya Ballivian, Cr6nicas de
Nuestra Seiora de La Paz (La Paz: Libreria Editorial Juventud, 1988); Clara Lopez
Beltran, Alianzasfamiliares: elite, genero, y negocios en La Paz, siglo XVII (Lima:
Institute de Estudios Peruanos, 1998); and Victor Santa Cruz, Historia colonial de La

17








18

on secondary sources to reconstruct the region's early history, I base part of the following

summary on a series of primary manuscripts located in Section Five (Gobierno) of the

Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. All of the documentary data come either from

relaciones (statements) or informes (reports) filed by various bishops of La Paz in

response to regularly issued cedulas reales which required them to update the Spanish

crown on different aspects of their episcopal jurisdiction.3 I was unable to locate any

primary material on the diocese dated prior to Bishop Pedro de Valencia's relacion de

visit from 1620; hence, my discussion of the sixteenth century and the tenure of the first

bishop of La Paz, Domingo Valderrama, relies mostly on secondary literature.

The Audiencia of Charcas and the City of La Paz. 1535-1680

Prior to the discovery in 1545 of rich silver deposits in a highland zone which came

to be called Potosi, Spanish authorities in Lima were seemingly resigned to let civil war

between the Pizarristas and supporters of Diego de Almagro take its course in the vast



Paz (La Paz: Editorial Renacimiento, 1942). On the colonial history of Charcas, see Clara
Lopez Beltran, Estructura de una sociedad colonial: Charcas en el siglo XVII (La Paz:
Centro de Estudios de la Real Economia y Social, 1988); and Roy Quejerazu Lewis,
Impacto hispano-indigena en Charcas: andlisis historical del coloniaje (La Paz: Libreria
Editorial Juventud, 1996). On the history of the Catholic Church in colonial Bolivia, see
Josep M. Barnadas, La Iglesia Cat6lica en Bolivia (La Paz: Libreria Editorial Juventud,
1976); Estanislao Just, Aproximacion a la historic de la Iglesia en Bolivia (La Paz:
Editorial Don Bosco, 1987); and Roberto Querejazu Calvo, Historia de la Iglesia
Catolica en Charcas (La Paz: Imprenta Publicidad Papiro, 1995).

3The prelude to a 1651 royal edict concerned, among other things, local
commercial development, the condition of the cathedrals and churches, current population
figures, and the composition of the working clergy (regular or secular). It read: "Los
Reverendisimos Arzobisposy Obispos Del Peru YDe La Nueva Espaha Han De Remitir
Para Poner la Ultima Historia De Sus Santas Iglesias YDe Si Mismos Lo Siguiente..."
Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI), Charcas 138, 3 March, 1651.










eastern territory cronistas referred to as Alto Periu.4 Soon after Gonzalo de Pizarro's

defeat at the hands of the royal army in 1548 near Guarina, Spanish officials rushed to the

region to establish an orderly colonial presence. Their goal, ostensibly, was to gain

control politically and to begin supervision of what were already lucrative, Spaniard-

dominated industries in mining and agriculture.5

Chuquisaca (Spaniards changed the name of the city to La Plata, and later, soon

after Independence from Spain, it was renamed Sucre in homage to the famous liberator,

Antonio Jose de Sucre), became the defacto administrative center of Alto Peru as early as

the late 1530s. But after 1545, mining and business activity in Potosi dominated the

region and spurred the foundation and colonization of supporting cities.6 To recognize the


4One of the best colonial sources on the Spanish Civil War is Garcilaso de la
Vega's account in the classic Reales Comentarios de los Inca, which has been translated
into English as Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru, trans.
Harold Livermore (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1994). An interesting recently
published monograph by Nelson Manrique, Conquistay Orden Colonial (Lima: SUR
Casa de Estudios del Socialismo, 1996) places the conquest and subsequent civil war in
the context of current theoretical debates of race, ethnicity, etc. The latest biography of
Pizarro, which focuses particularly on his life after the conquest, comes from Varon Gabai,
Francisco Pizarro and His Brothers: The Illusion of Power in Sixteenth-Century Peru,
trans. Javier Flores Espinosa (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997).

5The administrator who supervised the post-Pizarro colonization of Alto Peru was
Pedro de la Gasca. Gasca served as President of the Audiencia of Peru and had effective
authority to govern the region between Blasco Nfifiez Vela's (1544-46) and Don Antonio
de Mendoza's (1551-52) respective tenures as Viceroy of Peru. In large part, according to
most colonial scholars, he was responsible for ending the civil war in Peru and the
reassignment of encomiendas to a new generation of Spanish war heroes. For a biography
of his career, see Don Pedro de la Gasca, 1493-1567: su obra political en Espaha ay
America (Lima: Pontificia Universidad del Peru, Fondo Editorial, 1989).

6Monographs on Potosi and the silver mines of the Cerro Rico are numerous.
Three of the best are Jeffrey Cole, The Potosi Mita, 1573-1700 (Stanford: Stanford
University Press, 1985); Mariano Baptista Gumucio, Esplendory grandeza de Potosi,










growing political and commercial importance of Alto Perni, King Charles V officially

created the Audiencia de Charcas (with La Plata as the capital) by issue of a cedula real

dated 12 June, 1559.7

In the course of the remainder of the sixteenth century, the Audiencia of Charcas

came to encompass most of the territory of modern-day Bolivia. La Plata and Potosi were

the important urban and mining centers in the south; Santa Cruz de la Sierra became the

frontier staging center for militaryS and missionary expeditions9 in the east; the centrally


1545-1825 (La Paz: Anthropos, 1997); and Peter J. Bakewell, Miners of the Red
Mountain: Indian Labor in Potosi 1545-1650 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
Press, 1984). Carlos Sempat Assadourian has written extensively on the social and
economic effect Potosi had on surrounding populations. In an essay entitled "Andean
Communities, Political Cultures and Markets: The Changing Contours of a Field," he
writes that Potosi was "the principal motor force of structural change that affected all
facets of economic and social relations throughout the Andes." Brooke Larson and Olivia
Harris, eds., Ethnicity, Mariets, and Migration in the Andes: At the Crossroads of
History and Anthropology (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995), 15.

7Ramiro Condarco Morales, Atlas Hist6rico de Bolivia (La Paz: Imprenta "San
Jose," 1985), 30.

8According to the Bolivian historian Manuel Fontaura Argandafia, the quick
establishment and subsequent colonization by the Spanish of the Audiencia of Charcas was
only in part due to the potential of the Potosi mines. He claims that perhaps more
important, and somewhat overlooked, was the significance of Charcas as an expeditionary
point of departure. He writes: "in effect, from Charcas they organized expeditions to the
south toward Tucuman, to the west and southwest to Chile, to the southeast to Paraguay
and to the north toward Brazil." Manuel Fontaura Argandafia, Descubridoresy
Exploradores de Bolivia (La Paz: Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, 1971), 43.

9Several monographs have examined the colonial history of the Jesuit missions
among the Moxos and Chiquitos Indians of eastern Bolivia. On the Moxos, see David
Block, Mission Culture on the Upper Amazon: Native Tradition, Jesuit Enterprise and
Secular Policy in Moxos, 1660-1880 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994); and
for Chiquitos, see Werner Hoffminan, Las misionesjesuiticas entire los chiquitanos (Buenos
Aires: Fundacion para la Educaci6n, Ciencia, y Cultura, 1979); and Juan Patricio
Fernandez, Relacion historical de las misiones de indios chiquitos (Asunci6n: A. de Uribe










located Cochabamba valley and its surrounding area grew from a collection of small

agricultural farms into the primary granary ofPotosi;-, and La Paz, with its ecologically

diverse provinces and dense indigenous populations, dominated the northern sector of the

audiencia.

The Spanish conquistador Don Alonso de Mendoza founded the city of Nuestra

Seiora de La Paz on October 20, 1548. Three days later, after "appreciating that the site

was hostile to all forms of decent life," Mendoza moved the city to its current location in a

valley some twenty kilometers west." Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, this valley was

home to a handful of indigenous gold miners who had formed small settlements along the

banks of the Chuquiabo River.

By the time of Mendoza's establishment of effective administrative control in the

region, a number ofencomenderos (all of whom had served under Francisco Pizarro),

already had profitable commercial enterprises which capitalized on the region's vast




y Companfia, 1896).

"On the foundation and eventual fluorescence of the Cochabamba valley as an
agricultural area, see Brooke Larson, Colonialism and Agrarian Transformation in
Bolivia: Cochabamba 1550-1900 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), and
Robert Jackson, "The Decline of the Hacienda in Cochabamba, Bolivia: The Case of the
Sacaba Valley, 1870-1929," Hispanic American Historical Review 69 (1989): 259-281.

"Alberto Crespo Rodas, Mariano Baptista Gumucio, Jose de Mesa, La Ciudad de
La Paz: su historic su cultural (La Paz: Impresora Editorial Educacional, 1989), 29. The
original location became the town of Laja located on the altiplano approximately thirty-
five kilometers west of the capital city. Laja served as an important link between La Paz
and the many densely populated villages in the Province of Chucuito, the district's
westernmost region. It was also commonly the first village visited when the bishop or the
visitor-general toured this part of the diocese.















z L

N..'



IZzm
.. .! .... .
X .... ...








..,... ... -,-_ .,M
P NLs-:"a... ::. ;: ;k. :ij.>. s. st '4 .







PA CIFIC .3.:"i i...
'up




..... ... ......... .-... ....... ; :-
Figure 2-1 The Aymara Kingdoms in the late 15th and early 16th century
(Source: Herbert S. Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society[ New York: Oxford University Press, 1982]).








23

agricultural potential and sizable indigenous population.12 In his Colecci6n de documents

pertenecientes a la historic eclesiIstica y civil de America, written in 1645, Juan Diez de

la Calle (who identified himself as an official segundo of the presiding Secretary of the

Council of the Indies) wrote:

The city ofNuestra Sefiora de La Paz or Chuquiabo in the Province of
Charcas is situated in the middle of the Callao district, 100 leagues from
Cuzco and 80 from La Plata. It was founded by Captain Alonso de
Mendoza in 1548 by order of the Governor and President of Periu,
Licenciado Pedro de la Gazca .... It is composed currently of six
corregimientos and is of agreeable climate, abundant with wine, cattle and
fish, which are healthy and fresh year round on account of a large lake
nearby. "

Among the local encomenderos in the 1530s and 1540s were Mendoza (his

encomienda grant was located between Achacachi and Sorata); Pedro Leon Romano

(Guarina); Juan de Espinosa y Leon (Laja); Antonio de Esquivel (Tiahuanaco); Garcia

Herrezuela and Garcia Peralta (Desaguadero); Antonio Alvarez de Carrasco (Carocaro);

and Francisco Pizarro, who prior to his death in 1541 possessed three

encomiendas, one south of Laja, one just west of Cohoni, and one in Sicasica. 4 Pizarro,

according to most contemporary scholars, held quasi-feudal control of the region prior to


"In her book, Potosi: La version Aymara de un mito europeo. La mineriay sus
efectos en las sociedades andinas del siglo XVII. La Provincia de Pacajes (Madrid:
Editorial Catriel, 1993), Teresa Cafiedo-Arguielles Fabrega uses both secondary and
primary sources in her analysis of the pattern and effect of the first European incursions
into Upper Peru. She is interested, mainly, in patterns of Spanish colonization, and, in
particular, how natives of what became the corregimiento of Pacajes reacted to the arrival
of Spaniards and the subsequent forms of social, political, and labor control implemented
after the Toledan reforms of the 1570s.

"3Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid, hereafter BN), Legajo 2930, fol. 130.

"4Condarco Morales, Atlas Hist6rico de Bolivia, 32.










Mendoza's arrival and had allotted more than 12,000 Indians to the personal service of the

new Spanish colonists by 1540.'s

By the end of 1548, forty-three Spanish vecinos, their families and an unknown

number of natives (most of whom probably served the new Spanish colonists in some

capacity) and black slaves occupied the city.6 By 1586, La Paz' Spanish population had

reached two-hundred and sixty, but accounted for only 4.7 percent of the urban

population which totaled 5,540.17 Demographically, Indians dominated the countryside as

well. In 1600, according to the cronista Juan Lopez de Velasco, 30,000 tributaries lived

in the six provincial corregimientos (Paucarcolla, Chucuito, Omasuyos, Larecaja, Pacajes,

and Sicasica) and the corregimiento of La Paz.1 Three episcopal visits from the 1620s



"Under his 1537 Chuquiabo encomienda grant, Pizarro obligated Indians from
both banks of Lake Titicaca and the important cultural zone along the Desaguadero River
which were the most densely populated regions of Upper Peru to service the new
Spanish landowners.

"6Crespo Rodas, La Ciudadde La Paz: su historic, su cultural, 436.

17Ibid., 36. Indians, slaves and mestizos thus combined to number 5,280.

18Condarco Morales, Atlas Hist6rico de Bolivia, 34. In the documentation of the
Archivo Central, tributaries are interchangeably referred to as originarios. These Indians
claimed ancestral ties to the communities they lived in and enjoyed the benefits (mainly
rights to land) that this status conferred. Perhaps these population figures were so high
on account of the relatively low percentage of native mortality in the region during the
demographically calamitous one-hundred year period from 1550 to 1650. Between the
reigns of Viceroy Andres Hurtado de Mendoza Cafiete (1556-1560) and Viceroy
Francisco de Toledo (1571-1581), L6pez Beltran reports that the area around La Paz and
Lake Titicaca lost only 7.6% of its total indigenous population compared to a 32% loss in
and around Potosi and La Plata. In other words, it is possible that the native populations
in the northern sector of the audiencia were less affected by disease, abuse, and overwork,
and migration to avoid the Potosi mita than Indians in the southern areas. Biografia de
Bolivia, 63.






















































Figure 2-2 Principal Indian Villages on the Southern Bank of Lake Titicaca, circa 1600
(Source: Nathan Wachtel, The Vision of the Vanquished: The Spanish Conquest of Per through Indian Eyes, 1530- 1570
[ New York: Oxford University Press, 1982]).










and 1630s certify these figures and confirm the relatively dense population of the Lake

Titicaca region and La Paz' eastern hinterland. Bishop Pedro de Valencia reported after a

general visit of the diocese in 1620 that he had saved over 10,000 ("arriva de diez mi")

new souls through confirmation.9 Sixteen years later, in 1636, Bishop Feliciano de la

Vega declared that as result of his year-long tour of the diocese ("according to my diary, I

have walked four hundred and one leagues") the number of confirmed Christians in the

region totaled 37,642.20 By 1638, that number had reached 52,000.

In 1684, the total population of La Paz surpassed 12,600. A census compiled by

the corregidor that same year declared that about two hundred Spanish families lived in

the city, each having an average of six or seven household servants.2" Towards the close

of the colonial period, in 1764, La Paz was the third most populated urban center in the

Peruvian Andes with over 20,000 Indian and Spanish inhabitants.22 One scholar goes

further and claims that La Paz boasted a population of 40,000 in 1750; in the adjacent

areas, furthermore, "the 150,000 to 200,000 campesinos ... converted La Paz into the






'"AGI, Charcas 138, 20 March, 1620.

20AGI, Charcas 138, 4 March, 1636.

2"Ibid., 36. Crespo Rodas states that in 1650, 850,000 people lived in the
jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Charcas; there were approximately 750,000 Indians;
50,000 Spaniards; 30,000 black slaves; 15,000 mestizos; and 5,000 mulatos. Ibid., 60.

22Nicolis Sanchez-Albornoz, The Population of Latin America: A History, trans.
W.A.R. Richardson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), 100. Lima, with a
population of 54,000, and Cuzco, with 26,000 inhabitants, were the two biggest cities in
the Peruvian Andes.









27

[most important] administrative and mercantile center in the densely populated altiplano

and valley region."'23

Potosi certainly dominated the mining sector of Alto Perui. But miners working in

locations within what would become the Diocese of La Paz also experienced considerable,

albeit usually short-term success. Herbert Klein points out in his general history of Bolivia

that by the close of the sixteenth century, the search for mineral deposits touched even the

poorest altiplano communities.24 Mining in Berenguela25 and San Antonio de Esquilache,

both located in the heart of the altiplano south of Lake Titicaca and southwest of La Paz,

proved to be two of the region's more lucrative and long-lasting enterprises in the

sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Colonial authors and scribes continually referred to

Berenguela as an important mining district and rock quarry inhabited chiefly not by any

tributario work force but rather by an ethnically mixed group of mestizo andforastero

laborers.26 Northwest of Berenguela, according to a mid seventeenth-century source, was


'L6pez Beltran, Biografia de Bolivia, 91. An especially fascinating and recently
published study of the city of La Paz (including some colonial illustrations) as seen
through traveler's accounts from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries is Mariano
Baptista Gumucio, La Paz vista por viajeros extranjerosy autores nacionales, siglos
XVI-XX(La Paz: Anthropos, 1997).

24Herbert Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1982), 57.

25Alberto Crespo Rodas reports that the stones ("piedra blanca") extracted from
quarries in Berenguela were so valuable they were shipped as far a Lima to be used for
construction of churches and other important buildings. Crespo Rodas, La Ciudad de La
Paz: su historic, su cultural, 45.

26The ethnic designation offorastero referred to those Indians and their
descendants who had been uprooted from their ancestral homes or who had fled
voluntarily to avoid tributary obligations.










a great mountain of mines called San Antonio de Esquilache which is very
old and well-established.... In the entire empire there is no better
production of metals. It currently has six processing mills.. and in
addition some metal crushers (trapiezes ) which they use to grind [metals]
in each of these mills.27

But agriculture, not mining, was the primary source of wealth for residents in and

around La Paz and the banks of Lake Titicaca as encowenderos and later, hacendados,

benefitted from the region's diverse ecology. Farmers of the arid highland plains of the

altiplano, which stretched from north of Lake Titicaca to Argentina and Chile, produced

potatoes, quinua (a type of grain), and to a lesser extent, wheat.28 In the steep river


"7AGI, Charcas 138, 3 March, 1651. San Antonio de Esquilache was the site of a
mestizo-led insurrection in 1661, and subsequently, suffered a bad reputation among
ecclesiastics assigned to work there. Alonso de Monasterios, cura of San Antonio in the
1680s, sought a transfer after a murder attempt concocted and carried out by a few
unhappy Indians. Don Alonso explained in a private letter to Bishop Queipo de Llano
Valdes: "I appear before Your Most Excellent Lord ... to request a transfer with the
priest from Yunguio because some Indians entered my house with the goal of killing
me." Archivo Central Can6nigo Felipe Lopez Menendez (herafter ACCFLM), Tomo 2,
fol. 228. Ambrosio de Urquieta y Salinas applied in 1720 for several other positions
because of the disagreeable weather and inability to make a proper living in San Antonio.
He stated in his relaci6n: "it is a land supremely unknown on account of the inhospitable
weather which is totally opposed to good health. It has such poverty that it is difficult to
gather any salary which corresponds to the parish .... I have been relegated to the status
of a beggar for my own survival because of the lack of parishioners and local foods, all
motives which compel me to impose on the charity of Your Most Excellent Lord."
ACCFLM, Tomo 32, fol. 104.

2Nils Jacobsen, in his case study of the Peruvian altiplano describes the region as
the "cradle of Andean civilization." He writes, "The Titicaca basin forms the northern third
of the altiplano, which extends for some twelve hundred kilometers from the dividing line
of the modern departments of Puno and Cuzco southward to the border between
Argentina and Bolivia. It is surrounded by the eastern and western cordillera of the Andes.
... at an altitude of 3,812 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca, nearly two hundred
kilometers long and up to seventy kilometers wide, provides the special environment that
has allowed the altiplano to become one of the most densely settled areas anywhere on
our planet at comparable altitudes. It has moderated the harsh climate and favored
agricultural production in a narrow belt around its shores." Nils Jacobsen, Mirages of










valleys northeast of La Paz known as the Yungas, the climate was humid and more

tropical.29 This region, according to Thierry Saignes, attracted many of the first Spanish

colonists due to the market potential of the primary crop: coca. Indeed, of the many civil

court cases I consulted in the Archivo de La Paz which involved secular priests, several

dealt with litigation pertaining to priest-owned coca farms (cocales) in the Yungas. Joseph

Lopez Botello, an assistant priest (ayudante) in Yanacache in the 1710s, for example,

allegedly owned several cocales near town and forced Indians to work them without

proper compensation. A witness named Pedro Alavi testified that: "Licenciado Botello

has had farms for many years for coca production and also maize, and it is customary for

him to compel the alfereses to work them without payment for their personal service."30

In addition, as important suppliers to the local consumer market, farmers in this

lush environment grew fruits of all kinds, including oranges, limes, pears, peaches,





Transition: The Peruvian Altiplano, 1780-1930 (Berkeley: University of California Press,
1993), 13.

29Thierry Saignes dedicated much of his scholarship to this particular region of
Alto Peru. In his edited volume (with F.M. Renard Casevitz and A.C. Taylor) entitled, Al
este de los Andes: Relaciones entire las sociedades Amaz6nicas y Andinas entire los siglos
XVy XVII (Lima: Instituto Frances de Estudios Andinos, 1986), he discusses, among
other things, how Inca, and later, Spanish colonists to the region used pre-incaic roads to
facilitate economic exploitations of the region. In an essay entitled "Indian Migration and
Social Change in Seventeenth-Century Charcas" (Larson and Harris, eds. Ethnicity,
Markets, and Migration in the Andes), Saignes explains that throughout this century,
tributario males frequently migrated out of their altiplano villages and settled in the
Yungas territory at the behest of Spanish landowners because of the economic possibilities
of the region.

30ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 245.











example, allegedly owned several cocales near town and forced Indians to work them

without proper compensation. A witness named Pedro Alavi testified that: "Licenciado

Botello has had farms for many years for coca production and also maize, and it is

customary for him to compel the alfereses to work them without payment for their

personal service."30

In addition, as important suppliers to the local consumer market, farmers in this

lush environment grew fruits of all kinds, including oranges, limes, pears, peaches,

pomegranates, figs and plums.31 In the higher reaches of the Yungas and in the ecological

zone between the tropical forests and the altiplano (which included predominantly

indigenous settlements such as Songo and Challana), farmers specializing in maize and

grape production capitalized on the popular market for alcoholic beverages. Chicha, a

type of corn beer of ritualistic significance in pre-Colombian (and contemporary) Andean

cultures, remained popular in the colonial period and was principally consumed (in excess

if we are to believe most Spanish sources) by the area's native populations.32 Spaniards








3ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 245.

31Crespo Rodas, La Ciudad de La Paz: su historic, su cultural, 382.

32On the use of chicha and coca as important ingredients in contemporary Andean
religious rituals see Catherine Allen, The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identity in an
Andean Community (Washington D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution, 1988). For a more
historical analysis of chicha in Andean cultures, see Maria Clara Llano Restrepo, La
chicha, una bebidafermentada a traves de la historic (Bogota: Instituto Colombiana de
Antropologia, 1994).








31

Vivero, possessed prior to his conviction on numerous violations of Church policy -

between six and seven hundred head of cattle and sheep which he kept on his ranch near

Guarina, located just northwest of La Paz on the altiplano. Don Antonio, according to

allegations, also employed a herd of forty mules which he utilized to transport wine from

Arequipa to La Paz and coca from his farms in the Yungas to destinations throughout the

Diocese of La Paz.

Catholicism in Charcas. 1535-1680

Commensurate with the effective establishment of political and economic control

of the region in the 1540s and 1550s was the creation of an episcopal administration

whose responsibilities included converting to Catholicism the multitudes of indigenous

peoples and servicing the ever growing number of Spanish colonists.35 Missionaries from

the various orders, as in other parts of the Americas, were the first ecclesiastics to

establish sustained contact with the crown's new Indian subjects in Alto Periu.36 According


he argues, they deeply resented (like their descendants would centuries later) the new
obligations imposed on them by the Dominican friars who demanded payments for
religious services.

3"In his new book, Entre el oro y lafe: el dilema de America (San Juan, Puerto
Rico: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1995), Luis N. Rivera Pagan analyzes
the fundamental motives and myths of Spanish conquest and Christianization in the
Americas with particular emphasis on the earliest years of missionary activity.

36The problem of language, especially in the attempt to make Indians believers in
the Catholic faith, surfaced immediately. Commenting on the importance of language and
the difficult task of conversion, the famous historian of the Church in colonial Mexico,
Robert Ricard, writes: "The friars of Mexico, from the moment of their arrival, recognized
that the knowledge of the Indian languages was the essential prerequisite of serious
evangelization.... It was the best means of penetrating the spirit of the pagans and
conquering their hearts." Robert Ricard, The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico, trans. Lesley
Byrd Simpson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 24. Sabine MacCormack's








32
to the priest and contemporary historian David Maldonado Villagran, Pizarro brought with

him to Charcas six Dominican friars. Among them was Pedro Valverde, who in 1538

became the bishop of Cuzco.37 Indeed, clerics of the main regular orders the

Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, Mercedarians, and the Jesuits were well

established in all the major cities of the audiencia by the close of the sixteenth century.38

The region, in terms of religious jurisdiction, was first governed by the bishop of

Cuzco, but the growing importance of Potosi after 1545, combined with the sheer

immensity of the territory (technically, the Diocese of Cuzco in 1550 extended from

Popayan to Chile), led King Charles to divide the diocese in 1552. Thus, on 5 July of that

year, the Bishopric of Charcas (La Plata) was officially recognized as a separate

ecclesiastical entity; its territory stretched from Cuzco east to the Chaco area, north into






Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1991), is an innovative study which analyzes the objectivity
and authenticity of colonial sources which dealt with religious practices and beliefs in the
Andes.

37David Maldonado Villagran, 500 Ahos de Evangelizacion en Bolivia (La Paz:
Empresa Editora "Urquizo," 1991), 36.

3Can6nigo Felipe L6pez Menendez reports in his study of the Archdiocese of La
Paz that the Franciscans established a monastery in La Paz in August of 1549. They were
followed by the Mercedarians who arrived a month later, the Augustinians in 1562, and
the Jesuits in 1582. Felipe Lopez Menendez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Sehora de La
Paz (La Paz: Imprenta Nacional Ayacucho, 1949), 250-260. In his more general study,
L6pez Menendez states that the Dominicans had established convents in Copacabana,
Pomata, Juli, Sepita, and Yunguyo (all towns in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of La Paz
during the colonial period) by 1600. Felipe Lopez Menendez, Compendio de Historia
Eclesidstica de Bolivia (La Paz: Imprenta El Progreso, 1965), 11.










the western rainforests of the Amazonian basin, and south to Tucuman.39 The densely

populated region around Lake Titicaca, as the seventeenth-century commentator Diez de

la Calle pointed out, was an important focal point of early Church activity: "the lake area

has had [from Spanish conquest] many men of nobility and lots of missionaries from the

Franciscan and Augustinian orders."40

The first ordained parish priest in La Paz, according to the Actas Capitulares de la

Paz (1548-54), was Bachiller Juan Rodriguez.4 It is unclear if he served in the city's first

church, San Sebastian which was built in 1539 and administered by the members of the

Franciscan order or the parish of San Pedro (staffed throughout the colonial period by

secular priests), founded in 1549. San Sebastian, San Pedro and later the parish of Santa

Barbara (1557) serviced the city's sizable indigenous population. La Paz' Spanish

community, somewhat surprisingly, did not have its own parish until town leaders

commissioned the Iglesia de la Matriz to be built in 1556. Eventually, with the foundation

of the Diocese of La Paz in 1605, the Iglesia de la Matriz became the diocesan Cathedral.

During the sixteenth century, the competition among ecclesiastics for the right to

service the region's sizable Indian and growing Spanish population was fierce.42 To ease

tensions between the bishops of Cuzco and La Plata, and to provide a more focused


39BN, Legajo 3010, fol. 216r. With the creation of the Diocese of Charcas, Cuzco
was elevated to the status of Archdiocese.

40BN, Legajo 2930, fol 130.

4L6pez Menendez, ElArzobispado de Nuestra Seiora de La Paz, 117.

42Thierry Saignes, En busca delpoblamiento itnico (La Paz: Avances de
Investigaci6n, 1986), 36.










colonial presence in this pivotal junction which linked Potosi to destinations in Lower

Peru, Pope Paul V signed a papal bull on July 4 1605 entitled Super specula militants,

which established La Paz as the capital of a new see called the Diocese of La Paz.43 This

bull also created the Diocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and elevated the former Diocese

of Charcas to the status of Archdiocese of La Plata. Two years later, in 1607, King Philip

III confirmed and ratified the bull, and ordered the President of the Audiencia of Charcas,

Alonso de Maldonado, to set the frontiers and jurisdictional borders of the new dioceses.44

President Maldonado determined that the bishop of the Diocese of La Paz would assume

episcopal control over all parishes in the city and the six previously mentioned

corregimientos ofPaucarcolla, Chucuito, Omasuyos, Larecaja, Pacajes, and Sicasica.45

Thus, in the first decade of the seventeenth century, the Diocese of La Paz began

to take shape, and after two unsuccessful attempts to install a resident bishop in the

diocese (one nominee was transferred to another post before taking office and the other

one died en route), the Dominican Domingo Valderrama finally arrived in La Paz from

Quito and took office in April 1610.46 During his five-year tenure, Bishop Valderrama


43According to Lopez Menendez, Pope Paul V's bull "ordered that the bishop
proceed with appointments of a good number of dignitaries, canons, and prebends, and
other beneficed priests to serve in the city and throughout the diocese, whose obligation it
would be to save souls .. and to build up the secular clergy as ordered by King Philip
and those who preceded him and those future kings of Spain." El Arzobispado de Nuestra
Sehora de La Paz, 74.

"Ibid., 2.

4'Over time, the boundaries of the jurisdiction of the diocese changed; in 1627 for
example, Bishop Pedro Valencia did not include Sicasica as a corregimiento under his
control, rather a district he called Caracollo. Many, but not all of the towns, were part of
both corregimientos.

461Ibid., 4.










organized his administrative office, staffed the cabildo eclesiistico, founded the colegio

seminario in honor of San Ger6nimo,47 began construction of the Cathedral, conducted

the first ecclesiastic visit of the diocese, published the first schedule of religious fees (the

arancel eclesivstico), and began to ordain secular priests to serve in the region's many

Indian parishes.48 Subsequent seventeenth-century bishops were: Pedro Valencia (1617-

1631);49 Feliciano de la Vega (1634-1639); Francisco Luna Alonso (1642); Antonio de

Castro y Castillo (1647-1653); Martin de Velasco Molina (1656-1662); Martin Montalvo

(1666-1668); Gabriel Guillestegui (1671-1678); Juan Perez de Concha ilescas (1679);

Juan Queipo de Llano Valdes (1680-1694); and Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra (1695-

1697). The four bishops of the early eighteenth century who supervised the priests

covered in this study included Nicolas Urbano Mata y Haro (1702-1704); Diego Morcillo

Rubio y Aufi6n(1708-1711); Mateo Villafafie Pandafto (1714-1722) and Alejo Fernando





47Commenting on the state of the colegio seminario in 1634, Bishop Feliciano de
la Vega stated in a report to King Philip IV: "the seminary school was destroyed and its
only staff were four professors. In the meanwhile, after taking a look at the accounts and
assets in order to determine how many of them it could support, I have named up to
twelve so that the Church here might have more distinction. I am currently drawing up
series of constitutions for its governance, because one has never been written." AGI,
Charcas 138, 12 March, 1634.
4"Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz: su historic, su cultural, 44.

49Bishop de la Vega explained that one of the reasons for the poor condition of the
diocese upon his arrival in 1634 "was because Bishop Don Pedro de Valencia had gone
blind seven years before death, and on that account I found the Divine Cult in poor
condition, as well as the regimen of the church [perhaps] because there were only three
prebends.... [All this] caused the citizens much grief." AGI, Charcas 138, 12 March,
1634.








36
de Rojas y Acebedo (1723-1730).'5o All these men, according to the historian Antonio de

Egafia, fulfilled the duties of their office with zeal and diligence and were especially

faithful to the mandates of the Council of Trent, promulgated by the Catholic Church in

the sixteenth century.5" Egafia stresses:

from the beginning, the new diocese possessed the distinct features of a see
strongly dedicated to the spirit of the Tridentine strategy [of episcopal
administration]) .. and a profound preoccupation (hondapreocupacion)
for the welfare of its Indian subjects.52

A dissenting view of the behavior of the Church's higher administration in La Paz comes

from the contemporary Bolivian economist Luis Pefialosa Cordero, who writes in his

history of the country:

One might say that with some exceptions, the Church abandoned its
spiritual mission and dedicated its attention to satisfying more material
concerns... as priests and bishops sought not only wealth, but also a cozy
and comfortable (c6moday holgada) life.... The majority [of upper
clergy] lived tranquilly, well-served, and without discomfort because their
parish priests exploited the indigenous parishioners and stole their lands
and other assets.53

According to Felipe Lopez Menendez, there were seventy-two parishes in the

Diocese of La Paz in 1609. At this date, all but the Cathedral and the main church (la

Iglesia Mayor) in Chucuito (the second most important urban center in the Diocese during


5L6pez Menendez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Seilora de La Paz, 4-13.

51For a historical analysis of the Council of Trent, see John C. Olin, Catholic
Reform: From Cardenal Ximinez to the Council of Trent (New York: Fordham
University Press, 1990).

"2Antonio de Egafia, Historia de la Iglesia en la America Espaiola (Madrid: La
Editorial Cat6lica, 1966), 372-376.

"Pefialosa Cordero, Nueva Historia Economica de Bolivia, 193.










the colonial period) served predominantly indigenous parishioners. Prominent villages

along the banks of Lake Titicaca were Chucuito, Ancoraymes, Copacabana, Juli, and

Puno. Charasani, Ambana, Sorata, and Combaya in the north, and Collana, San Andres de

Machaca, and Berenguela in the south were towns of notable size and commercial

distinction.54 In the Yungas east of La Paz there were several significant settlements due

to the lucrative coca industry, including Chulumani, Coroico, and Suri.55 Near La Paz,








"4Thierry Saignes has done considerable research on the demographic composition
and origin of native towns in the region encompassed by the Diocese of La Paz. In his
book entitled, Los andes orientales: historic de un olvidado (La Paz: Centro de Estudios
de la Realidad Econ6mica y Social [CERES], 1985), he maps out boundaries of conquest
and attempts to determine which villages were of pre-Columbian origin. He concludes
that most of the larger towns (such as Sorata, Ambana, Carabuco, and Mocomco) by the
middle of the seventeenth century were the result of policies implementing the
congregaci6n (reducci6n) policy implemented by Viceroy Toledo in the 1570s.

"Travel in this tropical area was notoriously difficult and dangerous. Priests
throughout the period under review complained incessantly about the inaccessibility of
many of the Indian hamlets. In the 1630s, when many of the region's inhabitants were still
unfamiliar with the motives and teachings of the Church, Bishop Feliciano de la Vega
visited several villages. "Having departed on the pastoral visit of this bishopric,
beginning with a tour of the Yungas Chapes, a province where no prelate had entered
before since the discovery of this kingdom, on account of the harshness of the roads which
were more like cliffs that were inaccessible in some parts .... I entered the districts of
Songo and Challana, which are also villages occupied by these Yungas Indians and of even
poorer roads than the others, and these people had also never seen a prelate before,
because many of them [former bishops] could not go by horseback. The royal visitors
who have served [this region] had also never arrived here, at least according to the
parochial books of the churches. For these reasons the Indians were unfamiliar with the
teachings [of Christianity], and in no way understood what was the sacred sacrament of
confirmation. They asked me in Challana if the bishop, which they refer to as the apo, was
a human such was the extent of their ignorance." AGI, Charcas 138, 4 March, 1636.















* Chuma


* Combaya
*Sorata


* Challana


* Hachacache


Zongo
Zongo


La Paz

Palca


Viacha
Viacha


San Andr6s de Machaca


Santiago de Machaca
Santiago de Machaca


Caquingora


*
Berenguela


Figure 2-3 Principal Towns of the Diocese of La Paz, 1680 1730


Guaqui


Sapaqui








39
Laja, Tiahuanaco, and Viacha were three of the most important indigenous communities

of the altiplano in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.56

Although the documentary evidence is ambiguous, members of the various regular

orders serviced at least eleven of the seventy-two parishes in 1609. The Jesuits founded a

colegio dedicated mainly to language instruction in Juli in 1577, and administered all four

of the parishes in that important colonial town until their expulsion from Spanish America

in 1767.57 The Mercedarians staffed the church in Guarina until 1753. The Augustinians

worked in the altiplano village of Pucarani until 1767, and in the important lacustrine

pilgrimage site of Copacabana throughout the colonial period.58 The Dominicans

controlled the three churches in Pomata located on the southern banks of Lake Titicaca

between Copacabana and Chucuito. And finally, the Franciscans managed the parish of

San Sebastian in the city of La Paz until their transfer to Charasani in the northernmost



56The complete list ofcuratos which comprised the Diocese of La Paz in 1609,
according to L6pez Menendez, were (in Alto Peru) Achacachi, Ancoraymes, Ambana,
Copacabana, Cohoni, Caracato, Coroico, Combaya, Carabuco, Calamarca, Camata,
Carejana, Circoata, Caquiaviri, Caquingora, Calacoto, Challana, Chacapa, Chuma,
Charazani, Guarina, Guaqui, Huaychu, Irupana, Ilabaya, Ytalaque, Jesiis de Machaca, La
Paz (Matriz, San Sebastian, San Pedro), Mocomoco, Palca, Pucarani, Pelechuco,
Quiabaya, Sapahaqui, Songo, Simaco, Sorata, Suri, San Andres de Machaca, Santiago de
Machaca, Tiahuanaco, Viacha, and Yungas Chapes. In Bajo Pern were Puacarcolla, San
Francisco de la Puna, Guancan6, Vilque, Moho, Puno Icho, Capachica, Coati, three
parishes each in the villages of Chucuito, Acora, Pomata, and Zepita, two parishes in
Yunguyo, and four parishes (all administered by the Jesuits) in Juli. ElArzobispado de
Nuestra Sehora de La Paz, 35.

"Perhaps the best general work on this topic is still Magnus Morner's The
Expulsion of the Jesuits from Latin America (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1965).

58For a history of the church and shrines of Copacabana, consult Fray Julio Maria
Elias, Copacauana-Copacabana (Tarija, Bolivia: Editorial Offset Franciscana, 1976).










sector of the diocese at the end of the seventeenth century. Each religious order had a

convento (monastery) in La Paz. Commenting in 1620, fifteen years after the creation of

the diocese, Bishop Valencia stated proudly:

in the convents of Santo Domingo, San Francisco, San Augustin, La
Merced, and La Compafiia [de Jesuis] there are ordinarily two or three
preachers (predicadores), and another three or four clerics. who preach
in the Cathedral and in their convents without ever missing a sermon on
Sunday or festival days, and every Sunday before the main mass they
preach in the cemetery of the Church in the general language [Quechua]
and in Aymara to the Indians where many get together, both men and
women. I personally attend this sermon because the value [of my
presence] to the Indians is well-known. And in the afternoons the fathers of
the Compafnia de Jesus lead a procession of a thousand Indians through the
streets, reciting the catechism.59

In 1627, according to an unusually detailed report compiled by Bishop Valencia,

the number of parishes remained at seventy-two. Secular priests occupied fifty-eight of

the parishes while regular priests from the various orders managed the remaining fourteen.

As seen in Appendix A ("Diocesan Parishes in 1627"), nearly a third of the parishes in the

corregimiento of Chucuito were administered by regular priests. At the end of the report,

Bishop Valencia stated that the fifty-eight secular priests working in the diocese in 1627

had collectively paid him 7,000 pesos ensayados60 generated from the quartafuneral and

other sacramental offerings (ofrendas). On the issue of priestly payments, he noted with

obvious irritation that the fourteen regular priests serving under his supervision had not



"AGI, Charcas 138, 20 March, 1620.

'There are two types of currency referred to throughout the documentation of the
Archivo Central the peso corriente and the peso ensayado. I believe the peso corriente
was a more vulgar form of coin, and the ensayado, as its name indicates, a sort of assayed
metal coin which was of more value than the other variety.










contributed any portion of their funeral charges to his office nor had they donated

money to the seminary, "ni otras cossa alguna" (nor anything else at all) also adding

that and in spite of this, they enjoyed their full salaries.61

Separate from the list of corregimientos, parishes, and salaries, Bishop Valencia

commented extensively on other ecclesiastical matters such as the staffing of the Cathedral

Chapter, the previous year's diezmosy veintenas (the royal tithes and twentieths) revenue,

church construction projects,62 and the distribution of funds. In addition to the parishes

listed in the tables, the bishop accounted for the three Indian churches in La Paz San

Pedro, San Sebastian, and Santa Barbara whose curates respectively earned 600, 400,

and 400 pesos per year.

Sometime prior to 1701 the standard yearly stipend for parish priests working in

the Diocese of La Paz rose to 1093 pesos. Few records in the Archivo Central contain

data on priestly salaries, but two reports from 1701 and 1709 indicate that the respective

parish priests of Sorata and Hilabaya both earned this base amount as their annual wage.

In addition, each collected an average of between 750 and 1,500 pesos a year for the

completion of various religious services (such as baptisms and funerals). In a rare annual



61Ibid.

62Upon his arrival in La Paz in 1634, Bishop Vega was unimpressed with the
physical condition of the Cathedral. He wrote to King Philip IV: "when this church was
made into the Cathedral it consisted of two sections, and even now they have not even
begun the roof So it remains without a choir, without doors, and without any place to
pray or to sing the divine mass. They have made a roof of branches which is most
indecent, and that edifice which was here before is almost in ruins on account of it being
so old, and having withstood so many floods and hard rains. It is in terrible shape and
dangerous." AGI, Charcas 138, 12 March, 1634.









42
report, Licenciado Joseph Ferran de la Nussa advised Provisor (the chief administrator of

ecclesiastical affairs during a sede vacant) Ger6nimo de Caftizares Ybarra that in the

previous year (1700) he had donated thirty-three pesos to the seminary, five hundred to

the bishop's office to pay the quartafuneral, five hundred in salary to his ayudante, and

another two hundred pesos to various priests who had assisted him during the busy season

of Lent. In his 1709 report, Pedro Tholedo y Leyba stated he had contributed thirty-two

pesos and six reales to the seminary, paid two hundred fifty pesos as part of collected

quartafiuneral charges, and given four hundred pesos to his assistant, Br. Diego de

Areaya.

By the time Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes assumed control of the bishopric in

1680, the diocese was well-organized and consisted of sixty-nine parishes, ten of which

were served by members of the various religious orders.63 Secular priests thus staffed fifty-

nine parishes in 1680. At the end of the period under review (1730), the number of

parishes increased by three as San Marcos de Mollebamba, Simaco and Coata were

incorporated into the diocese. Secular priests staffed each of these new churches, but

Pelechuco, once part of the corregimiento of Larecaja, switched from secular control over

to the Franciscans sometime after 1683.64


63Some parishes had been consolidated with others nearby, and some had been
created in the fifty-six year period between Bishop Valencia's 1627 report and Bishop
Queipo de Llano Valdes first round ofvisitas in 1683. For example, in 1683 Chucuito
possessed only two churches: the Iglesia Mayor, and Santo Domingo. Those in the
advocation of Los Reyes and San Pablo had been closed down. Caracato and Coroico
were two towns that gained parish status at some point prior to 1683.

"There is little reference in the Archivo Central's documentation to the Franciscan-
controlled region of Apolabamba north of Charasani in the northernmost sector of the










The Pastoral Visita v Escrutinio

This dissertation is mostly based on a series of documents which provide at regular

intervals an unusually detailed view of local conditions, conflicts, and customs in the

Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730. Called visitasy escrutinios (visits and inspections),

these episcopal inquiries were basically trials held to assess the behavior of secular parish

priests who worked in diocesan parishes. From 1680 to 1730, the various bishops or

more commonly their episcopal appointees (visitadores generates) conducted three

hundred sixty-four pastoral visits in 1683, 1687, 1690-91, 1697, 1701, 1710, 1717, 1725,

and 1728.65 Thus, all of the bishops of the Diocese of La Paz who served from 1680 to

1730 supervised regional inspections except for Nicolas Urbano Mata y Haro, who,

according to some sources, died the day after arriving in La Paz from Lima on December

24, 1704.66

Certainly Queipo de Llano Valdds would have to be considered the most assiduous

bishop if judged by his visit record. He or his visitor-general, Juan Antonio de Egaures y

Pasquier, traveled to every village in the diocese over the course of his administration, and


diocese. However, much has been written about this missionary effort. One good
monograph is Cesar Augusto Machicao Gonzalez' Historia de Apoloy de la Provincia de
Franz Tamayo (La Paz: Prefectura del Departamento de La Paz, Direccion de Cultura,
1990).

65Bishop Castillo y Castro alluded in his long 1651 report to Bishop Valderrama's
initial tour of the diocese, but no primary records of that visit exist in any archives in La
Paz. The first record of a completed visit was filed by Bishop Valencia in 1620; I located
this file in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville. The first formal visitay escrutinio
trial (with witnesses) housed in the Archivo Central Canonigo Felipe LUpez Menendez is
dated May 20, 1683, and was held in Guarina near La Paz.

'L6pez Menendez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Seiora de La Paz, 12.










in all, conducted three episcopal tours over an eight year span from 1683 to 1691.

Usually the investigative team set out from La Paz in June or July months in the middle

of the dry season and concluded their visits by October, prior to the advent of the

yearly rains which significantly curtailed travel from November to March. However,

Bishop Queipo de Llano Vald6s final and most extensive tour of the diocese took well

over a year to complete. With occasional stopovers in La Paz, it lasted from June 1690 to

September 1691.

The Spanish tradition of the general visit has a long history. John Leddy Phelan, in

his book, The Kingdom of Quito, traces its roots to the patrimonial kingdoms of Western

Europe during the Middle Ages. A key element of the patrimonial state, as posited by the

German sociologist Max Weber in his long discussions of modem bureaucracies, was the

implementation of periodic visits by the ruler or his designated official to different parts of

the realm to prevent a fragmentation of royal authority.67 Certainly, the nature of the

episcopal visits and the inquiries of visiting ecclesiastical officials represented, as Phelan

points out, "a vision of society as it ought to be, a pale but nevertheless recognizable

reflection of the ideal world encompassed in divine and natural law."6 Even if the bishop

of La Paz or his visitor-general rarely encountered in the course of their travels ideal



67John Leddy Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century:
Bureaucratic Politics in the Spanish Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,
1967), 325. Phelan points out that the historical origins of the visit general go back to
Alfonso El Sabio's Siete Partidas. For a thorough discussion of the early history of the
civic visit general in Spain and Spanish America, see Chapter 10 of Phelan's study of
colonial Quito.
68Ibid, 328.








45
Christian communities complete with model priests and a dutiful congregation, the visit in

this part of Upper Peru I argue later in this dissertation empowered parishioners by

providing them an opportunity to air grievances which, with some luck, might lead to an

amelioration of their oppressed condition or improve their negotiating position vis-a-vis

the priest or rival village factions. In any case, the pastoral visit served as a nexus of

contact between rulers and those they ruled, and it appears from the witness testimonies of

the 1680s and 1690s that parishioners relished the chance to inform Church authorities of

aspects of the parish priest's behavior, whether positive or incriminating.69

Only the bishop or the visitor-general possessed the authority to judge the priests

on trial and impose penalties. Usually the collection of testimonies and evidence fell to the

second in charge, the chief prosecutor (promotorfiscal). Further down the line of

authority, and perhaps the man who did most of the actual work, was the secretario. His

job was to record in written form all relevant matters of the inspection (i.e. the tour of the

church and chapels, the reading of the public edict announcing the goals of the visit, the

interrogation of witnesses, the issuance of the final sentence, etc.). A vast majority of

visiting bishops and visitors-general also employed a translator often a member of one

of the religious orders and usually a Jesuit who was proficient in both Aymara and


69This appears to be in contrast to the situation in Central America and Mexico.
Murdo MacLeod reports that in these regions, the episcopal visit became a corrupt and
much resented institution in many cases, largely because of three features. 1. The bishop
tended to be less tolerant of local heterodoxies and would stamp them out via whippings,
jailings, burning of idols, etc. 2. Visitas became notorious for collecting large sums in
"fees" of various kinds. Some records from Chiapas tell of Indians fleeing to the monte
when they heard the bishop was coming. 3. Bishops often traveled with large entourages,
which meant food, food for mules and horses, and lodging for the whole crowd. Indians,
in some places, resented this. Personal correspondence, May 1999.










Quechua. A survey of the witnesses brought before the various promotoresfiscales

during the first two decades of this study indicates that just over half required a translator

to give their testimony. The other members of the investigative team were a few secular

priests brought along to serve as witnesses of the proceedings. Frequently these priests

resided or worked near the town being visited, and were thus commissioned on a

temporary basis to certify the legitimacy and fairness of the trial.

Visiting authorities from the Diocese of La Paz followed roughly the same

protocol throughout the period under review. That is, the presiding official basically

obeyed the same logistical procedures as his predecessors. Using a 1683 visitay

escrutinio held in Combaya (located north of Lake Titicaca near Sorata) as an example, it

is possible to gain insight into the organization and day-to-day operations of the process as

it was practiced over a fifty-year period.

According to a report filed by Secretario Francisco de Truxillo y Godoy (his

official title was Presbitero Secretario de Cwnara del Illustrisimo Sehor Don Juan

Queipo de Llano Valdes mi Senor Obispo de La Paz), the group arrived in Combaya the

morning of the 9th of July, 1683. "After being received in the customary manner by

Bernardo Hernani de Bonifaz [one of the parish priests on trial] and a host of many

Spaniards and Indians,"70 Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier proceeded to say mass

before the congregation. After the Eucharist, he read a four-page edicto de visit (the

edict of the visit) in its entirety. Among other things, the edict explained the purpose of

the episcopal visit and outlined the questions which witnesses (who were generally drawn


7'ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 7.










from the town's more prominent citizens) would have to answer. In addition, Visitor-

General Eguares y Pasquier announced that any parishioners not called to testify before

the promotorfiscal could file a separate affidavit to air any grievances or protests they

might have. This proved to be an important outlet for women parishioners to denounce the

priest's behavior, since they were never called as primary witnesses in any visit trial held

during the period under review.7' In fact, over a third (34 percent) of all separately-filed

affidavits (which numbered in the hundreds) during the first two decades of this study

were submitted by women.

After mass, the investigative team visited the tabernacle and other shrines of

importance. It was during this tour that Secretary Truxillo y Godoy recorded the visitor-

general's impressions of the church's ornaments and decor. In the end, after a generally

favorable inspection of the physical property, the secretary noted "one of the communion

chests (caxuelas) had some vessels (ampolletas) of silver and others of glass and so the

Seiior Visitador ordered that all should be of silver."72 Such minor directives were a

common part of the pre-interrogation record, but occasionally a priest incurred significant

rebuke and even fines for his careless upkeep of the church or chapels. In fact, at the end

of this particular visit, Visitor-General Eguares y Paquier warned Don Bernardo that he

would be fined if he did not improve the physical conditions of several rural chapels in his

district.


"Occasionally, women were called to testify before the promoter fiscal, but only
when they had been implicated in earlier testimony as either victims of priestly abuse or
witnesses of misconduct.

72Ibid.










In the course of the inspection of this town, it has come to my attention
that the chapels and vice-chapels within this parish's jurisdiction, to include
Carasani, Conlili, Suntusidi, Coata, and Chiacono, are without doors and
keys resulting in free access [of these holy places] to cows and herds of
horses. 3

After the inspection, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier then returned to the

church and reviewed the librosparroquiales the records of baptisms, confirmations,

marriages, and deaths and an inventory of church construction. In addition, he made

sure Don Bernardo possessed relevant books and manuals concerning religious matters,

such as the published records of most recently convened provincial councils and synods, a

summary of moral cases (la suma de casos morales), an edition of the Council of Trent

decrees, and the all-important padr6n, the record of parishioners who had fulfilled their

yearly quota of confessions.74

Don Bernardo then filed a report on other priests who lived in the area. In this

case, he mentioned Licenciado Lucas de Sosa, whom he described as a becino and

hacendado, Licenciado Ygnacio Pinto (also an hacendado) and Melchor de Salinas. The

first two, according to Don Bernardo, assisted him at various times throughout the year,

especially during Lent when religious activity was brisk and confession mandatory for all





73ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 125.

74By comparison, during the 1710 series of visits, Fray Diego Morcillo Rubio
Aufi6n reviewed the following books (cited here as they appear in the original document)
prior to interrogating witnesses: "El Concilio Provincial, El Concilio de Trento, Las
Sinodales de este Obispado, El Cathecismo de Pio Quinto, Las summas que tuviese de
cassos morales, Los Libros de Baptizados, Cassados y Difuintos, Los Padrones de
Confessados, Las Licencias para los Casamientos" ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 213.








49

parishioners in the district. Although Don Melchor occasionally helped out in the church,

Don Bernardo had never seen him administer the Sacred Sacraments to any parishioners.7"

The trial of Bernardo Hernani de Bonifaz was preceded by an inquiry into the vida

y costumbres (life and customs) of Combaya's former priest (Don Bernardo's

predecessor), Joan Diez de Fuenmaior.76 The interrogation began on the 10th of July, the

day after the group's arrival. In his official account of the proceedings, Secretary Truxillo

y Godoy recorded the first witness to testify before Promotor Fiscal Francisco de Leon

was "an Indian, who according to the interpreter Don Pedro de Valdes the translator

named for the visit of this bishopric calls himself Antonio Canabire, an hilacata from

the ayllu Yampara." 77 Almost every witness in each visit y escrutinio trial held from

1680 to 1730 was identified in this way; he stated his name, his professional or social





"7"As for Melchor, I have never seen him celebrate or administer the Sacred
Sacraments." ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 9.

76This is a fairly common occurrence throughout the documentary record. The trial
of resident priests usually came after a review of the parish's previous priest. Almost
without exception the same witnesses testified in both hearings.

77ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 21. The ayllu has been the topic of extensive research
by both historians and anthropologists of the Andes. It is usually considered the primary
social foundation upon which Andean culture stands, since most individuals living in
predominately indigenous villages today have some ayllu affiliation. In the pre-colonial
period, an overwhelming majority of commoners, nobles and rulers were members of
ayllus, and thus shared in communal work obligations and the distribution of land. For a
comprehensive and contemporary examination of the social, political and economic facets
of the ayllu as it evolved in the colonial period, consult the several chapters dedicated to
Andean social structure in Larson and Harris, Ethnicity, Markets, and Migration in the
Andes; and Roberto Choque Canqui, Sociedady economic colonial en el sur andino (La
Paz: HISBOL, 1993).










rank,78 and his ayllu, district79 or village affiliation. Later in the testimony, testigos also

provided their age. The youngest men to appear before the promotorfiscal were eighteen

years of age. The oldest were Don Carlos Gudina, a ninety year old Yndio natural of

Songo, and Pedro Linaja, a former principal of Combaya who claimed to be ninety-four

years of age when he testified in 1710.

Antonio Canabire and all the subsequent witnesses proceeded to answer a series of

twenty-six questions which had first been announced in the edicto de visit and that varied

from issues concerning the proper administration of the Sacred Sacraments, to Don Juan's


7A vast majority of the Indians called as witnesses were either caciques (regional
chiefs), hilacatas (defined by Theresa Cafiedo-Arguielles Fabrega as "Indios de segundo
rango"), orprincipales (other important members of the community). Cafiedo-Arguielles
Fibrega, Potosi: la version Aymara de un mito europeo, 25.

79Frequently Indian witnesses identified themselves as members of aparcialidad, a
socially and geographically based faction of citizens. Like the ayllu, the moieties of
Hanansaya and Urinsaya were characteristic of pre-Columbian societies, whereby those
members associated with the parcialidad Hanansaya occupied the upper half of society
(i.e. the nobility) and those of the parcialidad Urinsaya were commoners. Writing in
1621, the Augustinian friar Ramos Gavilan commented "The Urinsayas are the natural
Indians who are of common background at least according to the Anansayas who
wereforasteros and upstarts, people without their own land, maintained by charity in their
[the Anansaya's] villages. The Anansayas reported that they had come here at the behest
of the Inca because he knew them to be troublesome They possessed little loyalty for
his Highness." Thierry Saignes, Los andes orientales: historic de un olvido, 34.
According to most scholars of Andean history, including Saignes and Karen Powers, these
hierarchical groupings changed considerably during the colonial period due to the influx of
foreign elements (forasteros and yanaconas) into what had previously been predominately
originario settlements. For a general discussion of moieties in the colonial Andes, see
Irene Silverblatt, Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and
Colonial Peru (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987); Thierry Saignes, Los andes
orientales: historic de un olvido; Ann Zulawski, "Forasteros y Yanaconas: la mano de
obra de un centro minero en el siglo XVII," in Brooke Larson, Olivia Harris, and Enrique
Tandeter, eds. Estrategias y reproducci6n social: siglos XVI/a XX (La Paz: CERES,
1987); and Karen Powers, Andean Journeys: Migration, Ethnogenesis and the State in
Colonial Quito (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995).










sexual behavior ("has the parish priest had inside his house any suspicious woman which

would cause much scandal within the community. "80), to his involvement in local

commercial ventures ("has the parish priest had business dealings or contracts involving

trade goods, thus intermingling with secular men for these purposes."81) After Antonio's

testimony (which included, incidentally, widespread allegations of religious and criminal

misconduct) eight other witnesses came before the promotorfiscal and corroborated his

testimony. This pattern was common; the vast majority ofvisita trials from 1680 to 1730

involved witnesses whose testimonies were consistent.

Subsequent testigos in the case against Don Joan were Capitan Joan Martin de

Sosa (a fifty-five year old lieutenant of the corregidor of the province), Miguel de Sossa (a

forty-four year old hacendado), Luis de Ojeda (a 30 year old vecino of Combaya), and

finally a group of Indians who testified together: Sebastian Quispe and Andres Mamani

(twenty-one and eighteen years old respectively and both identified as yanaconas from the

parish of San Sebastian de La Paz), 2 Joan Tamona (a thirty year old from the ayllu


8`ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 13r.

8"Ibid. A transcription of these questions which throughout the time under
review remained thematically consistent, albeit sometimes in different forms is included
as Appendix B and entitled "The Visita Interrogation."

2Yanacona is another term from the pre-Columbian era. In the Diocese of La Paz
during the colonial period, the term was used to identify landless Indians who mainly
worked for local hacendados. Yanaconas were distinguished fromforasteros because the
latter could technically (and did, in some instances) own land, even though they had no
ancestral ties to it. Herbert Klein states: "Arriving as migrants to the old communities or
latecomers to the new ones, theseforasteros .. were given lesser land rights or no land
at all, and simply took up residence as landless laborers on the plots of the originarios. In
changing status, they may have lost their lands, but they removed themselves from all their
tax obligations as well. Until the eighteenth century, forasteros did not have to pay the










Charasani),83 Xtobal Alanoca (a twenty-five year old from the ayllu Guache), and Diego

Estaca (a thirty year old from the ayllu Yampara). This particular witness pool was not

typical, at least for the first two decades of this study. In most visitasy escrutinios from

1680 to 1700, the promotorfiscal interrogated exclusively Indian parishioners. If a

Spaniard testified at all, he was usually the only one.

Because this visit involved two parish priests, Promotor Fiscal Leon did not issue

his summary of the case to Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier until the July 12, two days

after the interrogation began. In his report, he outlined the allegations of misconduct

made against Joan Diez de Fuenmaior, which included, among other things, forcing the

sick and dying to come to Combaya instead of going out to them to administer last rites,

and having in his company two brothers who abused the Indians, whipped them for no

reason and "made them work without compensation, which is against ordinances

(ordenanzas) and decrees of His Majesty."'4 In typical fashion for cases which involved

violations of Church rules, the promotorfiscal recommended that the erring priest be

punished severely for his delinquencies:

To Your Majesty I ask and appeal that in conformity with the proof of
allegations .. condemn the aforementioned Licenciado Joan Diez de


tribute tax, nor were they subject to the mita." Herbert Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a
Multi-Ethnic Society, 52. A more contemporary source on yanaconaje in colonial Bolivia
is Thierry Saignes, "Indian Migration and Social Change in Seventeenth-Century
Charcas," in Larson and Harris, Ethnicity, Markets, and Migration in the Andes.

"3Combaya was frequently cited as being composed mostly offorasteros. It is
likely the ayllu that this witness referred to was the Indian village of Charasani, located
less than fifty kilometers away to the northwest of Combaya.

"4ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 39.










Fuenmaior in the form he deserves for the crimes that he has committed
about which I put forth these accusations .... I ask for justice and court costs.85

In trials which involved no punishable transgression, the visitor-general or the

bishop then filed his final sentence.86 But because this case revealed several violations of

Church authority, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier issued his own summary of the

charges against Don Joan and summoned the priest to respond to the allegations within a

few hours. In a written report, the priest defended himself and his actions ("todo es

falso""7), and appealed: "it would serve you to order me free of all charges that the

promoter has had against me, to declare me a good priest, and likewise to award my

zealous and vigilant work according to my [exemplary] record."88 Not surprisingly, as I

discuss at length in the later chapters of this dissertation, the case against Licenciado Joan

Diez de Fuenmaior ended with the issuance of a favorable final sentence: "We declare that

... he fulfilled as was his obligation the task of administering the Sacred Sacraments to

the parishioners of this district living honestly without neglecting the duties of his

sacerdotal position."89




"ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 39r.

'6Most sentenciasfinales which concluded the visitay escrutinio were favorable
and formulaic; usually they did not mention specific accomplishments other than "being a
good priest" and "having sufficiently administered the Sacred Sacraments to his
parishioners." A transcription of a typical final sentence is included as Appendix C and is
entitled "The Sentencia Final of Pedro de Montesdoca."

17ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 43.

"Ibid.

"'ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 46.










He was, however, fined a total of sixty pesos for three offenses; Visitor-General

Eguares y Pasquier designated a third to be paid to complete the construction of the

church in Combaya. Don Joan had to pay twenty pesos to the Tribunal of the Holy

Crusade (la Tribunal de la Sancta Cruzada), and the final third would be applied as

Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes saw fit. Finally, the visitor-general ordered Don Joan to

repay any amounts of money which were inappropriately and illegally collected from

widows of the recently deceased.

On the fourteenth of July, the investigative team led by Visitor-General Eguares y

Pasquier left Combaya and arrived the next evening in Ancoraymes, located approximately

thirty kilometers away. Just as in Combaya, the visiting officials arrived at the church,

were greeted by Indians and Spaniards, held mass, and conducted interrogations of

parishioners. In another contentious trial which pitted parishioners and other priests

against Bachiller Antonio de Vivero, the promoter fiscal interrogated over fifteen

witnesses and received affidavits from a record twenty-two other citizens. The content of

the case against Don Antonio, the indictments brought forth by nearly every parishioner

(Indian and Spanish alike), the priest's appeal, and the final sentence are chronicled in

detail in the last section of Chapter 6 of this study.

Summary

Shortly after Francisco Pizarro's arrival on the Pacific coast, and in the subsequent

decades of Spanish colonization of Peru, Charcas became one of the most important

mining and commercial centers in all of the American colonies. To the highland mines of

Potosi in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came tens of thousands of European








55

settlers, most of whom after failing in their endeavor to return eventually to Spain with

their riches stayed in the southern Andes to capitalize on the many economic

opportunities the diverse region, and its native peoples, promised.

For much of the colonial period, life in La Paz and its supporting territories (mainly

the Yungas and the Lake Titicaca district) was probably less frenzied compared to the

hustle and bustle of Potosi and the audiencia capital of La Plata (Sucre). But La Paz

dominated the northern sector of the district, and served as a vital commercial link and

provisioning junction between these southern Andean cities and the important urban

center of Cuzco.

As throughout much of colonial Latin America, the region's relative prosperity

depended, in part, on the Spaniard's ability to raise capital and maintain political and social

control of the sizable and comparatively healthy indigenous population. Mostly, however,

it relied on the systematic exploitation of Indian labor and the expropriation of native land.

Among the many agents of social, economic and political control were Catholic priests,

both secular and regular, who served, in a sense, as intermediaries between two cultural

worlds.

The Spanish brand of organized religion came to Charcas with the first colonists,

as missionaries accompanied the initial conquistador bands that roamed east from Cuzco

in the 1530s. Soon however, ecclesiastical administrators recognized the need for proper

jurisdictions, and by the early seventeenth century an archbishop in La Plata and two

bishops in La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra governed religious life in the territory.

Under their supervision and usually far away from the episcopal seat, thousands of parish








56
priests toiled and with few exceptions, they led inconspicuous lives despite the significant

role they played as agents of the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church in colonial Latin

American society.

In the Diocese of La Paz in 1730, secular priests staffed sixty one of the district's

seventy-two parishes. The other eleven churches were managed by members of the various

religious orders. After 1680, rarely did parish priests work alone; usually they hired one

or two assistants (ayudantes or tenientes de cura) to help them with their religious duties

in town and to service remote hamlets throughout their jurisdiction. These men, like the

parish priest himself, were often underpaid and overworked, and as I point out in

Chapter 5 not infrequently engaged in illicit practices or commercial dealings (at the

expense of Indian parishioners) to make a decent living. One check on illegal activity by

priests was the visitay escrutinio, a trial procedure which involved periodic visitations by

ecclesiastic officials to each parish in the diocese. These visits form the documentary

backbone of this dissertation, since they reveal both the spiritual and intellectual concerns

of the high clergy and patterns of socioeconomic and religious behavior among parish

priests. More importantly, as I discuss fully in the later chapters of this dissertation, these

pastoral inspections constituted a point of interaction a medium of contact and

negotiation between Indian parishioners, ecclesiastical officials, and the resident priests

on trial.

In the next two chapters, however, I focus on who these secular priests were, their

origins, what types of families they came from, and their self-professed motives for

entering the priesthood. In Chapter 3, I discuss their social and economic backgrounds.









57
Chapter 4 deals with their academic careers and achievements as parish priests, as

employees of the Spanish state, and as friends, neighbors, and sometimes bitter rivals of

the people they served.














CHAPTER 3
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS

Parish priests living in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were men of

varied backgrounds who sought to depict themselves professionally as religious men, even

though their collective behavior in civil activities suggests they were more worldly and

materially centered than they indicated in official correspondence. If, as agents ofthhe

church and men of the cloth, they may have aspired to a higher, more spiritual level of

consciousness and conduct, the documentary records suggests they were in fact simply

men of their time and place, preoccupied with many of the same concerns as their secular

neighbors and relatives.' Who these men were, and how their social backgrounds,

educations, and professional careers helped shape their attitudes and behavior are

significant factors in understanding not only how religious life was organized on the most

basic level, but also how these men factored into the complex social milieu that was

colonial Andean society.

After a brief discussion of documentary sources, this chapter focuses on the

familial and financial backgrounds of the parish priests who worked in the Diocese of La

Paz from 1680 to 1730. In the subsequent chapter (Chapter 4), I examine the priests'



'In his negative assessment of the performance of priests living and working
throughout the Audiencia of Charcas, Luis Pefialoza Cordero writes: "one might say that
with some exceptions, the Church abandoned its spiritual mission and dedicated its energy
to satisfying their material needs." Nueva Historia Economica de Bolivia, 192.








59

academic careers, before concluding with an analysis of how these men viewed themselves

professionally as spiritual specialists in this rugged and often inhospitable Andean region.

Sources and Samples

This analysis of the career patterns and socioeconomic background of the secular

clergy of the Diocese of La Paz is based on information derived from three types of

archival sources: peticiones de 6rdenes (petitions for orders), a collection of documents

handed in by prospective priests seeking ordination from the bishop; relaciones (or

probanzas) de meritos y servicios (account or proofs of merits and services), a type of

professional r.sume, priests submitted when applying for a job or transfer; and two reports

recommending certain priests for promotion or special recognition, one filed by Bishop

Queipo de Llano Vald.s in 1690 and the other by Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo in

1725.

Petitions for minor (first tonsure and los cuatro grados the four degrees2) or

major (subdeacon, deacon and presbyter) orders followed a standard set of procedures.

The applicants usually young boys inclined to the priestly vocation or older seminary

students provided the bishop with personal information which proved their legitimacy,

worthiness for the priesthood, dedication to the Church, educational training, and any

spiritual predilection which signaled their calling to the service of God. As part of their

applications, candidates provided birth and baptismal records and sometimes


2The ritual of"first tonsure" involved the ceremonial cutting of a portion of the
candidate's hair on the crown of the head. In the sixth and seventh centuries, this practice
emerged as a distinct rite of admission to the clerical ranks. The "four degrees" refers to
the four ministries conferred upon the minor ordinate: porter, lector, exorcist and acolyte.
The Encyclopedia of Catholicism, 1st ed., s.v. "first tonsure," and "minor orders."








60
recommendations written by prominent friends or relatives.3 The most important part of

the ordination process, apart from the general examination of the candidate himself, was

the interrogation of witnesses before an ecclesiastical board of examiners. Both of these

procedures were governed by an edicto para 6rdenes (edict for orders, a formal document

issued by the presiding bishop for each candidate) whose tone and content betrayed the

spirit of the Council of Trent and the religious preoccupations of the time.

Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdns' edict for orders for Juan Feliz de Vargas y

Villagomez, processed in June of 1689, was typical of edicts issued by the various bishops

of the Diocese of La Paz throughout the period under review. It advised all persons,

ecclesiastics as well as ordinary citizens, that Don Juan was seeking first tonsure4 the

first of several transitional ministries for those preparing for the priesthood and that

persons aware of any reason that the young boy should not be admitted should come

forward. The edict, as a whole, concerned the life and customs of the candidate, and

included a wide variety of questions which ranged from the applicant's lineage and age to

his record of service in his local church. Almost invariably then, one of the witnesses in

any ordination trial (including Don Juan's) was the boy's hometown priest. At issue was




3Filed as part ofGonzalo Nfifiez Bela's ordination papers, for example, was a
recommendation by the presiding bishop of Santa Cruz, who, on behalf of the young man,
wrote: "he is a fine young lad and appears to me to be of modest character." ACCFLM,
Tomo 27, fol. 82.

4William Taylor reports that the Fourth Provincial Council of Trent elaborated on
this guideline, adding that boys as young as seven were eligible for first tonsure if they
were prudent boys who showed an inclination toward the office. Taylor, Magistrates of
the Sacred, 571.








61
not only the candidate's behavior and background, but also that of his parents, other living

relatives, and ancestors. The first sections questioned:

if the father or mother of the aforementioned Don Juan Feliz de Vargas...or
any of his two paternal grandparents has been a heretic or believer,
follower or defender of heretics, or if the aforementioned candidate for
orders has been a slave, Indian or mestizo or if he is descendant of those
recently converted to the faith or ... if he is the product of a legitimate
marriage.5

The edict's subsequent questions expressed similar concerns; does the applicant generally

behave like a Christian should; is he married6; has he ever been married or been possessed

by the devil; is he crazy; if in battle, has the candidate run away from the enemy in a

cowardly fashion; does he often get drunk or frequent taverns or drinking houses; and

finally, was the applicant "prudent, composed, peaceful, and of good reputation, qualities

which are and have been worthy and sufficient for ordination?"7

The witnesses, for their part, almost uniformly responded by simply repeating the

question, adding only a "si" or a "no" to the clause.8 Bachiller and fellow priest Juan de


'Ibid.

6Ger6nimo Gabriel de Villalba was the only candidate for orders or jobs who
acknowledged he had previously been married. To convince the bishop of his noble desire
to enter the priesthood and the admirable qualities of his then-deceased, fourteen year old
ex-wife, Don Geronimo explained: "I have applied myself to my studies after the death of
Dofia Rossa de Vera y Molina, my legitimate wife with whom I contracted to marry. She
died a virgin in a bedroom of her parent's house. On this account, as is public knowledge,
I have not led a disorderly life (iregularidad de vida mia) because I was married just once
to a virgin .... It would serve Your Most Excellent Lord to admit me to first tonsure."
ACCFLM, Tomo 23, fol. 144.

7ACCFLM, Tomo 15, fol.5.

'On the quality of responses by witnesses in La Plata in the 1600s, Lincoln Draper
writes: "the repetition of information tends to follow the pattern established in the cover











Valencia, testifying on behalf of young Juan de Yvero 1691, stated:

The aforementioned candidate for orders never has been a member of a
religious order, neither has he been re-baptized nor possessed [by the devil]
nor has he had premonitions, heart disease, leprosy, or other contagious
illnesses, and [I] know that the aforementioned applicant is not impeded by
any part of his body.9

Job vacancies generated documents which were similar to the petitions for orders,

such that priests were required to submit baptismal records along with their relacion and a

brief account of their performance in past visitasy escrutinios. Unlike the petitions,

apparently no standard format was followed by priests applying for jobs and witnesses

were not a part of the procedure. Clearly the most important element of each candidate's

portfolio was the relaci6n, but these letters varied considerably in detail from one priest to

another.

Indeed, while the archival records from La Paz, Madrid, and Seville contain

considerable details on the lives of many priests, others left scant, and in some cases, no

details concerning their education, birthplace, religious service, or professional

accomplishments. This is especially true for the veteran priests who were working in the

diocese when Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdvs arrived in 1681. In his 1686 petition for a

vacancy in Guancanv, for example, Joseph Mufioz de Real provided no information other






letter and was obviously the product of an agreement between the priest and the testigo."
Lincoln Arnold Draper, "Archbishops, Canons and Priests: The Interaction of Religious
and Social Values in the Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Bolivia."

9ACCFLM, fol. 70 Tomo 19.










than the fact that he was the legitimate son of Capitan Francisco Faria Mascarefias and

Dofia Andrea de Ver y Cirdenas.'0

By contrast, other curas, especially those working in the 1710s and 1720s,

recounted their entire lives from infancy" to their latest promotion. In this way, the more

complete relaciones differed significantly from the petitions: whereas the petitions tended

to furnish only basic personal details (date and place of baptism, hometown, names of

parents and godparents, and sometimes a brief record of their educational training up to

that point), the detailed resumes contained considerable data on priests' illustrious

Christian heritage, admirable past service, hardships endured in the field, and usually long

lists of academic achievements.

In any case, both the petitions for orders and job applications gave prospective

priests and ordained clerics an opportunity to boast about themselves and their ancestors,

and thus contain an inherent bias which cannot be overlooked. In his study of the secular

clergy in La Plata, Lincoln Draper states: "As a result, the picture of the priesthood that

emerges from a reading of a number of these documents is that of a clergy as it wished to

be seen, or as it thought the royal government in Spain wanted the clergy to act."'2 This

problem of reliability of sources, of course, cannot be overcome, and it is possible to



'IACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol. 7.

"Commenting in 1710 on his early calling to the Church, Joseph Fransisco de
Abendafio "dedicated all the time from my youth, from the time I could reason (desde la
edad del usso de raz6n) to serving this Sacred Cathedral Church." ACCFLM, Tomo 27,
fol. 51.


"2Draper, Archbishops, Canons and Priests, 202.








64

ascertain (through analysis of a wide array of documentary sources) at least some idea of

the socio-economic base of parish priests and the extent to which they deemed their lives

as valuable to the overall mission of Catholicism and to imperial Spain.

Perhaps the most unbiased view of the secular clergy comes from the two reports

(minformes) written in 1690 and 1725 by Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdfs and Bishop

Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo, respectively. Unfortunately, however, Bishop Queipo de

Llano Valdvs limited his informed to only the top thirty-five parish priests, and while

Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo reviewed the accomplishments of fifty-five priests, it

is obvious when comparing both bishops' accounts that they relied heavily on the priests'

relaciones for their information. Indeed, a thorough reading of the reports gives the

impression that personal preferences and friendships, rather than educational qualifications

or dedication to one's job made the difference between priests listed first or last among

personas benemeritas (praiseworthy people).

Another problem of sources stems from the fact that biographical data for the

eighteenth century are more complete than those for the seventeenth century. This is

possibly a result of better bookkeeping, but more likely attributed to population growth,

professionalization of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy over time, and increased activity and

competition within the diocese for Church jobs. No statistical study has been done for the

territory which comprised the Diocese of La Paz during these years, but Herbert Klein

claims in his general study of Bolivia that while many of the other regions in Charcas

faltered demographically in the eighteenth century, the region around La Paz actually

prospered and grew in population. Klein states: "the one hundred fifty or two hundred








65

thousand campesinos of its [La Paz'] hinterland converted the city into the administrative

and mercantile center, [thus] making it the most densely populated zone of the

altiplano. "13 Indeed, the number of submitted petitions for orders reflected this growth

of population and religious activity over time. Records from the Archivo Central in La Paz

indicate that from 1680 to 1700, seventy-one young boys and seminary students applied

for minor or major orders compared with one-hundred and twenty seven for the first three

decades of the eighteenth century. Likewise, and in part due to the tragedy of the general

epidemics of the late 1700s, and 1710s which took the lives of several eighteenth-century

priests, Bishops Queipo de Llano Valdes (1680-1694) and Bernardo Carrasco de

Saavedra (1695-1697) oversaw only twelve job competitions (oposiciones), while the

bishops of the last thirty years of this study supervised twenty one.

Of the one hundred and seventy-eight clerics who held the title of cura in cities and

villages throughout the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730, good biographical records

exist for only eighty-seven priests. Of the one hundred and ninety-eight candidates for

ordination, I have located satisfactory data for only fifty men. Thus, the following study

draws together data from one-hundred thirty-two men, most of whom went beyond the

request for orders to become fully ordained priests.14 It is important to mention that this

sample is representative because all five decades of the study are equally covered, and



"Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-ethnic Society, 91.

14A few men who were assistants to the parish priests (usually called ayudantes,
but also sometimes tenientes de cura) and a fair number of priests who served as either
cura interin or cura coadjutor are also represented in this analysis, albeit to a significantly
lesser extent.










both men of high achievement and those who may have been unemployed (at least as

priests) for a majority of their lives are part of this survey.

Priests as Members of Colonial Andean Society

With the exception of an Indian from Chucuito named Joseph Julian Ynga Charaja,

all applicants for orders and parish priests of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730

claimed Christian heritage and Spanish ancestry." Juan Feliz de Vargas y Villagomez'

description of his ancestry was identical nearly to the word to statements made by

other priests regarding their family backgrounds. In his response to the question

concerning his legitimacy16 and the racial purity17 of his ancestors, Don Juan commented:



"A relatively small number of Indians managed to enter into the priesthood as
ordained priests and those who did had to prove their aristocratic origins. In his study of
priests in Mexico, William Taylor reports, however, "There were few Indian curas in
Guadalajara, but in the archdiocese perhaps 5 percent of the parish priests in the late
colonial period were identified as Indians. All had demonstrated to the satisfaction of the
examiners that they were men of noble ancestry and legitimate birth, and most were from
one of the Indian barrios of Mexico City or a pueblo in the Valley of Mexico." Taylor,
Magistrates of the Sacred, 87.

16Nearly all candidates for orders and jobs in the Diocese of La Paz claimed
legitimacy, meaning that they were the sons of a married Christian couple. Francisco
Lopez de la Vega, a presbyter from Oruro applying for residency in the diocese, was the
only example of a priest who acknowledged his parents were single (solteros) at the time
of his birth. Nevertheless, he claimed purity of blood, and mentioned his parents, Don
Antonio L6pez de la Vega and Dofia Leonor de Balboa, by name. ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol.
94.

7"In a few cases, such as the ordination trial of Juan Francisco de Herrera, the
status of the candidate's purity of blood was in question since he was abandoned
(expdsito) as a child. Don Juan appealed to Bishop Queipo de Llano y Valds in 1685: "as
I have always been known as an orphaned child without knowledge of my father or
mother." ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol. 115. Although bishops did call a few extra witnesses to
testify to the good behavior of those whose parents were unknown, not once did any
bishop deny ordination based on this uncertainty.











I am the legitimate son of Don Bernardo Feliz de Vargas y Villagomez and
of Dofia Ynez Fabiana de Roa y Espinosa.... My grandparents have never
been believers, accomplices, followers, or defenders of heretics and ... [I]
am not and never have been a slave, an Indian, a mestizo or offspring of the
recently converted to the faith.18

Technically Indians and mestizos could enter the priestly vocation. The Third

Ecclesiastic Council of Lima held in 1582-83 issued the following decree which was later

summarized in the Recopilacirn de las Leyes de Indias (Book 1, Title VII, Law 7): "the

Bishops of these Indies [can] ordain as priests mestizos from their districts if they possess

the qualities and credentials of priests."19 But the difference between policy and practice,

at least in the Diocese of La Paz was profound, as illustrated by the distance which

candidates for ordination and jobs uniformly placed themselves away from any mala raza

or racial taint. Gaspar de Herrn-era, using language typical of his peers, began his

ordination request in 1686 by declaring: "we [members of my family] are Old Christians,

free of all racial taints and known publically as such."20 Joseph Julian Ynga Charaja's case,

obviously, was the exception, and reflected the crown's active promotion of Indians for

ordination which began after the promulgation of a royal decree issued in March 1696,

whereby Indians technically could be ordained and ascend to the status of presbyter.2"


"'ACCFLM, Tomo 15, fol. 8.

'"Monseior Severo Aparicio Quispe, OM. "Estudio Prelimar," in La
Evangelizacion del Peruti en los siglos XVI y XVII (Arequipa: Actas del Primer Congreso
Peruano de Historia Eclesiastica, 1990), 62.

20ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol. 81.

2The cedula real (royal decree) referred to here is entitled, "Decree issued by the
Council of the Indies concerning the promulgation of the general law which confirms that
Indians and mestizos can ascend to high positions within the Church and as ecclesiastics."










Born in the second most important urban center of the diocese, the city of

Chucuito which is situated on the southern banks of Lake Titicaca, Joseph Juliin Ynga

Charaja's father had formerly served as the region's cacique gobernador (governor chief).

His mother, according to his relaci6n, was a member of the city's most prosperous ayllu,

the Guagi. In his application for minor orders, Don Joseph expressed himself much like

his creole peers:

I appear humbly at the feet of Your Most Excellent Majesty... and say
that in order to serve better our God .... I have decided to follow the
ecclesiastical path, continuing with my studies of grammar and moral
theology, undertaken from my earliest years until the present time, always
giving proper attention to my personal behavior and comportment.'

Witnesses brought in to testify on Don Joseph's behalf attested to the young man's noble

heritage: "he is from Indian nobility on account of the honorific positions they [his

ancestors] have held in that province."'23 The crown and Church's preoccupation with

purity of blood apparently did not end with those of Hispanic descent; at one point in the

interrogation of witnesses, the applicant's pure Indian blood was questioned.24 For their



and located in Richard Konetzke, Coleccion de documentospara la historic de la
formaci6n social de Hispanoamerica, (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones
Cientificas, 1962), vol. 3, 64. For a comparison of how this decree was handled in
Mexico, see Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 568.

22ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 45.

23ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 46.

24In a cedula real dated 12 March, 1697, King Philip IV declared "that Indians of
high nobility, such as caciques and their descendants, will be considered to have purity of
blood, to be nobles and capable of redemption in all functions and professions that require
such prestige." Vicente G. Quesada, La vida intellectual en la America Espahola (Buenos
Aires: La Cultura Argentina, 1917), 224.










part, none of the witnesses were willing to state definitely that Don Joseph's was "pure-

blooded." They uniformly remarked: "I do not know if he has any mixture of black,

mulato or mestizo [blood]."25

In all other ordination procedures, applicants underwent a series of standard

examinations designed to prove their Christian ancestry, and to test their competency in

Latin, the Indian languages, and Church doctrine.26 In the case of Don Joseph, Bishop

Morcillo Rubio y Aufi6on, in addition to the exams, sent the young man to the Convent of

San Francisco for a probationary period of service. In the opinion of the prior of the

convent, Fray Juan Martinez Xuarez, Don Joseph possessed all the necessary qualities to

become a good priest.

[the candidate] has worked in this convent for eight continual days in
various exercises in fulfillment of your Lordship's mandate ... and he has
participated in all of the acts of the community, the choir, and other
exercises of humility culminating with the administration of the Sacred
Sacrament of penance and [thus he was] received by Our Lord to attain
with cleanliness of his soul the Sacred Orders he seeks.27



25ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 46. Reflecting the growing intolerance of Spanish
policies towards people of mixed blood, Quesada comments on the crown's reluctance to
admit people of color and mixed-bloods into American schools and other organizations.
"From these teachings mestizos, mulatos, cuarterones and by all means, blacks were
excluded.., the Viceroy ... ordered that zambos, mulatos and cuarterones shall not be
admitted as students, and if they obtained a degree, it shall by nullified. Quesada, La
vida intellectual en la America Espahola, 222.

26The Third Ecclesiastical Council of Lima recommended that all bishops "appoint
in their dioceses examiners who will test those curates who will work with Indians. They
will be tested to see if they have sufficient knowledge of the Arts and also if they are
proficient in the language of the Indians." Aparicio Quispe, "Estudio Prelimar," in La
Evangelaci6n del Perni en los siglos XVI y XVII, 59.


27ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 47.








70

Accordingly, on the 14 of March, 1710, Bishop Morcillo Rubio y Aufion conferred minor

orders upon Don Joseph Juliin Ynga Charaja, who thus became the first "pure-blooded"

native American to enter the secular clergy in the Diocese of La Paz.

Except for his Indian blood, Don Joseph had many of the same qualities and

credentials as his Spanish colleagues, including his birthplace and residence. Indeed, an

overwhelming majority of the members of the secular clergy who worked and lived in the

Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were American-born creoles criolloss) whose

parents lived within the territorial confines of the diocese. Of the one hundred thirty-two

parish priests in the sample group, only thirty were born outside the region, and many of

these men had lived as domiciliarios (residents) of the diocese for many years. Twenty-

three priests professed to be born and raised in La Paz, while twenty-one men defined

themselves somewhat ambiguously as originarios or natives, which may indicate they

were from the capital city or its environs (Calacoto and Palca, for example), but certainly

meant that they were born in the diocese. Thirty men of the sample group were from

smaller towns of the diocese, growing up on haciendas near provincial villages like

Sorata, Mocomoco, Moho, Achacache, or Chuma. Four were from Don Joseph's

hometown, Chucuito, and the Villa de Puno another important colonial village was

home to three men.28 The birthplace of twenty-three priests from the sample group is

unknown.

It was not uncommon for priests who were originarios of the Diocese of La Paz



2Both Chucuito and Puno are now cities in Peru, but until the 1780s, when the
new episcopal boundaries were drawn, were a part of the Diocese of La Paz.









71
to return eventually to their hometowns as parish priest, and the record shows that many

curas at least applied for jobs where they grew up, even if they did not ultimately get the

position. The tragic case of Gonzalo de la Cueba and Antonio de Valds illustrates the

efforts of two priests who sought to return home, only to have nature step in the way. De

la Cueba (cura of Sorata) and Valdps (cura of Asillo, Bishopric of Cuzco) signed a mutual

agreement in March of 1694 to exchange curatos: "we have made an agreement to

exchange, one for the other, our respective benefices of Sorata and Asillo."29 Each of

these priests had left the diocese of his birth and now wished to return to his hometown

for several reasons, but most importantly because of poor health. De la Cueba wrote in

his appeal to the bishop:

I suffer from illnesses and discomfort while urinating and other internal
diseases which are exacerbated by the weather of Sorata on account of that
town's heat and humidity. The town of Asillo is much more favorable [for
me] because of its moderate climate and dryness.30

Maintaining residence in either location, the men emphasized, was a risk to their lives, an

accurate premonition since Don Gonzalo died before the transfer took place.

Two clerics from the sample group were from the capital of the Audiencia of

Charcas and the home of the archdiocese, the city of La Plata, and one cochabambino,

Pedro Alvarez de Ayora y Estrada, applied for orders from the bishop of La Paz.31 Three


29ACCFLM, Tomo 15, fol. 175.

30Ibid.

31Don Pedro's career, parenthetically, is typical in some ways of the mobility of
clerics. Born in Cochabamba, he attended the Real Seminario de San Christ6bal in La
Plata, where he attained his bachelor's degree and for four years taught grammar, before
moving to the Diocese of La Paz where he worked for eighteen years in various parishes.









72
candidates for ordination were originally from Oruro, including Nicolas Pkrez de la Mata

Paton, who referred to himself as a relative of Nicolis Urbano Mata y Haro who served as

bishop of La Paz from 1702 to 1704. No applicants with any experience or background in

Potosi appeared in the archival record of the Diocese of La Paz, perhaps indicating the

desirability of working near or in the richest and most populated city in Alto Peru at that

time.

Looking outside the territorial boundaries of modem Bolivia, eighteen of the one

hundred thirty-two priests were from Perul: four from Arequipa, two from Cuzco, one

from the town of Azagara, and the rest from Lima. The fact that so many clerics from the

sample group were limehos might be attributed to the fact that a majority of bishops who

came to serve in the diocese from 1680 to 1730 held prominent positions in the viceregal

capital before being promoted to La Paz. Juan Queipo de Llano Valdis was fiscal of the

Inquisition in Lima in the 1670s. Nicolis Urbano Mata y Haro held the position of

theological canon in Lima's cathedral before coming to La Paz, and Fray Alejo Femrnando

de Rojas y Acebedo was a limeho by birth.32 In addition, Fray Diego Morcillo Rubio y

Aufi6n, who served as bishop from 1709 to 1711 before his promotion to Archbishop of

La Plata, brought with him at least six male relatives, three of whom were originally from

Lima (the other three were men from Honduras and Guatemala and worked for him there

during his tenure as Bishop of Le6n [Nicaragua], prior to coming to South America).

One cleric, the well-traveled Juan de Mosquera, was born and raised in the

Kingdom of Santa F# de Bogota, and served as cura in the dioceses of Cuzco and


32L6pez Menandez, Historia de la Di6cesis de La Paz, 10-13.










Arequipa before coming to work for the Bishop of La Paz as cura of Guancani in the

1690s. It is curious that no ecclesiastics or seminaries from cities or towns in territories of

modem day Paraguay or Argentina applied for orders or sought positions within the

Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730.

Nine men from the sample group cited direct Spanish lineage. Of these nine, two

curas were actually born in Spain. Lucas Bonilla y Portillo, a relative of Fray Diego, and

that same bishop's younger brother, Pedro Morcillo Rubio, were from Villarobledo and La

Mancha, respectively. Among those who claimed Spanish heritage, it was not unusual for

them to be tied through patronage to the presiding bishops or one of his predecessors.

The paceio Gabriel de Barroeta y Guill.stegui, for example (cura of Sapaqui, Guaqui, and

Tiahuanaco, and then rector of the Cathedral from the 1680s to the 1710s), was the

nephew of Gabriel Guilltstegui, bishop of La Paz from 1670 until his death in 1678.33 Don

Gabriel's parents, according to his job application of 1688, were "natives of the Villa

Marquina, Province of Cantabria, in the Kingdom of Spain."34

Clearly, candidates for orders or jobs saw any Spanish ties as beneficial and

hastened to make hereditary connections to the metropolis to impress their superiors.

Often, these ancestral ties were to military men whose courageous exploits and acts of

heroism were symbolic of the family's distinguished lineage and loyalty to the Crown. In

his relacidn of 1692, Licenciado Dionisio Probincia de Peralta recalled the memory of his




33"Ibid., 9.

34ACCFLM, Tomo 13, fol. 268.










famous uncle, Luis de Peralta Cabesa de Vaca: "he was ... [one] of the first

conquistadores and pacifiers of this Kingdom."35

Among the many cases of priests recounting the legends of their ancestors, the

story of the paceio Doctor Pablo Joseph Salgado y Araujo stood out. After introducing

himself as the legitimate son of the Maestro de Campo Martin Salgado y Araujo and Dofia

Lucia Diez de Medina, Don Pablo proceeded to chronicle the noble and heroic deeds of

his parents, grandfathers, grandmothers, and other relatives on both sides of his family in

vivid detail. Boasting of the political record of his Galician-bomrn great-grandfather, Don

Pablo contended that Payo Salgado y Araujo served as Governor of the cities of Aguila

and Barleta in the Kingdom of Naples before coming to the Americas as a retainer of

Viceroy of Periu, the Count of Montesclaros, who served in that post from 1606 to 1616.36

Don Pablo's great-grandfather eventually settled in Arica, becoming Commissary General

of the Cavalry, a charge

quite appreciable considering the circumstances of the time, which
immediately resulted in a appointment in the Royal Service of Your
Majesty, with the widely known dangers to life occasioned by the hostilities
of the enemy's invasions.37

This reference to enemy invasions probably referred to the continual Dutch attacks on

coastal ports north and south of Lima in the seventeenth century.38


3'ACCFLM, Tomo 22, fol 87.

36J.H. Elliott, "Spain and America before 1700," in Colonial Spanish America, ed.
Leslie Bethell (Cambridge; Cambridge University Press, 1984), 66.

37ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 181.

38For a complete record of naval hostilities along the coast of Peru during the
colonial period, see Jos. Valdizin Gamio, Historia Naval del Peru (Lima: Direcci6n
General de Intereses Maritimos, 1984).








75

Further, Don Pablo emphasized how his great grandfather also "gave donations of

considerable quantity to the oidores (judges) who came to him to ask for them in Your

[Magesty's] Name.39 Don Pablo's father, Martin Salgado y Araujo was also a soldier in

Arica, and in addition to defending the coast from enemy aggression, took on the civic

duty of alcalde ordinario (town mayor), "in whose ministry he dedicated himself with

vigilance."40

Doctor Antonio de Zegarra de las Ruelas de la Cueba y Olea's description of his

illustrious lineage while perhaps not as far-reaching as Don Pablo's family history -

was more typical of accounts priests told of their ancestors in hopes of gaining favor with

the bishop. In his bid for a canonship in the Cathedral in 1732, Don Antonio claimed his

ancestors had descended from a mui exclarecida (very distinguished) nobility and that his

paternal great-grandfather, Juan Segarra abandoned an entailed estate (mayorasgo) which

he possessed in Seville to come to this Kingdom of Perui to assume official duties in the

corregimientos of "Condesuios, Aimaraes and Pacajes."4' Don Antonio's other great-

grandfather was Don Nufii de la Cueba of the prestigious Order of Santiago. He was also

a recipient of an early encomienda in Condesuios on account of the "heroic service of his

ancestors in the Gerras de Flandes (sic) [the wars of Flanders]".42




39ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 181.

40Ibid.

41AGI, Charcas 389, 4 Julio 1732. The corregimientos of Condesuios, Aimarares,
and Pacajes are references to three of the first corregimientos established in the mid-
sixteenth century in Alto Perui by Francisco Pizarro.

42Ibid.










Don Antonio's account of his family's prominent position in local society was

probably accurate; if the archival record for the Diocese of La Paz is any indication, the

Zegarra family is well represented in the early history of Alto Perm and specifically the

region encompassed by the Diocese of La Paz. Men with the surnames Olea, de la Cueba,

and Zegarra served in the diocese in various priestly functions in four of the five decades

covered in this study. In the 1720s alone, priests of this lineage were parish priests in

Palca, Chulumani, Caquingora, San Antonio de Machaca, Calacoto, and Caracato.

Indeed, representation in the diocese of relatives, whether cousins, brothers, or uncles and

nephews was quite common between 1680 and 1730 and suggests that many of the

region's prominent creole families intermarried to form a kind of socio-religious class of

citizens.43

Furthermore, and as might be expected given the importance of the parish priest in

colonial Spanish American society, many curas' families were among the most powerful

and influential in the region. To use just one example, Bishop Queipo de Llano Vald is'

visitor-general throughout the 1680s, Juan Antonio de Eguares y Pasquier, was the

brother of the corregidor of Larecaja in the 1690s, Francisco Antonio de Eguares y





43"See Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred; Draper, "Archbishops, Canons, and
Priests;" and Schwaller, The Church and Clergy in 16th-Century Mexico for an analysis of
extended family networks and service in the secular clergy. By far the best source on the
social origins and family structures of parish priests in the colonial Andes is Paul Bentley
Ganster, "A Social History of the Secular Clergy of Lima during the middle decades of the
18'h Century," Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1974. In this doctoral
dissertation, Ganster argues against the notion that rivalries invariably existed between
peninsulares and creoles at the end of the colonial period. Among the secular priests of
these backgrounds, he points out, contestation depended more on socioeconomic factors
rather than birthplace.











Pasquier.44 Bishop Guill.stegui, who served in that post in the 1670s, certainly left a

legacy of collateral descendants active in secular and religious life for decades after his

death in 1678. Curas with the surname Guillbstegui worked in the diocese in all five

decades of this study, highlighted perhaps by Gabriel Barroeta y Guillstegui's service as

vicar-general (provisor) between Bishop Villafafie Pandaio's and Bishop Fernando de

Rojas y Acebedo's respective tenures in the 1720s. In a final example, the Vivero

brothers, Luis and Antonio, served in the diocese in the late seventeenth century, and even

had a familial hold on the benefice of Ancoraymes, located on the northern shore of Lake

Titicaca, for nearly two decades in the 1680s and 1690s. Martin de Vivero, incidentally,

assisted his brothers as a theniente de cura in Ancoraymes at least until 1687.

The archival record for the Diocese of La Paz contains numerous appeals and

recommendations written by prominent members of society on behalf of a young man

seeking ordination or a priest hoping for promotion. A recommendation written by

Francisco de Carrion y Caceres (cura in Palca and Songo in the 1680s and 1690s), for his

nephew Pedro Lino de Montalbo, was typical of how priests attempted to use their

positions of authority to help relatives gain favor with the bishop. Licenciado Carri6n y

Caceres appealed for Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdks to focus not on the boy's obvious

physical handicap which the priest acknowledged would have an impact on his ability

to carry out his priestly duties but rather on his fine family lineage ("his parents are Old




"ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 52. Corregidores of the city of La Paz served five year
terms starting in the seventeenth century and were paid a salary of two thousand pesos per
year. Corregidores of the other corregimientos within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of La
Paz (Omasuyos, Paucarcolla, Larecaja, and Sicasica) were paid at an annual rate of one
thousand pesos per year. Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz: su historic, su cultural, 66.










Christians"45) and his (the uncle's) own proven service to the church and crown when

deciding his nephew's fate. In this odd recommendation which seemed to stress the

negative rather than the positive credentials of the applicant, the uncle beseeched:

Have pity on him .... The affliction, my Lord, of my nephew Don Pedro
Lino de Montablo... and excuse my ignorance of such matters, [causes
him] an irregularity whereby he limps on one foot, and because of this
impediment Your Most Excellent Lord has every reason not to continue
with the conferring of orders that has begun for this man.... This
functional bodily defect is such that it makes the man useless... a
deformity, offensive to the sight of others.., which necessitates some sort
of... staff or a kind of wooden leg because excluding such a thing, he cannot
rise to the pulpit to say mass without considerable indecency.'

For his part, Don Pedro did not bother to mention his deformity to the bishop, noting only

that his mother was the sister of the priest of Songo and that, like his peers, he "has

studied and dedicated myself to the study of grammar and moral theology and I do not

possess any defect outlined by the Council of Trent."47

Familial favors and nepotism dominated Diego Morcillo Rubio y Aufi6n's tenure as

bishop from 1709 to 1711. As mentioned earlier, Fray Diego brought with him from the

Bishopric of Leon at least six relatives, each of whom had considerable success in the

several job competitions conducted from 1709-1712,48 this despite not having any


45ACCFLM, Tomo 19, fol. 2.

46Ibid.

47Ibid, 4. According to subsequent testimony, two years after applying for minor
orders, on the 27th of December 1963, Pedro Lino de Montalbo was ordained a Presbyter
by Bishop Queipo de Llano y Valds, although no records indicate if he ever served as
priest or assistant in any parish in the diocese.
4'There were nine concursos in the span of three years from 1709 to 1712,
compared with only twelve for the first twenty years of this study. The inordinate number










knowledge, at least initially, of the local languages of Quechua and Aymara. Pedro

Ygnacio de Foncueba was cura ofVilque, Mocomoco and Laza in the 1710s and 1720s;

Ygnacio de la Rreta worked in the much sought after village of Coroico in the 1710 Os;

Ygnacio Diaz procured the curato of Ambana in 1710 and served that post until 1716,

when he followed Fray Diego to the Archdiocese of La Plata to become cura of the Indian

town of Quillacolla; Nicolas Mexia de Vargas worked in Sorata before moving on to Laza

in the 1720s; Lucas Bonilla y Portillo probably worked in the village of Suri, but the

archival record is ambiguous; and Pedro Morcillo Rubio, the bishop's brother, worked in

the Indian parish of San Pedro Extramuros in La Paz in the 1710s. Although not specified

as relatives, at least two other retainers of Bishop Morcillo y Auflon also held important

positions in the diocese. Juan Manuel de Figueroa, born and educated in Guatemala, was

still serving as parish priest in Sorata in 1730, and Francisco Coronado worked as rector

of the seminary school in La Paz in the 1710s, and for more than a decade from 1717 until

at least 1728, was cura of the pueblo of Laja, just west of the capital city.

Most of these men, therefore, stayed in the Diocese of La Paz after their

benefactor moved on to the Archdiocese of La Plata. This suggests either that Fray

Diego's retainers were either content with their employment in the diocese, or did not see

much of a future in moving south. Judging from the countless claims by parish priests of

their overwhelming poverty, perhaps the latter assumption was more accurate. Indeed,

Licenciado Francisco Coronado was one among a significant number of parish priests in



of deaths among priests perhaps was a result of the general epidemic which plagued the
area in the early 1710s.









80
the Diocese of La Paz who complained incessantly of his financial woes. More than half

of the members of the sample group (sixty-nine, or 52 percent), either in their petitions for

orders or professional resumes, mention personal poverty as a significant quality of their

lives. Of course, it is impossible to discern the legitimacy of these claims, and the few

records which exist on priests' financial situation do not necessarily corroborate their

collective testimony of poverty.49 To use just one example from literally hundreds of cases

located in the Archivo de La Paz of priests engaged in civil litigation involving valuable

estates and assets, Presbyter Antonio Mafiueco complained in 1720 that Lorenzo Porcel

owed him the monetary equivalent of eight hundred fifty baskets of coca, an amount

allegedly advanced to Porcel from the cura's productive cocales Cocaa farms) in the

Yungas.50 In addition, a review of several priests' final wills and testaments reveals that at

least a few curas were considerably well off For instance, Doctor Pedro de Goizueta

Brabo de Paredes, who served as precentor (chantre) of the Cathedral in the 1670s and

1680s, left an impressive quantity of riches to his relatives, including a house full of

European furniture, a valuable wardrobe, several chains of pearls, and an assortment of

silver rings "one filled with diamonds."51


49Alberto Crespo Rodas contends that the city and region surrounding La Paz was
thriving compared to other parts of the Audiencia of Charcas. He bases his theory on the
sizable population of the area and the fact that "the agriculture farmed by the indigenous
peoples of the pre-Columbian era (potatoes, quinua, pinapple, and a variety of fruits) was
expanded by the Spaniards." Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz: su historic, su cultural,
382.

"ALP, Caja 52, Expedientes Coloniales Num. 7, 1720.

"ALP, Caja 28, Expedientes Coloniales Num 8, 1682. On the personal holdings
and riches of priests, Pefialoza Cordero states accurately: "the personal belongings of










In any case, a significant number of priests invoked the bishops' sympathies for

their impoverished condition, usually supporting their claims with stories of poor relatives

who relied on their assistance for survival. Indeed, some priests, like Licenciado Martin

de Sarricolea y Olea, allegedly entered the priesthood not because of any religious calling,

but rather to provide for the welfare of their families. It is worth noting that poorer

candidates for orders and jobs frequently walked a fine line between, on one the hand,

trying to convince their superiors of their prestigious Spanish lineage and purity of blood,

while at the same time seeking the bishop's pity for their families' financial difficulties.

Don Martin stated in his application for a job in 1693:

I was born in the City of Kings [Lima] of such reputable parents... [but I
cannot]... represent my nobility [hidalguia] to Your Most Illustrious
Lord... [because] they left me so poor, which was my reason for having
applied myself totally to my studies, the only asset I have to help my three
orphaned sisters .... [I] being [solely] responsible to relieve their
suffering.52

Taking care of family members, in fact, was the most common way for priests or

prospective priests to bring up their privation. Usually, as in the case of Don Martin,

priests asked the bishop to consider the plight specifically of their poor sisters, some of

whom were nuns or lay women housed in the nunnery of Our Lady of the Immaculate

Conception for lack of other alternatives for care. Pleading for an appointment to one of

the vacant posts in Songo and Caquiavire, Santiago de la Torre began his relaci6n in


priests were often sumptuous and the clergymen counted among their assets agricultural
estates, workshops, manufacturing plants, etc .... In addition, they made money from their
endowments and for the celebration of dedicated masses." Nueva Historia Economica de
Bolivia, 29.

52ACCFLM, Tomo 22, fol. 268.











1710: "I have four sisters who are nuns in this nunnery ... and another one [outside the

nunnery] and I cannot [because of unemployment] manage to relieve their suffering, so my

father, burdened by old age, is forced to work." 53

The obligation to support poor sisters and other family members was not the only

method priests used to elicit compassion from the bishop for orders or employment.

While impoverished family members certainly played a part in the desperate appeal of

Doctor Diego Mexias Hidalgo, a prolonged drought left the priest unable to grow even

the most basic foods on the family farm. Moreover, Don Diego's mother invested the little

money bequeathed by his recently deceased father on his education in Cuzco, which meant

that the rest of the family was left penniless. In one of the most descriptive accounts of

poverty of all applicants for orders or jobs in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730,

Mexias Hidalgo wasted no time emphasizing the gravity of the situation. He began his

relaci6n:

The reasons that I find myself with many obligations include having a sickly
mother (enfermissa) and a poor sister, who has been sick for more than ten
years as well, [constantly] collapsing and then [struggling] to right herself
for more than four of those years which required her to stay mostly in bed,
plus I have six orphaned cousins who are like sisters and then three
[dependent] nephews because of the fact that our parents are all dead,
we have been left destitute, without any relief other than that provided by
the small parcel of land (chacracilla), which my parents gave to me upon
ordination .... This chacracilla has not been able to provide even the
slightest sustenance.... I have applied for jobs in the last four
competitions, not gaining employment in any of them.... I put myself at
your feet... to favor me with a benefice so we can feed ourselves, for the
few resources which my father left us my mother used to support me in the
Real Colegio of Our Father San Bernardo de Cusco.54


53ACCFLM, Tomo 32, fol. 133.

54ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 185.










Some petitioners who claimed poverty recalled the memory of prominent past

relatives, usually former or current bishops of the Diocese of La Paz who either ordained

them or awarded them for their faithful service with favorable positions, and who certainly

(at least in the view of the poor priest) would have worked to enable the petitioner to

avoid his current financial crisis. Julian de Mendoza y Calatayud came to La Paz from

Lima as familiar of Bishop Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra in the late 1690s. In the job

competition of 1728, Don Julian wrote briefly of his cortos meritos (few merits) before

apprizing Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo

of the tremendous arrears and miseries which I have suffered in the twenty-
four years I have served in this bishopric .. having the responsibility for
four poor sisters who continually ask me about my fortunes .. and I
always give them what I have, so as to relieve their suffering.55

Juan Manuel de Figueroa, one of Fray Diego's retainers from the Bishopric of

Leon, reminded the bishop in his relaci6n from 1710: "I have worked for Your Most

Illustrious Lord for more than three years... [with] such decorated and praiseworthy

service, attending [to my duties] with punctuality and [proper] conduct." Don Juan ended

his the appeal by telling the bishop of his "seven poor and virtuous sisters back in

Guatemala who rely on my stipend for their survival."56

Summary

Almost all the boys and young men who applied for ordination in the diocese, and

a majority of parish priests who worked for the bishops of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were

creoles from local families. All claimed illustrious and untainted Spanish (or as in the


"ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 274r.

56ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 148.










case of Joseph Julian Inga Charaja Indian) heritage, and many had ties to former

bishops or royal officials of some economic or political importance. The fact that most

priests from the Diocese of La Paz had local connections helps explain, to a certain extent,

why many of them were involved in land and work-related disputes with their parishioners.

These men, in other words, had important personal links to the secular world around

them, and as many of the witness testimonies from the 1680s and 1690s prove, a fair

number exploited these ties to their own advantage.

Claims to noble descent and connections with powerful members of local society,

however, did not translate if the priests' relaciones de meritos y servicios and the

peticionespara 6rdenes are to be believed to a life of comfort and prosperity. Indeed,

priests from all five decades of this study complained constantly of the poverty and

hardships of their positions, this despite contradictory evidence from other sources which

suggests that many priests were well-endowed financially, some even affluent. As we will

see in Chapter 4, moreover, a fair number of seminary students attended school in Cuzco,

La Plata and even far off Lima, a fact which does not support the repeated claims of

financial destitution.

In the broader picture, of course, these claims of poverty were a frank admission

that obtaining a parish was seen, among other things, as an economic advantage. Judging

from the parishioner statements from the 1680s and 1690s, many beneficed priests active

in the diocese during these years sought to parlay this advantage into an even more

profound dominance over local resources, labor, and ultimately, village politics. In other

words, a majority of priests employed at this time again, if witness testimonies are to be









85
believed took full advantage of their positions of power and attempted to impose their

will for financial gain or political power.

Chapter 4, incidentally, also discusses priestly performance, specifically which

accomplishments priests routinely recognized as their most notable achievements in the

line of duty. As I point out in Chapter 5, however, these accomplishments contrast

sharply with the allegations of priestly neglect and abuse that plagued parish priests during

the first two decades of this study.














CHAPTER 4
PRIESTLY EDUCATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS

For young men dedicated to the priestly vocation, ordination and formal education

usually went hand in hand. It was not uncommon for priests of low academic

accomplishment to become ordained and have successful careers,' but an overwhelming

majority of clerics who worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 held

advanced degrees from either a colegio (secondary school), a university, or both. In large

part, colegios and universities founded in the Americas were designed to train

professionals to service, in essence, the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church. Hence,

educators and educational curricula placed much emphasis on training individuals to

become efficient doctors, lawyers, and priests, who in all likelihood would work for the

state at some point in their careers. Education in the Americas was thus both practical and

scholastic: practical in the sense that high marks and academic distinction usually

translated to better jobs and professional success, and scholastic since the structure of

learning and teaching in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries still borrowed






'Usually these priests were ordained a titulo de idioma (by title of competence in
language), meaning in the case of the Diocese of La Paz, facility in Quechua or Aymara.
Many of the more educated priests were also wealthier, and in contrast were ordained a
titulo de capellania (by title of endowment) which guaranteed a usually modest yearly
stipend tied to the commercial output of a particular estate or small farm.

86










heavily from medieval codes, dominated of course by the scholastic traditions of the

Church.2

For those clerics applying for the more lucrative or desirable positions (which

included, of course, the Cathedral and the other parishes in La Paz), an impressive

academic career was a considerable bonus, and parish priests did not hesitate to boast of

their accomplishments in their petitions for orders and employment.3 A statistical analysis

of the different levels of education completed by members of the secular clergy is difficult

to assemble because the data are incomplete and ambiguous, and no comprehensive report

of academic achievements of diocesan priests exists in the archival record. Furthermore,

whereas bachelor, licentiate, master,4 and doctor are all distinguishing titles reflecting

different levels of education, in many reports the bishops were seemingly uncertain of the

academic accomplishments of a given priest, and placed the honorific and indefinite "don"

before his first name. The title "don" was, in effect, no indication at all of one's

educational level, and thus could refer to a priest with no advanced degree, as well as to a


2Scholasticism is defined as "the search for devout contemplative understanding of
the divine mysteries, or as understanding the intellect sought within faith by using all the
resources of human reason." The Encyclopedia of Catholicism, vol 1, s.v. "scholasticism."

3On the difference between creole and peninsular relaciones, Mario Gongora
writes "Creoles seeking ordination or a benefice, in particular, tended to highlight in their
relaciones their prior academic standing and achievements in an effort to distinguish
themselves from peninsular rivals who emphasized social and familial background in their
petitions for jobs." Colonial History of Spanish America, 187.

4The title of maestro (master) was not an educational title per se, since it refers not
to an earned degree, but rather to the appointment as an instructor at a colegio or
university. Quite a few men who eventually went on to become priests in the Diocese of
La Paz served as teachers at schools in Cuzco, La Paz and Lima before entering the
priesthood, and thus identified themselves in official documents as maestros.








88

bachelor or a doctor. For example, in a 1725 official report to the King, Bishop Femrnando

de Rojas y Acebedo referred to PedroYgnacio de Foncueba as simply "Don Pedro." In

subsequent documentation, however, it is clear that the man graduated with a licentiate

degree in Moral Theology from the Colegio de San Francisco de Borja in Guatemala City.

Notwithstanding the confusion surrounding the title "don," some conclusions can be made

about the academic achievements of parish priests from the two reports filed by Bishop

Queipo de Llano Valdes in 1690 and by Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo in 1725.

The 1690 report on thirty-five diocesan priests revealed a highly educated group of

men, surprising perhaps considering La Paz had no university and the fair distance of the

capital city from the major colonial cities of Cuzco, La Plata and Lima. Five curas held

baccalaureate degrees, and six parish priests were licenciados. Five men identified

themselves as masters, and ten priests used the title of doctor. Of the nine men whose

designation was simply "don" in the 1690 report, further research revealed that one was a

bachelor, six were licentiates, and the educational levels of two men, Juan de Mosquera

and Juan Antonio de Egudres y Pasquier (Bishop Queipo de Llano Vald6s' visitor-

general), cannot be ascertained.

In the 1725 report of fifty-five priests employed in the diocese that year, only five

men were identified as bachelors, seven had licentiate degrees, three priests used the title

of master, and thirteen were doctors. Of the twenty-nine parish priests who received the

ambiguous title of "don," further research revealed that four held bachelor's degrees, three

were masters, fourteen were licentiates, and one was a doctor. The educational level of

the remaining seven priests remains unknown. This might reflect their relatively low

academic accomplishments.








89

The 1690 and 1725 informes indicate, in sum, that many curas who worked in the

Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 held advanced university degrees, although having a

doctorate was not always a ticket to better employment, as indicated, for example, by the

career of the parish priest of San Antonio de Esquilache, Diego de Peralta y Ayala.

Doctor Diego was active in all twelve of the concursos of the 1680s and the early 1690s,

yet was unable to land a new position before his death in 1693, which proved to be the

only way out of working in San Antonio, a notoriously difficult and dangerous place to

work according to various priests' testimonies.5

If the secular clergy of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 was, by and

large, an educated group, what type of schooling did they receive in the Spanish American

secondary schools and universities? No monographs have been written about the school

most attended, the Colegio de San Ger6nimo in La Paz, so it is difficult to state with full

confidence the curriculum most future priests of the diocese followed. But in all

likelihood, prior to the Bourbon reforms of the mid-eighteenth century, academic life and

instruction varied little from one colegio or university to the next, and thus a student in the

Andes received roughly the same training as his peers in other parts of Spanish America.6



5See footnote number 25, Chapter 2, for an account of the inhospitality of San
Antonio de Esquilache as a place to live and work.

6See Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred; Ganster, "A Social History of the Secular
Clergy of Lima during the middle decades of the Eighteenth Century;" and John Tate
Lanning, Academic Culture in the Spanish Colonies (London: Oxford University Press,
1940) for an overview of academic life and priestly education during the colonial period.
For a complete review of all major universities founded during the colonial era in Spanish
America, see Aguiieda Maria Rodriguez Cruz, Historia de las Universidades
Hispanoamericanas (Bogota: Imprenta Patri6tica del Instituto Caro Y Cuervo, 1973).








90
In his study of parish priests in Mexico, Taylor contends that boys throughout the

Americas typically began their formal education between the ages often and twelve,7

although most had some sort of private tutorial education at an earlier age. The scant data

from the Diocese of La Paz on early education confirms this point, as boys who applied

for grants to attend the Colegio de San Ger6nimo were on average twelve years old. The

content of the colegio and university curricula followed a medieval plan of study, with

students spending the first five years completing the minor subjects of grammar, rhetoric,

and philosophy.8 The grammar course consisted of writing, reading and instruction in the

pronunciation of Latin, while the series of rhetoric courses concentrated on both Spanish

and Latin texts, syntax, and the art of debate. Indeed, throughout their educational

careers, top students engaged in public debates, often honing their oratory and

argumentative skills, valuable tools obviously for a career in the priesthood. Juan Manuel

de Figueroa, cura of Sorata in the 1720s, first studied grammar at the Colegio Real de

Nuestra Seiora de la Asumpcion in Guatemala City, then spent three years at that same

city's Universidad Real de San Carlos where, "with high marks from my professors I gave

a public presentation of logic with various conclusions."9 On the value of these public



7 On the question of formal education and age, Laura Escobari Quejerazu reports
that as early as the age of four, boys attending the Colegio San Borja in Cuzco received
schooling in "prayers, the catechism, and...the first rudimentary lessons on reading, writing
and singing." Laura Escobari Quejerazu, "La Evangelizacion por medio de la Educaciones:
Los Jesuitas y el Colegio San Borja del Cuzco," in La Evangelizaci6n del Peru, Siglos
XVI-XVII, 207.

8Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 90.

9ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 148.










lectures, Taylor contends, "in the [higher educational] process they became veterans of

public display of their knowledge in sermons, lecture, disputations, examinations of

various kinds, and the publication of literary works."'0

For students who wished to pursue an advanced degree or who sought ordination

and a career in the priesthood, additional course work (taking on average three years to

complete) in theology, law, Aristotelean logic, various sciences and mathematics was

beneficial. Theology, of course, was the main focus for future priests, and as Mario

G6ngora points out, students entering either a colegio mayor (upper-division secondary

school) or a university focused less on the scriptures than on scholasticism, contemplating

the teachings of theological philosophers such as Duns Scotus and more importantly, St.

Thomas Aquinas."

This pattern was certainly followed by priests of the Diocese of La Paz. A student

of the Colegio Real de San Martin (Lima), Doctor Fernando Suarez y Montenegro "won

the approval of his teachers"'2 so they awarded him a grant to pursue advanced studies in

Sacred Theology, where he "defended in a distinguished presentation (acto) the entire first

part of St. Thomas."13 Students who completed this final stage of course work in the


1Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 91.

"G6ngora, Studies in the Colonial History of Spanish America, 188.

'20f the teachers of future priests, G6ngora writes: "In theology, however, the
teachers preferred the system of dictation, in order to gain continuing support for their
own opinions or the views of particular schools of thought regarding current topics of
controversy." Ibid., 189.

S3ACCFLM, fol. 283. Tomo 26. On the curricula and public presentations, Lanning
writes: "In the Arts courses, in which the majority of undergraduates enrolled, the logic,
metaphysics, and physics of Aristotle dominated until the late eighteenth century...On
Saturday and Wednesdays, a student championed a thesis. These 'acts,' when they became
formal, were known as conclusions in which one or more students defended a given thesis










colegio were awarded a bachelor's degree in either Arts or Philosophy, but only after

passing an oral examination before a panel of at least three teachers.14

If the 1725 survey of priests in the Diocese of La Paz is any measure, many

bachelors went on to receive even more schooling to earn their licentiate and doctoral

degrees. According to Taylor, once a student dedicated himself to the priesthood and was

on track to become ordained, he typically advanced to study one of two types of theology:

dogmatic or moral. A good student could earn a licentiate degree in roughly four years in

one of these theological disciplines or in canon law. Students who wanted a doctorate

typically spent another two to four years specializing in some aspect of theology before

graduation. 5

The path to ordination and the pursuit of an advanced degree were usually

simultaneous, even if the conference of orders and graduation were handled by separate

administrative entities. A few years into their formal educations, prospective priests

typically began applying for minor orders through the bishop's office. The first stage of

ordination was first tonsure, whereby students as young as seven years of age, but usually

thirteen or fourteen, took first vows and had a portion of their heads shaved in preparation

for entering the priesthood. The second stage, that of 6rdenes menores was conferred

upon recommendation of the student's pastor and one of his teachers, although the

bishop's office made the final decision depending on the candidate's qualifications. Taylor

reports that "normally, future priests would have begun the minor orders at age fourteen

as a step toward the baccalaureate, licentiate, or doctorate." Lanning, Academic Culture
in the Spanish Colonies, 43.

14Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 90.

"Ibid., 91.




Full Text
xml version 1.0 encoding UTF-8
REPORT xmlns http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitss xmlns:xsi http:www.w3.org2001XMLSchema-instance xsi:schemaLocation http:www.fcla.edudlsmddaitssdaitssReport.xsd
INGEST IEID E5SRVY2WD_YY75RA INGEST_TIME 2014-06-12T16:35:52Z PACKAGE AA00022202_00001
AGREEMENT_INFO ACCOUNT UF PROJECT UFDC
FILES


PRIESTS, PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISITA:
THE MORAL ECONOMY OF VILLAGE LIFE IN THE
DIOCESE OF LA PAZ, 1680-1730
By
CALEB PAUL STEVENSON FINEGAN
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1999

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Funding for the research used to complete this dissertation came from the J.
William Fulbright U. S Student Programs Foundation, the College of Liberal Arts and
Sciences at the University of Florida, and the Tinker Foundation (Center for Latin
American Studies at the University of Florida).
I have benefitted immeasurably over the years from the support of several
individuals who — whether by providing comic relief or a different sense of priorities —
rescued me from the sometimes perilous throes of prolonged academic pursuit. Among
those who come to mind are Preston Eckel, Tim Fox, Linda Fussell Albekis, Steve
Bombaugh, Malinda Carien, John, Brad, and Christie Wilson, Diana Connolly, Marcus
Nenn, John Ashbrook, Marcus Harvey, Mark Smith, Barbara Thoney, Dave Tegeder,
Faith McCarthy, Steve Noll, Jack Henderson, Mike Gamble, Chris Beckman, Rich Baker,
Adam Hughes, Ken Siewert, Jim Doherty, Joy Revels, Erin O’Keefe, Mitch Stacy, Kevin
Fritz, Chris Lane, Paula van der Veen, and Chris and Cathy Lewis.
A few select friends from my hometowns of Galveston, Nashville, and Gainesville
deserve thanks for their long-term support and encouragement. They include all the
members of the Cassill family, Jenni Duke, Kerri McDaniel Miller, Lisa Fasano
Cartwright, Frank and Louis Montalbano, Andrea, Carroll, and Stephanie Sunseri, Richard
Shepherd, Kelly Forester, Allen Mathews, Jamie Arens, Jud and Cathy Magrin, Toni
11

Thompson, and Emma Silver My three best friends from Vanderbilt get special
acknowledgment since they supervised first-hand my progress to higher levels of
knowledge Despite their efforts to distract me from any and all intellectual development,
words cannot describe the affection and respect that I have for Sean Connolly, Scott
Myers and Hugh T McGill.
Colleagues who have contributed ideas or suggestions to the present study, and
who have exhibited patience as forbearing listeners to my countless stories of long-
deceased parish priests include Joe Thompson, Doug Klepper, Anne Marie O’Donovan,
Paul Wojtalewicz, Jeremy Stahl, Doug Tompson and Paul Lokken. Jeremy Clark, with
convivial spirit, helped me complete the few maps which complement the text.
Faculty and staff members from Vanderbilt University, the Universidad de Madrid
Computlense, and the University of Florida who have spurred my interest in Spain and
Latin America, or who have helped in my academic training are: Richard Andrews,
Francille Bergquist, Pepe Cepeda, Norma Antillón, Marshall Eakin, Stephen Houston,
Simon Collier, Jane Landers, Paula Covington, Leonard Folgarait, Betty Corwin, Rene
Akins, Kimberly Brown, Barbara Guynn, Linda Opper, David Geggus, Jeffrey Needell,
Kathryn Burns, Mark Thurner, Harold Wilson, Eldon Turner, Geoffrey Giles, Tim
Cleaveland, Anna Peterson, Manuel Vásquez, and Michael Gannon. From the archives in
Spain and Bolivia, Socorro Prous and Norman Reyes Dávila deserve special appreciation.
Four people stand out among those who have been instrumental in my academic
progress. First, my father, Philip Finegan, gave me the incentive and confidence to pursue
the best education we could afford. Red Cassil was - and is - the intellectual I have always
aspired to be Tom Spaccarelli has been my soul mate and main source of guidance since I
in

was twenty years old. And Murdo MacLeod has provided the direction, wisdom, and
congeniality rarely seen, I suspect, in dissertation advisors.
Finally, a few other members of my family deserve mention because of their
undying faith in me as I earned this degree. Gertie Love Finegan is the best dog a family
could ever have. My in-laws, Bob and Betty Huson, could not have possibly been more
understanding and supportive of their son-in-law as he labored through — with significant
help from their daughter — his years as a graduate student. Sam Finegan and Marta
Stevenson Sullivan are the people I know best in this world; I am so very proud and
thankful to have them as my older brother and sister. I can hardly express what my
mother, Paula, has meant to me throughout my childhood and adult life. I thank her from
the bottom of my soul for loving me so unconditionally, and for providing the best
example of how to live one’s life. In a meaningful way, this achievement is as much hers
as it is my own.
Lastly, and with indescribable emotion and sincerity, I acknowledge my wife of
eight years, Beth Huson Finegan. She is, in short, my strength and inspiration. Any
accomplishments I have made in the last ten years; any dreams I have been fortunate
enough to realize; and all the hopes I have for the future depend, most profoundly, on her
participation in my life. Beth’s patience, wide smile, tenderness, hearty laugh, and
tremendous mind have been sources of energy and comfort To borrow a phrase from one
of my favorite song-writers: “If ever there’s an angel, it is you...” This work is dedicated
entirely to her and to our beautiful son of four months, Noah Lewis Finegan.
IV

TABLE OF CONTENTS
page
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ii
ABSTRACT vii
CHAPTERS
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. THE SETTING 17
The Audiencia of Charcas and the City of La Paz 18
Catholicism in Charcas, 1535-1680 31
The Pastoral Visita y Escrutinio 43
3. SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS 58
Sources and Samples 59
Priests as Members of Colonial Andean Society 66
4 PRIESTLY EDUCATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS 86
5. THE VILLAGE VOICE: WITNESS TESTIMONIES, 1680-1700 112
6. REACTIONS AND RULINGS, 1680-1700 150
Priests on Defense 150
Final Judgments 171
Three Case Studies 187
Antonio de Vivero: Parish Priest of Ancoraymes 187
Curas of Sapaqui: Bernardo Pacheco y Zerguera and
Esteban de Prado y Raya 199
7. PRIESTS, PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISITA, 1680-1730... 213
Bargaining by Complaint and Self-Defense, 1680-1700 215
Crimes, Final Sentences, and the Colonial Bureaucracy 234
The Decline of the Pastoral Visita after 1700: Some Explanations and
Ramifications 240
v

8. CONCLUSION 262
APPENDICES
A DIOCESAN PARISHES IN 1627 271
B THE VISITA INTERROGATION 276
C THE SENTENCIA FINAL OF PEDRO DE MONTESDOCA 279
REFERENCES 280
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 298
vi

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of
Doctor of Philosophy
PRIESTS, PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISITA:
THE MORAL ECONOMY OF VILLAGE LIFE IN
THE DIOCESE OF LA PAZ, 1680-1730
By
CALEB PAUL STEVENSON FINEGAN
December 1999
Chairman: Murdo J. MacLeod
Major Department: History
This dissertation focuses, in general, on how parish priests who lived and worked in the
Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 managed their lives as cultural brokers between the
Spanish crown and the predominantly indigenous communities they served. Specifically, I
explore the possible causes for and the character of contested relations between members of the
secular clergy and their parishioners as reported to ecclesiastical officials who periodically
visited Indian villages of this jurisdiction throughout the period under review. I conclude,
among other things, that priests and their parishioners engaged in constant negotiations with
each group vying for advantages, respect, and financial benefits according to a constantly
evolving yet essentially consistent view of social norms and obligations. Theoretical support
for my argument comes from E. P. Thompson’s ideas on “the moral economy of the poor,”
vii

which, he argued, gave legitimacy to the English crowd’s demands for fair, if not uncorruptible,
market practices in eighteenth-century England.
Like the riots which served as a medium for the working people of England to voice
their objections in the late eighteenth century, I argue that the pastoral visitad inspection), as
practiced in the 1680s and 1690s, proved to be an effective tool of social and political
bargaining between priests and their parishioners. It was effective because it served as a check
on parish priests — the majority of whom allegedly sought to abuse their positions of authority
for personal gain — and concomitantly empowered native elites by providing them an
opportunity to air grievances on behalf of their exploited communities. After 1697, the visita
ceased to be an institution that parishioners, particularly Indians, could rely on to negotiate for
relief or advantage This was due, in part, to more relaxed enforcement of Church policies by
the bishops of the early eighteenth century and because travel and administrative duties were
hampered by a series of epidemics which plagued the region in the late 1700s and throughout
the 1710s.

CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
To the first-time visitor’s eye and mind, the transition from the tranquility of the
Bolivian altiplano to the confusion that dominates street life in that country’s biggest city
is sudden and astonishing. I first traveled to Nuestra Señora de La Paz in the summer of
1994 as a student and a tourist. I remember being rudely introduced to the city by means
of its offspring, El Alto, with its squalid sprawl of makeshift homes, muddied streets, and
darting pedestrians By the time our bus began its descent from El Alto to La Paz, my
imagination had taken firm hold of my senses, and I wondered to myself how I would
manage to complete my studies, let alone survive, in such a place.
The first sight of La Paz took my breath away, both figuratively and literally.
Located at between 12,000 and 11,000 feet above sea level, depending on how far down
the valley you are, it resembles a large, irregularly shaped bowl with skyscrapers at the
base and shacks perched on cliffs which rise all the way up to the rim. As in most big
cities around the world, the contrast of affluence and poverty is immediately striking.
Most of the wealth is concentrated in the downtown area and further down the valley. In
these zones, bunches of business people with cell phones dress in tailored suits and drive
Mercedes Benz Sports Utility Vehicles. At the higher elevations, where the poorer
paceños live, running water is rare, electrical and phone lines dangle haphazardly from
posts and homes, and people work hard to climb and descend the dirt and gravel streets
1

2
which wash away every year during the rainy season from November to March. The rich
and poor, and those in between, however, are not segregated in La Paz; the city’s central
avenues and main plazas overflow with middle-class families, well-to-do cholas, half-
clothed beggars, shoe-shine boys, and street kids of all socioeconomic classes playing
soccer with their T-shirts on the ground as goal markers I appreciated in the first few
hours after arriving in La Paz the appeal and the charm of the city’s stark human contrasts.
I came to La Paz to study native religion during the colonial period. I had learned
from a few American scholars of an ecclesiastical archive there which had scarcely been
investigated by historians I had been told that the Archivo Central Canónigo Felipe
López Menéndez (the Archive of the Archbishopric of La Paz) may contain some cases
involving Indians accused of witchcraft and idolatry. After making contact with the
archivist, Professor Norman Reyes Dávila, and perusing the index of the main series of
documents, I determined that nothing of the sort existed in this particular archive. With
little money to travel elsewhere (to Sucre and the Archivo Nacional, perhaps), and since I
genuinely liked the atmosphere, if not the altitude, of La Paz, I decided to stay and focus
my attention on what appeared to be the documentary strength of the Archivo Central —
a series of pastoral inspections called visitas y escrutinios.
Anachronistic considerations aside, I decided after a few days of reading these
primary records that certain elements of human activity had changed little in the city of La
Paz in the last three hundred or so years. First and foremost, as arguably the most
“Indian” of all South American nations, Bolivia as a whole still retains an indigenous
quality about it; the Aymara culture in particular dominates the countryside around La Paz

3
and the Lake Titicaca region Mixed in to this cultural and ethnic majority — in varying
proportions depending mostly on the distance from urban areas — are people of ostensibly
different backgrounds and socioeconomic levels Indeed, apart from the cholas and the
men dressed in traditional Andean garb, it is difficult, especially as an outsider, to
understand the complexity of cultural variations that now defines modern Bolivia.
But Bolivians of different ranks and ethnicities, as stated earlier, do not live
insulated and separate lives. As profoundly public people, their relations, interactions, and
interconnections are part of the public forum which can be said to constitute social life in
this land-locked Andean nation. It is at this point — at this confluence of human activity
— that life in Bolivia today, I suspect, coincides with that of the past. Indeed, the most
striking feature of the visita y escrutinio cases that I came to know that summer in 1994
was that they dealt precisely with this issue of public exchange, popular action, and the
interrelationships between peoples of different cultural backgrounds and legacies.
This dissertation examines how parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese
of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 managed their lives as cultural brokers between the Spanish
Crown and the predominantly indigenous communities they served. Specifically, I explore
the possible causes for and the character of contested relations between members of the
secular clergy and their parishioners as reported to ecclesiastical officials who periodically
visited Indian villages of this jurisdiction throughout the period under review.
William Taylor, Nancy Farriss, and David Brading, among others, have confirmed
in their respective studies of religious life in colonial Latin America that parish priests

4
operated as agents of both the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church.1 Especially during
the Hapsburg era, “no sharp line had divided secular and religious life,”2 so priests —
particularly those working in Indian villages — were expected to maintain public order,
uphold Christian morality, judge and discipline their parishioners according to a strict
social and religious ethic, and perhaps most importantly, mediate the often delicate
relationships between God, the Spanish state, and the members of their congregations.
Each of these scholars demonstrates that in the course of managing these responsibilities,
the moral, religious, and sociopolitical authority of parish priests did not go unchallenged.
That priests enjoyed a privileged position in the hierarchical colonial society, and that they
often desired a comfortable, if not prosperous, life, added dimensions to the strained
relations they sometimes had with other colonial groups, namely royal authorities and their
own parishioners.
‘William Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in
Eigtheenth-Century Mexico (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1996); Nancy Farriss,
Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, 1759-1821 (London: Athlone, 1968); David
Brading, Church and State in Bourbon Mexico: The Diocese o/Michoacán, 1749-1810
(Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994). Other works on the secular clergy in
colonial Latin America include John Frederick Schwaller, The Church and Clergy in
Sixteenth-Century Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1987);
Schwaller, Origins of Church Wealth in Mexico (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
Press, 1985), Adriaan Van Oss, Catholic Catholicism: A Parish History> of Guatemala,
1524-1821 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986); Lincoln Draper,
“Archbishops, Canons, and Priests: The Interaction of Religious and Social Values in the
Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Bolivia.” PhD diss., University of New Mexico, 1989; and
Raymond Patrick Harrington, “The Secular Clergy in the Diocese of Mérida de Yucatán,
1780-1850: Their Origins, Careers, Wealth, and Activities,” Ph D. diss., Catholic
University of America, 1983.
2Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 12.

5
All three of these scholars concentrate on the Catholic clergy in late colonial
Mexico, and they dedicate much of their attention to the Spanish crown’s efforts to
control priests during the contentious era of the Bourbon reforms. Farriss considers the
last two decades of the eighteenth century as a period of crisis between Church and State
— “a crisis provoked and sustained in large part by a basic conflict between the State’s
need to exert authority over a powerful and influential clergy and the latter’s claim to
exemption from that authority.”3 Similarly, Taylor focuses in part on the problems that
erupted between secular priests and Bourbon district governors when priests perceived
their judicial jurisdiction to be threatened by new initiatives implemented in the last four
decades of the eighteenth century. Brading, in his discussion of priests and laity, basically
follows Farriss’ lead and accounts specifically for the unrest created by royal laws that
challenged priests’ legal authority in the Diocese of Michoacán after 1795. Unlike Farriss,
who scarcely discusses how parishioners fit into these relations between religious and
secular authorities, Taylor and Brading are more cognizant of the nature of grass-roots
tensions and of the social and political nuances of the relationship between priests and
their parishioners While Brading focuses more on elements of priestly power, methods of
coercion, and the apparent acceptance by some members of the secular and regular clergy
of some aspects of native religion, Taylor is more interested in how priests performed as
brokers between two cultural worlds. He writes:
He was both a father and a stranger, traditionally required to stand apart
and above, his conduct to be measured by a higher standard. Parishioners
were drawn to the priest by his spiritual power, his ability to sanctify the
3Farriss, Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, ix

6
local community, and his patronage in parlous times, but they found
themselves distanced from him by his demands for money, labor, and
obedience, [and] by his institutional ties.4
This study of the parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese of La Paz
from 1680 to 1730 builds on Taylor’s emphasis on personal relations, since I seek to
achieve a better understanding of how these men figured into the broad social matrix that
was village life in the southern Andes in the mid-colonial period. Specifically, I am
interested in why — in spite of their duties to serve as agents of a protective Spanish
crown and as spiritual models of proper conduct — a majority of secular priests who
served in this district during the last two decades of the seventeenth century had to defend
themselves against widespread charges of corruption and sacerdotal neglect. Surely, just
as in Bourbon Mexico, priests who worked in the Diocese of La Paz one hundred years
earlier engaged in legal and moral disputes with secular magistrates over matters of
authority and jurisdiction, but the focus here is squarely on the allegations of impropriety
brought by members of their congregations, most of whom were Indians.
One of my main arguments is that throughout the period under review but most
vividly in the 1680s and 1690s, priests, parishioners and the visiting bishops or visitadores
generales operated within a moral economy that saw each group bargain, from fairly
equitable footing, for advantage, legitimacy, and social order. The medium of contact —
the instrument which enabled representatives of these three groups to articulate their
sentiments, attitudes, and opinions — was the episcopal visita, which, I argue, empowered
Indian witnesses during the 1680s and 1690s with a valuable tool to resist colonial policies
4Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 25.

7
and forms of exploitation which they deemed unfair, unscrupulous or against the common
good of their communities. As I discuss in the second half of Chapter 7 , this era of overt
negotiations, bargaining, unwritten contracts, and jostling for power, profit, and favor, at
least as seen through the lens of the visita y escrutio process, fell apart after 1700. This
was in part due to the fact that after this date, the visita marginalized the primary voice of
previous discontent — monolingual Indians — and because the visita itself became an
infrequent and undependable source through which native elites could air their grievances.
Which other outlets native elites sought to voice their displeasure, remains, at least in
terms of the present study, a topic of future research, but surely — even if with reduced
numbers — they found other ways (perhaps through corregidores) to negotiate
boundaries of acceptable conduct with village priests.
Taylor’s explicit goal in Magistrates of the Sacred, which studies the role of the
secular priests in the Archdiocese of Mexico and the Diocese of Guadalajara, is to
examine the social, political, and religious lives of parish priests and “to offer several
perspectives on how public life was organized and to gauge the scope and consequences
of some Bourbon administrative reforms.”5 He attests also to the effectiveness of parish
priests — who served as the grass-roots agents of social control — whose dedication and
loyalty emboldened Spanish imperial efforts to maintain control of most of its original
American territories without the expense of a standing army.6 In fulfilling these goals, he
5Ibid„ 3.
6Farris made this same point nearly thirty years earlier when she remarked,
“Whatever its gradations, clerical influence was a strong force in colonial society, not only
in Mexico but throughout the entire Indies, a force which had significant political and

8
is mostly successful; Taylor’s book is a veritable gold mine of useful data on priests, their
social backgrounds, educations, behavior, career paths, religious views, involvement in
secular activities, and on how priests responded to the Bourbon initiatives which
ostensibly reduced their capacities as authority figures. But Taylor does not ignore how
Indian parishioners played a role in the clergy’s development and influence. He discusses,
among other things, their views on Christianity and native religion, their keen predilection
for miracles and other Christian icons like Santiago and the image of Guadalupe, their
participation in Church activities, and finally, their involvement in the movement toward
Independence after 1810.
Magistrates of the Sacred has influenced the present study in three important
ways First, it has served as a guide for how to organize my thoughts on the different
levels of interaction between priests and other social groups, and how religious life and
public life often coincided during the colonial period Second, Taylor has written a
resource book that contains information on seemingly every imaginable element of
Catholicism as it was practiced and administered in colonial Spanish America. Third, and
most importantly for my emphasis on conflict and patterns of domination, his abundant
examples of the controversies that arose between parish priests and parishioners provide
useful sources of comparison for my own ideas on the motives and essential qualities of
social implications in the history of the Spanish empire. Whether condemning or praising
Spanish rule in America, both contemporary observers and present-day historians agree
that a large share of the credit for maintaining this rule for almost three centuries belongs
to the colonial clergy. The peaceful subordination of a vast empire with only a token force
of troops during most that period was possible . . . because the priests and bishops
constantly impressed upon the people their duty to render obedience and devotion to their
temporal sovereign as well as to God.” Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, 3.

9
priestly behavior during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in the southern
Andes.
Unfortunately, while Taylor has much to say about dissension between priests and
parishioners — he offers at various points, for example, snapshot theoretical explanations
for popular action and how this affected competition for pueblo leadership — he is so
wary of the hazards of generalization that his many contextual citations of contested
relations lack a general theoretical construct. Nevertheless, he offers a view of the secular
clergy rarely found in historical scholarship, and several of his conclusions relate directly
to the present study
For example, Taylor finds, as I do, that Indian parishioners “were players more
than counterplayers in the colonial order, even in their resistance to colonial officials’ new
laws.”7 His analysis, furthermore, of the “explosion of disputes” over clerical fees in the
second half of the eighteenth century shares many of the same qualities found in the era of
intense negotiation and bargaining (1680s and 1690s) that I discuss in Chapters 5, 6 and
7.8 On the fissures caused by overcharging for religious services, he rightly contends that
“the fees were as much a pretext as the cause for dispute, an opening advertised by the
colonial administration that engaged deeper tensions over control among competing
interests and order within the community or local territory.”9 In this respect, he
understands that personal ambitions, as well as traditional feuds and village factionalism
7Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 345.
8Ibid., 425.
9Ibid , 345.

10
played key roles in the controversies which arose between priests and parishioners.
Frequently, and as I also point out, priests found themselves in the middle of inter- and
intra-village political squabbles which had little to do with their job performance or
character Many priests were, as a result, compelled to defend their actions before visita
officials. And finally, Taylor cites a number of different sources of conflict that strained
relations between priests and their parishioners, and confirms, as I do in Chapter 5, that
political wrangling, clerical fees, and “other economic demands were at the heart of most
disputes.”10
In the end, while Taylor is interested in the multiple and evolving interfaces
between priests and their Indian parishioners (he rightly acknowledges, by the way, that
these relationships were constantly being redefined, reformulated and contested), he
generally supports the idea that erring priests were members of a corrupt colonial society
who, like other colonial agents of control, sometimes abused their positions of authority
for personal gain. Certainly, civil and criminal trials, ecclesiastical visitas, and other
Church records contain ample evidence from Mexico, Alto Perú, and throughout colonial
Latin America, of a delinquent clergy which sought to enrich itself at the expense of the
poorer and more vulnerable sectors of society. But a more difficult task, and the one
which I take on in this study, is to reconstruct elements of the social and moral order
which enabled these priests to take advantage of their positions of power while remaining
in good (or at least acceptable) standing with the bishop's office, other royal officials, and
in many cases, the very communities they allegedly exploited.
10Ibid., 353.

11
To help explain the nature of priestly misconduct and the ways in which
ecclesiastical officials responded to allegations of impropriety, and to understand how
bishops, priests, and parishioners managed the pressures, anxieties, and temptations of a
corrupt, paternalistic society such as colonial Spanish America, E. P. Thompson's ideas on
the moral economy of the eighteenth-century English crowd are instructive. In his analysis
of the cost and supply of food staples and the impact fluctuating prices and corrupt market
activity had on uprisings among the poor, Thompson argues mainly that riots occurred not
"spasmodically . . . [as] rebellions of the belly," but rather as supremely organized,
disciplined reactions by people defending traditional rights.11
I mean that the men and women in the crowd were informed by the belief
that they were defending traditional rights or customs; and, in general, that
they were supported by the wider consensus of the community ... it is of
course true that riots were triggered off by soaring prices, by malpractices
among dealers, or by hunger. But these grievances operated within a
popular consensus as to what were legitimate and what were illegitimate
practices in marketing, milling, baking, etc. This in turn was grounded upon
a consistent traditional view of social norms and obligations, of the proper
economic functions of several parties within the community, which, taken
together, can be said to constitute the moral economy of the poor.12
Throughout his argument, Thompson describes an intricate system of social and
economic relations between governmental regulators, farmers, millers, dealers, bakers, and
the "labouring people,"13 all of whom continually tested the limits of their customary
responsibilities in order to achieve maximum benefits for either themselves or their specific
"Edward P. Thompson, "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the
Eighteenth Century," Past and Present 50 (February 1971): 76-77.
12Ibid., 78-79.
,3Ibid, 80.

12
class In other words, interwoven into the social fabric of English society at that time
were traditional customs and unwritten contracts between different socioeconomic classes,
with each group vying for advantage over others either through legal or illegal means.
When a group or an individual within a given group violated the social contract; when
traditional mores of market behavior were out of balance; or when the level of moral
turpitude exceeded customary levels of corruption and exploitation (characteristics,
indeed, of all societies),14 riots — almost always initiated by the oppressed — ensued. On
the other hand, as long as consumers and producers honored the principles of acceptable
behavior, bargained effectively, and operated within the ever-changing confines of the
paternalistic, traditional order, peace — however tenuous — prevailed.
In this dissertation, I argue that three groups — the various bishops of the Diocese
of La Paz who served from 1680 to 1730, the hundreds of priests who staffed the parishes
throughout the diocese at this time, and the Indian "flocks"15 who formed the demographic
majority of the supposed Catholic population in the region — operated within, and
behaved according to, a standard of conduct and code of morality which delineated,
however ambiguously, acceptable conduct in this particular colonial (and paternalistic)
setting. Just as "grievances operated within a popular consensus as to what were
14I tend to agree with William Taylor when he writes in a different study: “I am
inclined to view conflict and temporary accommodation as perennial among and within the
groups that formed colonial [Spanish American] society.” William Taylor, Drinking,
Homicide & Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages (Stanford: Stanford University Press,
1979), 9.
15Priests and bishops primarily used the terms feligresía and rebaño to refer to
their native constituents

13
legitimate and what were illegitimate practices in marketing, milling, [and] baking" in
Thompson's eighteenth-century England, complaints against parish priests, their responses
to the charges and the bishop's final sentences reflected what were acceptable and
unacceptable violations of the social standards which members of these three groups used
to organize their lives16 As I discuss in the central chapters, people's actions, corrupt or
not, and the prevailing code of morality depended on a variety of different factors,
including, among others, an awareness by priests and parishioners of current crown and
Church laws; the diligence of presiding religious officials; opportunities for exploitation
(i .e , the relative wealth or poverty of a given area); the willingness of witnesses to speak
out against their priest; a region or a town's noted predilection for peace or turmoil, the
local demographic and ethnic composition; the strength of native Andean social and
religious traditions; past controversies between priests and parishioners; the bishop's
preference for, or dislike of, a particular priest on trial; and the scope and severity of
corrupt activity.
Other colonial actors were significant in the creation and maintenance of this moral
economy; corregidores, their lieutenants, hacendados, miners, members of the local
business community, to name just a few, certainly added conditions and attitudes which
helped define norms of conduct and boundaries of permissible exploitation. But my main
focus here is on the social behavior of parish priests who as a group, I argue (like Taylor
does in Magistrates of the Sacred) were more immersed in rural communities than other
royal officials and Spanish citizens.
16Ibid., 79.

14
That a career in the priesthood, at least in the Diocese of La Paz, was a desirable
job during the late Hapsburg and early Bourbon eras is unquestionable. Despite the
hardships of work and poverty parish priests described in their numerous reports to the
bishop,17 the sheer number of applicants for jobs and ordination reflect an occupation not
lacking in qualified professionals. One probable explanation for this high level of interest
in the priestly profession involved the economic and social benefits the position offered.
All parish priests working in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 either earned a set
stipend (designated by the bishop and paid for by members of their parishes) or lived from
the proceeds of a capellanía, a type of ecclesiastical endowment used to support a cleric
and donated usually by a rich relative.18 In either case, the "legitimate" wages priests
made were insufficient As Murdo MacLeod explains in his essay on the delegation of
functions in the colonial period in Central America, colonial agents (including parish
priests) simply made up the difference between what they earned and what they needed to
live comfortably through a systematic exploitation of the local, in this case, Indian
population. "A discreet amount of fee gouging," he writes, "influence peddling and direct
extortions such as derramas and repartimientos de efectos among the rural powerless,
17I refer here of course to the relaciones de méritos y servicios, submitted by
priests either in the course of applying for orders or during competitions for vacant
curatos
18Priests supplemented their annual wage by charging fees (obvenciones) for
religious services such as burial masses, wedding ceremonies, baptisms. Exceeding the
charge prescribed by the arancel (schedule of ecclesiastical fees) was a frequent source of
conflict between a priest and his parishioners and between priests and bishops on visita.

15
especially the Indians, were part of the unwritten contract."19
For the purpose of my thesis, these unwritten contracts and subtle negotiations
between different (and sometimes rival) colonial groups constituted the foundation upon
which the moral economy rested Of course, bishops, priests, and parishioners were all
well aware of the countless royal decrees, papal edicts, and other forms of official,
recorded policy designed to curtail exploitation by royal officials. Indeed the written laws
and regulations, even if not practiced, helped to define the Spanish crown's vision of ideal
behavior, and thus set standards which affected social behavior. But the measure of
priestly conduct, of course, cannot be assumed by examining what ecclesiastics and
parishioners were supposed to do, rather what they actually did. The documentary
evidence from the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1700 (and probably before and
beyond) suggests that all three parties (bishops, priests, and parishioners) operated with an
acute awareness of the multitude of written laws and regulations (the equivalent of
Thompson's "paternalistic model," which he adds, "parts company at many points with
eighteenth-century actualities"20) but negotiated, bargained and jostled for advantage
according a constantly evolving, reformulated, and redefined standard of permissible
behavior
19Murdo J. MacLeod, "The Primitive Nation State, Delegation of Functions, and
Results: Some Examples from Early Colonial Central America," in Essays in the Political,
Economic and Social History of Colonial Latin America, ed. Karen Spalding (Newark,
DE: University of Delaware, Latin American Studies Program, Occasional Papers and
Monographs No. 3, 1982), 56.
20Thompson, "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth
Century," 84.

16
Chapters 2, 3, and 4 are background chapters which set the stage for the
conclusions I draw in the later chapters. Chapter 2 deals with the establishment of colonial
society in this particular zone of the southern Andes. In addition, I also trace the evolution
of ecclesiastical administration in the Audiencia of Charcas, and I examine some of the
nuances of the pastoral visita as it was practiced in this particular jurisdiction. Chapters 3
and 4 focus on biographical details of the men who comprised the secular clergy in the
Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730. I discuss, among other things, their origins, social
and economic backgrounds, and aspects of their educational and professional careers.

CHAPTER 2
THE SETTING
To establish the setting for my study of parish priests who worked in the Diocese
of La Paz in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, this chapter describes the
historical formation of the southern Andean region from Spanish arrival in the mid-1530s
up to Juan Queipo de Llano Valdés' installation as bishop in 1680. Specifically, I examine
the colonization of La Paz and the city's emergence as the main political and commercial
center linking the city of Cuzco and the important silver mines of Potosí .1 I then outline
the foundation of the Catholic Church in Alto Perú, highlighting the enduring tradition of
the episcopal visita which, among other things, elucidated the relationship between priests,
the communities they served, members of the upper clergy, and ultimately the Spanish
crown
The historiographical record is rich in studies of the city of La Paz, the Audiencia
of Charcas, and the Catholic Church in colonial Bolivia.2 But rather than rely exclusively
‘Two major transportation links connected Charcas with Lower Peru The camino
de la sierra began in Lima, then traveled through Jauja, Ayacucho, Andahuaylas,
Abancay, Cuzco, La Paz, La Plata, and finally Buenos Aires. The camino de la costa ran
from Lima to Arica, then east to La Paz, and south to Potosí. Luis Peñaloza Cordero,
Nueva Historia Económica de Bolivia (La Paz: Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, 1984),
81.
2On La Paz and the surrounding area, see Mario Bedoya Ballivián, Crónicas de
Nuestra Señora de La Paz (La Paz: Librería Editorial Juventud, 1988), Clara López
Beltrán, Alianzas familiares: élite, género, y negocios en La Paz, siglo XVII (Lima:
Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1998); and Victor Santa Cruz, Historia colonial de La
17

18
on secondary sources to reconstruct the region's early history, I base part of the following
summary on a series of primary manuscripts located in Section Five (Gobierno) of the
Archivo General de Indias in Seville, Spain. All of the documentary data come either from
relaciones (statements) or informes (reports) filed by various bishops of La Paz in
response to regularly issued cédulas reales which required them to update the Spanish
crown on different aspects of their episcopal jurisdiction.3 I was unable to locate any
primary material on the diocese dated prior to Bishop Pedro de Valencia's relación de
visita from 1620, hence, my discussion of the sixteenth century and the tenure of the first
bishop of La Paz, Domingo Valderrama, relies mostly on secondary literature.
The Audiencia of Charcas and the City of La Paz. 1535-1680
Prior to the discovery in 1545 of rich silver deposits in a highland zone which came
to be called Potosí, Spanish authorities in Lima were seemingly resigned to let civil war
between the Pizarristas and supporters of Diego de Almagro take its course in the vast
Paz (La Paz: Editorial Renacimiento, 1942). On the colonial history of Charcas, see Clara
López Beltrán, Estructura de una sociedad colonial: Charcas en el siglo XVII (La Paz:
Centro de Estudios de la Real Economía y Social, 1988), and Roy Quejerazu Lewis,
Impacto hispano-indigena en Charcas: análisis historial del coloniaje (La Paz: Librería
Editorial Juventud, 1996). On the history of the Catholic Church in colonial Bolivia, see
Josep M. Bamadas, La Iglesia Católica en Bolivia (La Paz: Librería Editorial Juventud,
1976), Estanislao Just, Aproximación a la historia de la Iglesia en Bolivia (La Paz:
Editorial Don Bosco, 1987); and Roberto Querejazu Calvo, Historia de la Iglesia
Católica en Charcas (La Paz: Imprenta Publicidad Papiro, 1995).
3The prelude to a 1651 royal edict concerned, among other things, local
commercial development, the condition of the cathedrals and churches, current population
figures, and the composition of the working clergy (regular or secular). It read: "Los
Reverendísimos Arzobispos y Obispos Del Perú Y De La Nueva España Han De Remitir
Para Poner la Ultima Historia De Sus Santas Iglesias Y De Si Mismos Lo Siguiente..."
Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI), Charcas 138, 3 March, 1651.

19
eastern territory cronistas referred to as Alto Perú 4 Soon after Gonzalo de Pizarro's
defeat at the hands of the royal army in 1548 near Guarina, Spanish officials rushed to the
region to establish an orderly colonial presence Their goal, ostensibly, was to gain
control politically and to begin supervision of what were already lucrative, Spaniard-
dominated industries in mining and agriculture.5
Chuquisaca (Spaniards changed the name of the city to La Plata, and later, soon
after Independence from Spain, it was renamed Sucre in homage to the famous liberator,
Antonio José de Sucre), became the de facto administrative center of Alto Perú as early as
the late 1530s. But after 1545, mining and business activity in Potosí dominated the
region and spurred the foundation and colonization of supporting cities.6 To recognize the
4One of the best colonial sources on the Spanish Civil War is Garcilaso de la
Vega's account in the classic Reales Comentarios de los Inca, which has been translated
into English as Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru, trans.
Harold Livermore (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1994). An interesting recently
published monograph by Nelson Manrique, Conquista y Orden Colonial (Lima: SUR
Casa de Estudios del Socialismo, 1996) places the conquest and subsequent civil war in
the context of current theoretical debates of race, ethnicity, etc. The latest biography of
Pizarro, which focuses particularly on his life after the conquest, comes from Varón Gabai,
Francisco Pizarro and His Brothers: The Illusion of Power in Sixteenth-Century Peru,
trans Javier Flores Espinosa (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1997).
5The administrator who supervised the post-Pizarro colonization of Alto Perú was
Pedro de la Gasea Gasea served as President of the Audiencia of Peru and had effective
authority to govern the region between Blasco Núñez Vela's (1544-46) and Don Antonio
de Mendoza's (1551-52) respective tenures as Viceroy of Peru In large part, according to
most colonial scholars, he was responsible for ending the civil war in Peru and the
reassignment of encomiendas to a new generation of Spanish war heroes. For a biography
of his career, see Don Pedro de la Gasea, 1493-1567: su obra política en España y
América (Lima: Pontificia Universidad del Perú, Fondo Editorial, 1989).
6Monographs on Potosí and the silver mines of the Cerro Rico are numerous.
Three of the best are Jeffrey Cole, The Potosí Mita, 1573-1700 (Stanford: Stanford
University Press, 1985); Mariano Baptista Gumucio, Esplendor y grandeza de Potosí,

growing political and commercial importance of Alto Perú, King Charles V officially
created the Audiencia de Charcas (with La Plata as the capital) by issue of a cédula real
dated 12 June, 1559.7
In the course of the remainder of the sixteenth century, the Audiencia of Charcas
came to encompass most of the territory of modern-day Bolivia La Plata and Potosí were
the important urban and mining centers in the south, Santa Cruz de la Sierra became the
frontier staging center for military8 and missionary expeditions9 in the east; the centrally
1545-1825 (La Paz: Anthropos, 1997); and Peter J Bakewell, Miners of the Red
Mountain: Indian Labor in Potosí 1545-1650 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico
Press, 1984). Carlos Sempat Assadourian has written extensively on the social and
economic effect Potosí had on surrounding populations. In an essay entitled “Andean
Communities, Political Cultures and Markets: The Changing Contours of a Field,” he
writes that Potosí was “the principal motor force of structural change that affected all
facets of economic and social relations throughout the Andes.” Brooke Larson and Olivia
Harris, eds., Ethnicity, Markets, and Migration in the Andes: At the Crossroads of
History and Anthropology (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995), 15.
7Ramiro Condarco Morales, Atlas Histórico de Bolivia (La Paz: Imprenta "San
José," 1985), 30.
According to the Bolivian historian Manuel Fontaura Argandaña, the quick
establishment and subsequent colonization by the Spanish of the Audiencia of Charcas was
only in part due to the potential of the Potosí mines. He claims that perhaps more
important, and somewhat overlooked, was the significance of Charcas as an expeditionary
point of departure He writes: "in effect, from Charcas they organized expeditions to the
south toward Tucumán, to the west and southwest to Chile, to the southeast to Paraguay
and to the north toward Brazil" Manuel Fontaura Argandaña, Descubridores y
Exploradores de Bolivia (La Paz: Editorial Los Amigos del Libro, 1971), 43
’Several monographs have examined the colonial history of the Jesuit missions
among the Moxos and Chiquitos Indians of eastern Bolivia. On the Moxos, see David
Block, Mission Culture on the Upper Amazon: Native Tradition, Jesuit Enterprise and
Secular Policy in Moxos, 1660-1880 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1994); and
for Chiquitos, see Werner Hoffman, Las misiones jesuíticas entre los chiquitanos (Buenos
Aires: Fundación para la Educación, Ciencia, y Cultura, 1979); and Juan Patricio
Fernández, Relación historial de las misiones de indios chiquitos (Asunción: A. de Uribe

21
located Cochabamba valley and its surrounding area grew from a collection of small
agricultural farms into the primary granary of Potosí,10 and La Paz, with its ecologically
diverse provinces and dense indigenous populations, dominated the northern sector of the
audiencia
The Spanish conquistador Don Alonso de Mendoza founded the city of Nuestra
Señora de La Paz on October 20, 1548. Three days later, after "appreciating that the site
was hostile to all forms of decent life," Mendoza moved the city to its current location in a
valley some twenty kilometers west .11 Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, this valley was
home to a handful of indigenous gold miners who had formed small settlements along the
banks of the Chuquiabo River.
By the time of Mendoza's establishment of effective administrative control in the
region, a number of encomenderos (all of whom had served under Francisco Pizarro),
already had profitable commercial enterprises which capitalized on the region's vast
y Compañía, 1896)
10On the foundation and eventual fluorescence of the Cochabamba valley as an
agricultural area, see Brooke Larson, Colonialism and Agrarian Transformation in
Bolivia: Cochabamba 1550-1900 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1988), and
Robert Jackson, “The Decline of the Hacienda in Cochabamba, Bolivia: The Case of the
Sacaba Valley, 1870-1929,” Hispanic American Historical Review 69 (1989): 259-281.
"Alberto Crespo Rodas, Mariano Baptista Gumucio, José de Mesa, La Ciudad de
La Paz: su historia su adtura (La Paz: Impresora Editorial Educacional, 1989), 29. The
original location became the town of Laja located on the altiplano approximately thirty-
five kilometers west of the capital city. Laja served as an important link between La Paz
and the many densely populated villages in the Province of Chucuito, the district’s
westernmost region It was also commonly the first village visited when the bishop or the
visitor-general toured this part of the diocese.

22
Figure 2-1 The Aymara Kingdoms in the late 15th and early 16th century
(Source: Herbert S. Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society [ New York: Oxford University Press, 1982]).

23
agricultural potential and sizable indigenous population.12 In his Colección de documentos
pertenecientes a la historia eclesiástica y civil de América, written in 1645, Juan Diez de
la Calle (who identified himself as an oficial segundo of the presiding Secretary of the
Council of the Indies) wrote:
The city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz or Chuquiabo in the Province of
Charcas is situated in the middle of the Callao district, 100 leagues from
Cuzco and 80 from La Plata. It was founded by Captain Alonso de
Mendoza in 1548 by order of the Governor and President of Perú,
Licenciado Pedro de la Gazca. ... It is composed currently of six
corregimientos and is of agreeable climate, abundant with wine, cattle and
fish, which are healthy and fresh year round on account of a large lake
nearby.13
Among the local encomenderos in the 1530s and 1540s were Mendoza (his
encomienda grant was located between Achacachi and Sorata); Pedro León Romano
(Guarina); Juan de Espinosa y León (Laja); Antonio de Esquivel (Tiahuanaco), Garcia
Herrezuela and Garcia Peralta (Desaguadero); Antonio Alvarez de Carrasco (Carocaro);
and Francisco Pizarro, who — prior to his death in 1541 — possessed three
encomiendas, one south of Laja, one just west ofCohoni, and one in Sicasica.14 Pizarro,
according to most contemporary scholars, held quasi-feudal control of the region prior to
12In her book, Potosí: La versión Aymara de un mito europeo. La minería y sus
efectos en las sociedades andinas del siglo XVII. La Provincia de Pacajes (Madrid:
Editorial Catriel, 1993), Teresa Cañedo-Argüelles Fábrega uses both secondary and
primary sources in her analysis of the pattern and effect of the first European incursions
into Upper Peru She is interested, mainly, in patterns of Spanish colonization, and, in
particular, how natives of what became the corregimiento of Pacajes reacted to the arrival
of Spaniards and the subsequent forms of social, political, and labor control implemented
after the Toledan reforms of the 1570s.
’’Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid, hereafter BN), Legajo 2930, fol. 130.
14Condarco Morales, Atlas Histórico de Bolivia, 32.

24
Mendoza's arrival and had allotted more than 12,000 Indians to the personal service of the
new Spanish colonists by 1540.15
By the end of 1548, forty-three Spanish vecinos, their families and an unknown
number of natives (most of whom probably served the new Spanish colonists in some
capacity) and black slaves occupied the city.16 By 1586, La Paz' Spanish population had
reached two-hundred and sixty, but accounted for only 4.7 percent of the urban
population which totaled 5,540.17 Demographically, Indians dominated the countryside as
well. In 1600, according to the cronista Juan López de Velasco, 30,000 tributarios lived
in the six provincial corregimientos (Paucarcolla, Chucuito, Omasuyos, Larecaja, Pacajes,
and Sicasica) and the corregimiento of La Paz.18 Three episcopal visitas from the 1620s
15Under his 1537 Chuquiabo encomienda grant, Pizarro obligated Indians from
both banks of Lake Titicaca and the important cultural zone along the Desaguadero River
— which were the most densely populated regions of Upper Peru — to service the new
Spanish landowners
16Crespo Rodas, La Ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura, 436.
I7Ibid., 36. Indians, slaves and mestizos thus combined to number 5,280.
18Condarco Morales, Atlas Histórico de Bolivia, 34. In the documentation of the
Archivo Central, tributarios are interchangeably referred to as originarios. These Indians
claimed ancestral ties to the communities they lived in and enjoyed the benefits (mainly
rights to land) that this status conferred. Perhaps these population figures were so high
on account of the relatively low percentage of native mortality in the region during the
demographically calamitous one-hundred year period from 1550 to 1650. Between the
reigns of Viceroy Andrés Hurtado de Mendoza Cañete (1556-1560) and Viceroy
Francisco de Toledo (1571-1581), López Beltrán reports that the area around La Paz and
Lake Titicaca lost only 7.6% of its total indigenous population compared to a 32% loss in
and around Potosí and La Plata. In other words, it is possible that the native populations
in the northern sector of the audiencia were less affected by disease, abuse, and overwork,
and migration to avoid the Potosí mita than Indians in the southern areas. Biografía de
Bolivia, 63.

25
Figure2-2 Principal Indian Villages on the Southern Bank of Lake Titicaca, circa 1600
(Source: Nathan Wachtel, The Vision of the Vanquished: The Spanish Conquest of Peru through Indian Eyes, 1530-1570
[ New York: Oxford University Press, 1982]).

26
and 1630s certify these figures and confirm the relatively dense population of the Lake
Titicaca region and La Paz' eastern hinterland Bishop Pedro de Valencia reported after a
general visit of the diocese in 1620 that he had saved over 10,000 ("arriva de diez mil")
new souls through confirmation.19 Sixteen years later, in 1636, Bishop Feliciano de la
Vega declared that as result of his year-long tour of the diocese ("according to my diary, I
have walked four hundred and one leagues") the number of confirmed Christians in the
region totaled 37,642.20 By 1638, that number had reached 52,000.
In 1684, the total population of La Paz surpassed 12,600. A census compiled by
the corregidor that same year declared that about two hundred Spanish families lived in
the city, each having an average of six or seven household servants.21 Towards the close
of the colonial period, in 1764, La Paz was the third most populated urban center in the
Peruvian Andes with over 20,000 Indian and Spanish inhabitants.22 One scholar goes
further and claims that La Paz boasted a population of 40,000 in 1750; in the adjacent
areas, furthermore, "the 150,000 to 200,000 campesinos . . . converted La Paz into the
19AGI, Charcas 138, 20 March, 1620.
20AGI, Charcas 138, 4 March, 1636.
21Ibid., 36 Crespo Rodas states that in 1650, 850,000 people lived in the
jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Charcas; there were approximately 750,000 Indians;
50,000 Spaniards; 30,000 black slaves; 15,000 mestizos; and 5,000 mulatos. Ibid., 60.
22Nicolás Sánchez-Albomoz, The Population of Latin America: A History, trans.
W A R. Richardson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1974), 100. Lima, with a
population of 54,000, and Cuzco, with 26,000 inhabitants, were the two biggest cities in
the Peruvian Andes

27
[most important] administrative and mercantile center in the densely populated altiplano
and valley region."23
Potosí certainly dominated the mining sector of Alto Perú. But miners working in
locations within what would become the Diocese of La Paz also experienced considerable,
albeit usually short-term success. Herbert Klein points out in his general history of Bolivia
that by the close of the sixteenth century, the search for mineral deposits touched even the
poorest altiplano communities.24 Mining in Berenguela25 and San Antonio de Esquilache,
both located in the heart of the altiplano south of Lake Titicaca and southwest of La Paz,
proved to be two of the region's more lucrative and long-lasting enterprises in the
sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Colonial authors and scribes continually referred to
Berenguela as an important mining district and rock quarry inhabited chiefly not by any
tributario work force but rather by an ethnically mixed group of mestizo and forastero
laborers 26 Northwest of Berenguela, according to a mid seventeenth-century source, was
23López Beltrán, Biografía de Bolivia, 91. An especially fascinating and recently
published study of the city of La Paz (including some colonial illustrations) as seen
through traveler's accounts from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries is Mariano
Baptista Gumucio, La Paz vista por viajeros extranjeros y autores nacionales, siglos
XVI-XX (La Paz: Anthropos, 1997).
24Herbert Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1982), 57.
25Alberto Crespo Rodas reports that the stones ("piedra blanca") extracted from
quarries in Berenguela were so valuable they were shipped as far a Lima to be used for
construction of churches and other important buildings. Crespo Rodas, La Ciudad de La
Paz: su historia, su cultura, 45.
26The ethnic designation offorastero referred to those Indians and their
descendants who had been uprooted from their ancestral homes or who had fled
voluntarily to avoid tributary obligations.

28
a great mountain of mines called San Antonio de Esquiladle which is very
old and well-established. . . In the entire empire there is no better
production of metals. It currently has six processing mills . and in
addition some metal crushers (trapiezes ) which they use to grind [metals]
in each of these mills.27
But agriculture, not mining, was the primary source of wealth for residents in and
around La Paz and the banks of Lake Titicaca as encomenderos and later, hacendados,
benefited from the region's diverse ecology. Farmers of the arid highland plains of the
altiplano, which stretched from north of Lake Titicaca to Argentina and Chile, produced
potatoes, quinua (a type of grain), and to a lesser extent, wheat.28 In the steep river
27 AGI, Charcas 138, 3 March, 1651. San Antonio de Esquilache was the site of a
mestizo-led insurrection in 1661, and subsequently, suffered a bad reputation among
ecclesiastics assigned to work there. Alonso de Monasterios, cura of San Antonio in the
1680s, sought a transfer after a murder attempt concocted and carried out by a few
unhappy Indians Don Alonso explained in a private letter to Bishop Queipo de Llano
Valdés: "I appear before Your Most Excellent Lord ... to request a transfer with the
priest from Yunguio because some Indians entered my house with the goal of killing
me." Archivo Central Canónigo Felipe López Menéndez (herafter ACCFLM), Tomo 2,
fol. 228 Ambrosio de Urquieta y Salinas applied in 1720 for several other positions
because of the disagreeable weather and inability to make a proper living in San Antonio.
He stated in his relación "it is a land supremely unknown on account of the inhospitable
weather which is totally opposed to good health. It has such poverty that it is difficult to
gather any salary which corresponds to the parish I have been relegated to the status
of a beggar for my own survival because of the lack of parishioners and local foods, all
motives which compel me to impose on the charity of Your Most Excellent Lord."
ACCFLM, Tomo 32, fol. 104.
28Nils Jacobsen, in his case study of the Peruvian altiplano describes the region as
the "cradle of Andean civilization." He writes, "The Titicaca basin forms the northern third
of the altiplano, which extends for some twelve hundred kilometers from the dividing line
of the modem departments of Puno and Cuzco southward to the border between
Argentina and Bolivia. It is surrounded by the eastern and western cordillera of the Andes.
. at an altitude of 3,812 meters above sea level, Lake Titicaca, nearly two hundred
kilometers long and up to seventy kilometers wide, provides the special environment that
has allowed the altiplano to become one of the most densely settled areas anywhere on
our planet at comparable altitudes. It has moderated the harsh climate and favored
agricultural production in a narrow belt around its shores." Nils Jacobsen, Mirages of

29
valleys northeast of La Paz known as the Yungas, the climate was humid and more
tropical .29 This region, according to Thierry Saignés, attracted many of the first Spanish
colonists due to the market potential of the primary crop: coca. Indeed, of the many civil
court cases I consulted in the Archivo de La Paz which involved secular priests, several
dealt with litigation pertaining to priest-owned coca farms (cocales) in the Yungas. Joseph
López Botello, an assistant priest (ayudante) in Yanacache in the 1710s, for example,
allegedly owned several cocales near town and forced Indians to work them without
proper compensation A witness named Pedro Alavi testified that: "Licenciado Botello
has had farms for many years for coca production and also maize, and it is customary for
him to compel the alféreses to work them without payment for their personal service."30
In addition, as important suppliers to the local consumer market, farmers in this
lush environment grew fruits of all kinds, including oranges, limes, pears, peaches,
Transition: The Peruvian Altiplano, 1780-1930 (Berkeley: University of California Press,
1993), 13.
29Thierry Saignés dedicated much of his scholarship to this particular region of
Alto Perú. In his edited volume (with F.M. Renard Casevitz and A C. Taylor) entitled, Al
este de los Andes: Relaciones entre las sociedades Amazónicas y Andinas entre los siglos
XVy XVII (Lima: Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos, 1986), he discusses, among
other things, how Inca, and later, Spanish colonists to the region used pre-incaic roads to
facilitate economic exploitations of the region. In an essay entitled “Indian Migration and
Social Change in Seventeenth-Century Charcas” (Larson and Harris, eds. Ethnicity,
Markets, and Migration in the Andes), Saignés explains that throughout this century,
tributario males frequently migrated out of their altiplano villages and settled in the
Yungas territory at the behest of Spanish landowners because of the economic possibilities
of the region
30ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 245.

30
example, allegedly owned several cocales near town and forced Indians to work them
without proper compensation. A witness named Pedro Alavi testified that: "Licenciado
Botello has had farms for many years for coca production and also maize, and it is
customary for him to compel the alféreses to work them without payment for their
personal service."30
In addition, as important suppliers to the local consumer market, farmers in this
lush environment grew fruits of all kinds, including oranges, limes, pears, peaches,
pomegranates, figs and plums.31 In the higher reaches of the Yungas and in the ecological
zone between the tropical forests and the altiplano (which included predominantly
indigenous settlements such as Songo and Challana), farmers specializing in maize and
grape production capitalized on the popular market for alcoholic beverages. Chicha, a
type of com beer of ritualistic significance in pre-Colombian (and contemporary) Andean
cultures, remained popular in the colonial period and was principally consumed (in excess
if we are to believe most Spanish sources) by the area's native populations.32 Spaniards
30ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 245.
31Crespo Rodas, La Ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura, 382.
32On the use of chicha and coca as important ingredients in contemporary Andean
religious rituals see Catherine Allen, The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identity in an
Andean Community (Washington D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution, 1988). For a more
historical analysis of chicha in Andean cultures, see Maria Clara Llano Restrepo, La
chicha, una bebida fermentada a través de la historia (Bogotá: Instituto Colombiana de
Antropología, 1994).

31
Vivero, possessed — prior to his conviction on numerous violations of Church policy —
between six and seven hundred head of cattle and sheep which he kept on his ranch near
Guarina, located just northwest of La Paz on the altiplano. Don Antonio, according to
allegations, also employed a herd of forty mules which he utilized to transport wine from
Arequipa to La Paz and coca from his farms in the Yungas to destinations throughout the
Diocese of La Paz.
Catholicism in Charcas. 1535-1680
Commensurate with the effective establishment of political and economic control
of the region in the 1540s and 1550s was the creation of an episcopal administration
whose responsibilities included converting to Catholicism the multitudes of indigenous
peoples and servicing the ever growing number of Spanish colonists.35 Missionaries from
the various orders, as in other parts of the Americas, were the first ecclesiastics to
establish sustained contact with the crown's new Indian subjects in Alto Perú.36 According
he argues, they deeply resented (like their descendants would centuries later) the new
obligations imposed on them by the Dominican friars who demanded payments for
religious services.
35In his new book, Entre el oroy la fe: el dilema de América (San Juan, Puerto
Rico: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, 1995), Luis N. Rivera Pagán analyzes
the fundamental motives and myths of Spanish conquest and Christianization in the
Americas with particular emphasis on the earliest years of missionary activity.
36The problem of language, especially in the attempt to make Indians believers in
the Catholic faith, surfaced immediately. Commenting on the importance of language and
the difficult task of conversion, the famous historian of the Church in colonial Mexico,
Robert Ricard, writes: "The friars of Mexico, from the moment of their arrival, recognized
that the knowledge of the Indian languages was the essential prerequisite of serious
evangelization. ... It was the best means of penetrating the spirit of the pagans and
conquering their hearts " Robert Ricard, The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico, trans. Lesley
Byrd Simpson (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1966), 24. Sabine MacCormack's

32
to the priest and contemporary historian David Maldonado Villagrán, Pizarro brought with
him to Charcas six Dominican friars. Among them was Pedro Valverde, who in 1538
became the bishop of Cuzco.37 Indeed, clerics of the main regular orders — the
Dominicans, Franciscans, Augustinians, Mercedarians, and the Jesuits — were well
established in all the major cities of the audiencia by the close of the sixteenth century.38
The region, in terms of religious jurisdiction, was first governed by the bishop of
Cuzco, but the growing importance of Potosí after 1545, combined with the sheer
immensity of the territory (technically, the Diocese of Cuzco in 1550 extended from
Popayán to Chile), led King Charles to divide the diocese in 1552. Thus, on 5 July of that
year, the Bishopric of Charcas (La Plata) was officially recognized as a separate
ecclesiastical entity; its territory stretched from Cuzco east to the Chaco area, north into
Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru (Princeton, NJ:
Princeton University Press, 1991), is an innovative study which analyzes the objectivity
and authenticity of colonial sources which dealt with religious practices and beliefs in the
Andes.
37David Maldonado Villagrán, 500 Años de Evangelizadon en Bolivia (La Paz:
Empresa Editora "Urquizo," 1991), 36.
38Canónigo Felipe López Menéndez reports in his study of the Archdiocese of La
Paz that the Franciscans established a monastery in La Paz in August of 1549. They were
followed by the Mercedarians who arrived a month later, the Augustinians in 1562, and
the Jesuits in 1582. Felipe López Menéndez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Señora de La
Paz (La Paz: Imprenta Nacional Ayacucho, 1949), 250-260. In his more general study,
López Menéndez states that the Dominicans had established convents in Copacabana,
Pomata, Juli, Sepita, and Yunguyo (all towns in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of La Paz
during the colonial period) by 1600. Felipe López Menéndez, Compendio de Historia
Eclesiástica de Bolivia (La Paz: Imprenta El Progreso, 1965), 11.

33
the western rainforests of the Amazonian basin, and south to Tucumán.39 The densely
populated region around Lake Titicaca, as the seventeenth-century commentator Diez de
la Calle pointed out, was an important focal point of early Church activity: "the lake area
has had [from Spanish conquest] many men of nobility and lots of missionaries from the
Franciscan and Augustinian orders."40
The first ordained parish priest in La Paz, according to the Actas Capitulares de la
Paz (1548-54), was Bachiller Juan Rodriguez.41 It is unclear if he served in the city’s first
church, San Sebastián — which was built in 1539 and administered by the members of the
Franciscan order — or the parish of San Pedro (staffed throughout the colonial period by
secular priests), founded in 1549. San Sebastián, San Pedro and later the parish of Santa
Bárbara (1557) serviced the city's sizable indigenous population. La Paz' Spanish
community, somewhat surprisingly, did not have its own parish until town leaders
commissioned the Iglesia de la Matriz to be built in 1556. Eventually, with the foundation
of the Diocese of La Paz in 1605, the Iglesia de la Matriz became the diocesan Cathedral.
During the sixteenth century, the competition among ecclesiastics for the right to
service the region's sizable Indian and growing Spanish population was fierce.42 To ease
tensions between the bishops of Cuzco and La Plata, and to provide a more focused
39BN, Legajo 3010, fol. 216r. With the creation of the Diocese of Charcas, Cuzco
was elevated to the status of Archdiocese.
40BN, Legajo 2930, fol 130.
41López Menéndez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Señora de La Paz, 117.
42Thierry Saignés, En busca delpoblamiento étnico (La Paz: Avances de
Investigación, 1986), 36

34
colonial presence in this pivotal junction which linked Potosí to destinations in Lower
Peru, Pope Paul V signed a papal bull on July 4 1605 entitled Super specula militantis,
which established La Paz as the capital of a new see called the Diocese of La Paz.43 This
bull also created the Diocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and elevated the former Diocese
of Charcas to the status of Archdiocese of La Plata. Two years later, in 1607, King Philip
III confirmed and ratified the bull, and ordered the President of the Audiencia of Charcas,
Alonso de Maldonado, to set the frontiers and jurisdictional borders of the new dioceses.44
President Maldonado determined that the bishop of the Diocese of La Paz would assume
episcopal control over all parishes in the city and the six previously mentioned
corregimientos of Paucarcolla, Chucuito, Omasuyos, Larecaja, Pacajes, and Sicasica.45
Thus, in the first decade of the seventeenth century, the Diocese of La Paz began
to take shape, and after two unsuccessful attempts to install a resident bishop in the
diocese (one nominee was transferred to another post before taking office and the other
one died en route), the Dominican Domingo Valderrama finally arrived in La Paz from
Quito and took office in April 1610.46 During his five-year tenure, Bishop Valderrama
43According to López Menéndez, Pope Paul V's bull "ordered that the bishop
proceed with appointments of a good number of dignitaries, canons, and prebends, and
other beneficed priests to serve in the city and throughout the diocese, whose obligation it
would be to save souls . . . and to build up the secular clergy as ordered by King Philip
and those who preceded him and those future kings of Spain.” El Arzobispado de Nuestra
Señora de La Paz, 74
44Ibid., 2.
450ver time, the boundaries of the jurisdiction of the diocese changed, in 1627 for
example, Bishop Pedro Valencia did not include Sicasica as a corregimiento under his
control, rather a district he called Caracollo. Many, but not all of the towns, were part of
both corregimientos
46Ibid., 4.

35
organized his administrative office, staffed the cabildo eclesiástico, founded the colegio
seminario in honor of San Gerónimo,47 began construction of the Cathedral, conducted
the first ecclesiastic visit of the diocese, published the first schedule of religious fees (the
arancel eclesiástico), and began to ordain secular priests to serve in the region's many
Indian parishes 48 Subsequent seventeenth-century bishops were: Pedro Valencia (1617-
1631);49 Feliciano de la Vega (1634-1639); Francisco Luna Alonso (1642); Antonio de
Castro y Castillo (1647-1653), Martin de Velasco Molina (1656-1662), Martin Montalvo
(1666-1668); Gabriel Guilléstegui (1671-1678); Juan Pérez de Concha Illescas (1679);
Juan Queipo de Llano Valdés (1680-1694); and Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra (1695-
1697). The four bishops of the early eighteenth century who supervised the priests
covered in this study included Nicolás Urbano Mata y Haro (1702-1704); Diego Morcillo
Rubio y Auñón( 1708-1711); Mateo Villafañé Pandaño (1714-1722) and Alejo Fernando
47Commenting on the state of the colegio seminario in 1634, Bishop Feliciano de
la Vega stated in a report to King Philip IV: "the seminary school was destroyed and its
only staff were four professors. In the meanwhile, after taking a look at the accounts and
assets in order to determine how many of them it could support, I have named up to
twelve so that the Church here might have more distinction I am currently drawing up
series of constitutions for its governance, because one has never been written.” AGI,
Charcas 138, 12 March, 1634
48Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura, 44.
49Bishop de la Vega explained that one of the reasons for the poor condition of the
diocese upon his arrival in 1634 "was because Bishop Don Pedro de Valencia had gone
blind seven years before death, and on that account I found the Divine Cult in poor
condition, as well as the regimen of the church [perhaps] because there were only three
prebends. . . [All this] caused the citizens much grief." AGI, Charcas 138, 12 March,
1634.

36
de Rojas y Acebedo (1723-1730).50 All these men, according to the historian Antonio de
Egaña, fulfilled the duties of their office with zeal and diligence and were especially
faithful to the mandates of the Council of Trent, promulgated by the Catholic Church in
the sixteenth century.51 Egaña stresses:
from the beginning, the new diocese possessed the distinct features of a see
strongly dedicated to the spirit of the Tridentine strategy [of episcopal
administration] . . . and a profound preoccupation (honda preocupación)
for the welfare of its Indian subjects.52
A dissenting view of the behavior of the Church's higher administration in La Paz comes
from the contemporary Bolivian economist Luis Peñalosa Cordero, who writes in his
history of the country:
One might say that with some exceptions, the Church abandoned its
spiritual mission and dedicated its attention to satisfying more material
concerns as priests and bishops sought not only wealth, but also a cozy
and comfortable (cómoday holgada) life. . . . The majority [of upper
clergy] lived tranquilly, well-served, and without discomfort because their
parish priests exploited the indigenous parishioners and stole their lands
and other assets 53
According to Felipe López Menéndez, there were seventy-two parishes in the
Diocese of La Paz in 1609. At this date, all but the Cathedral and the main church (la
Iglesia Mayor) in Chucuito (the second most important urban center in the Diocese during
50López Menéndez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Señora de La Paz, 4-13.
51For a historical analysis of the Council of Trent, see John C. Olin, Catholic
Reform: From Cardenal Ximénez to the Council of Trent (New York: Fordham
University Press, 1990).
52Antonio de Egaña, Historia de la Iglesia en la América Española (Madrid: La
Editorial Católica, 1966), 372-376.
53Peñalosa Cordero, Nueva Historia Económica de Bolivia, 193.

37
the colonial period) served predominantly indigenous parishioners. Prominent villages
along the banks of Lake Titicaca were Chucuito, Ancoraymes, Copacabana, Juli, and
Puno Charasani, Ambaná, Sorata, and Combaya in the north, and Collana, San Andrés de
Machaca, and Berenguela in the south were towns of notable size and commercial
distinction 54 In the Yungas east of La Paz there were several significant settlements due
to the lucrative coca industry, including Chulumani, Coroico, and Suri.55 Near La Paz,
54Thierry Saignés has done considerable research on the demographic composition
and origin of native towns in the region encompassed by the Diocese of La Paz. In his
book entitled, Los andes orientales: historia de un olvidado (La Paz: Centro de Estudios
de la Realidad Económica y Social [CERES], 1985), he maps out boundaries of conquest
and attempts to determine which villages were of pre-Columbian origin. He concludes
that most of the larger towns (such as Sorata, Ambana, Carabuco, and Mocomco) by the
middle of the seventeenth century were the result of policies implementing the
congregación {reducción) policy implemented by Viceroy Toledo in the 1570s.
55Travel in this tropical area was notoriously difficult and dangerous. Priests
throughout the period under review complained incessantly about the inaccessibility of
many of the Indian hamlets In the 1630s, when many of the region's inhabitants were still
unfamiliar with the motives and teachings of the Church, Bishop Feliciano de la Vega
visited several villages "Having departed on the pastoral visita of this bishopric,
beginning with a tour of the Yungas Chapes, a province where no prelate had entered
before since the discovery of this kingdom, on account of the harshness of the roads which
were more like cliffs that were inaccessible in some parts. .1 entered the districts of
Songo and Challana, which are also villages occupied by these Yungas Indians and of even
poorer roads than the others, and these people had also never seen a prelate before,
because many of them [former bishops] could not go by horseback. The royal visitors
who have served [this region] had also never arrived here, at least according to the
parochial books of the churches. For these reasons the Indians were unfamiliar with the
teachings [of Christianity], and in no way understood what was the sacred sacrament of
confirmation. They asked me in Challana if the bishop, which they refer to as the apo, was
a human — such was the extent of their ignorance." AGI, Charcas 138, 4 March, 1636.

38

39
Laja, Tiahuanaco, and Viacha were three of the most important indigenous communities
of the altiplano in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 56
Although the documentary evidence is ambiguous, members of the various regular
orders serviced at least eleven of the seventy-two parishes in 1609. The Jesuits founded a
colegio dedicated mainly to language instruction in Juli in 1577, and administered all four
of the parishes in that important colonial town until their expulsion from Spanish America
in 1767.57 The Mercedarians staffed the church in Guarina until 1753. The Augustinians
worked in the altiplano village of Pucarani until 1767, and in the important lacustrine
pilgrimage site of Copacabana throughout the colonial period.58 The Dominicans
controlled the three churches in Pomata located on the southern banks of Lake Titicaca
between Copacabana and Chucuito. And finally, the Franciscans managed the parish of
San Sebastián in the city of La Paz until their transfer to Charasani in the northernmost
56The complete list of curatos which comprised the Diocese of La Paz in 1609,
according to López Menéndez, were (in Alto Perú) Achacachi, Ancoraymes, Ambaná,
Copacabana, Cohoni, Caracato, Coroico, Combaya, Carabuco, Calamarca, Camata,
Carejana, Circoata, Caquiaviri, Caquingora, Calacoto, Challana, Chacapa, Chuma,
Charazani, Guarina, Guaqui, Huaychu, Irupana, Ilabaya, Ytalaque, Jesús de Machaca, La
Paz (Matriz, San Sebastián, San Pedro), Mocomoco, Palca, Pucarani, Pelechuco,
Quiabaya, Sapahaqui, Songo, Simaco, Sorata, Suri, San Andrés de Machaca, Santiago de
Machaca, Tiahuanaco, Viacha, and Yungas Chapes. In Bajo Perú were Puacarcolla, San
Francisco de la Puna, Guancané, Vilque, Moho, Puno Icho, Capachica, Coati, three
parishes each in the villages of Chucuito, Acora, Pomata, and Zepita, two parishes in
Yunguyo, and four parishes (all administered by the Jesuits) in Juli. El Arzobispado de
Nuestra Señora de La Paz, 35.
57Perhaps the best general work on this topic is still Magnus Momer's The
Expulsion of the Jesuits from Latin America (New York: Alfred Knopf, 1965).
58For a history of the church and shrines of Copacabana, consult Fray Julio Maria
Elias, Copacauana-Copacabana (Tarija, Bolivia: Editorial Offset Franciscana, 1976).

40
sector of the diocese at the end of the seventeenth century. Each religious order had a
convento (monastery) in La Paz. Commenting in 1620, fifteen years after the creation of
the diocese, Bishop Valencia stated proudly:
in the convents of Santo Domingo, San Francisco, San Augustin, La
Merced, and La Compañía [de Jesús] there are ordinarily two or three
preachers {predicadores), and another three or four clerics . . . who preach
in the Cathedral and in their convents without ever missing a sermon on
Sundays or festival days, and every Sunday before the main mass they
preach in the cemetery of the Church in the general language [Quechua]
and in Aymara to the Indians where many get together, both men and
women I personally attend this sermon because the value [of my
presence] to the Indians is well-known And in the afternoons the fathers of
the Compañía de Jesús lead a procession of a thousand Indians through the
streets, reciting the catechism.59
In 1627, according to an unusually detailed report compiled by Bishop Valencia,
the number of parishes remained at seventy-two. Secular priests occupied fifty-eight of
the parishes while regular priests from the various orders managed the remaining fourteen.
As seen in Appendix A (“Diocesan Parishes in 1627”), nearly a third of the parishes in the
corregimiento of Chucuito were administered by regular priests. At the end of the report,
Bishop Valencia stated that the fifty-eight secular priests working in the diocese in 1627
had collectively paid him 7,000 pesos ensayados60 generated from the quarta funeral and
other sacramental offerings {ofrendas). On the issue of priestly payments, he noted with
obvious irritation that the fourteen regular priests serving under his supervision had not
59AGI, Charcas 138, 20 March, 1620.
“There are two types of currency referred to throughout the documentation of the
Archivo Central — the peso corriente and the peso ensayado. I believe the peso corriente
was a more vulgar form of coin, and the ensayado, as its name indicates, a sort of assayed
metal coin which was of more value than the other variety.

contributed any portion of their funeral charges to his office — nor had they donated
money to the seminary, "ni otras cossa alguna" (nor anything else at all) — also adding
that and in spite of this, they enjoyed their full salaries.61
Separate from the list of corregimientos, parishes, and salaries, Bishop Valencia
commented extensively on other ecclesiastical matters such as the staffing of the Cathedral
Chapter, the previous year's diezmos y veintenas (the royal tithes and twentieths) revenue,
church construction projects,62 and the distribution of funds. In addition to the parishes
listed in the tables, the bishop accounted for the three Indian churches in La Paz — San
Pedro, San Sebastián, and Santa Bárbara — whose curates respectively earned 600, 400,
and 400 pesos per year
Sometime prior to 1701 the standard yearly stipend for parish priests working in
the Diocese of La Paz rose to 1093 pesos. Few records in the Archivo Central contain
data on priestly salaries, but two reports from 1701 and 1709 indicate that the respective
parish priests of Sorata and Hilabaya both earned this base amount as their annual wage.
In addition, each collected an average of between 750 and 1,500 pesos a year for the
completion of various religious services (such as baptisms and funerals). In a rare annual
6IIbid
62Upon his arrival in La Paz in 1634, Bishop Vega was unimpressed with the
physical condition of the Cathedral. He wrote to King Philip IV: "when this church was
made into the Cathedral it consisted of two sections, and even now they have not even
begun the roof So it remains without a choir, without doors, and without any place to
pray or to sing the divine mass. They have made a roof of branches which is most
indecent, and that edifice which was here before is almost in ruins on account of it being
so old, and having withstood so many floods and hard rains. It is in terrible shape and
dangerous." AGI, Charcas 138, 12 March, 1634.

42
report, Licenciado Joseph Ferrán de la Nussa advised Provisor (the chief administrator of
ecclesiastical affairs during a sede vacante) Gerónimo de Cañizares Ybarra that in the
previous year (1700) he had donated thirty-three pesos to the seminary, five hundred to
the bishop's office to pay the quarta funeral, five hundred in salary to his ayudante, and
another two hundred pesos to various priests who had assisted him during the busy season
of Lent. In his 1709 report, Pedro Tholedo y Leyba stated he had contributed thirty-two
pesos and six reales to the seminary, paid two hundred fifty pesos as part of collected
quarta funeral charges, and given four hundred pesos to his assistant, Br. Diego de
Areaya
By the time Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés assumed control of the bishopric in
1680, the diocese was well-organized and consisted of sixty-nine parishes, ten of which
were served by members of the various religious orders.63 Secular priests thus staffed fifty-
nine parishes in 1680. At the end of the period under review (1730), the number of
parishes increased by three as San Marcos de Mollebamba, Simaco and Coata were
incorporated into the diocese Secular priests staffed each of these new churches, but
Pelechuco, once part of the corregimiento of Larecaja, switched from secular control over
to the Franciscans sometime after 1683.64
63 Some parishes had been consolidated with others nearby, and some had been
created in the fifty-six year period between Bishop Valencia's 1627 report and Bishop
Queipo de Llano Valdés first round of visitas in 1683. For example, in 1683 Chucuito
possessed only two churches: the Iglesia Mayor, and Santo Domingo. Those in the
advocation of Los Reyes and San Pablo had been closed down. Caracato and Coroico
were two towns that gained parish status at some point prior to 1683.
64There is little reference in the Archivo Central's documentation to the Franciscan-
controlled region of Apolabamba north of Charasani in the northernmost sector of the

43
The Pastoral Visita v Escrutinio
This dissertation is mostly based on a series of documents which provide at regular
intervals an unusually detailed view of local conditions, conflicts, and customs in the
Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730. Called visitas y escrutinios (visits and inspections),
these episcopal inquiries were basically trials held to assess the behavior of secular parish
priests who worked in diocesan parishes. From 1680 to 1730, the various bishops — or
more commonly their episcopal appointees (visitadores generales) — conducted three
hundred sixty-four pastoral visitas in 1683, 1687, 1690-91, 1697, 1701, 1710, 1717, 1725,
and 1728 65 Thus, all of the bishops of the Diocese of La Paz who served from 1680 to
1730 supervised regional inspections except for Nicolás Urbano Mata y Haro, who,
according to some sources, died the day after arriving in La Paz from Lima on December
24, 1704.66
Certainly Queipo de Llano Valdés would have to be considered the most assiduous
bishop if judged by his visita record. He or his visitor-general, Juan Antonio de Egaures y
Pasquier, traveled to every village in the diocese over the course of his administration, and
diocese However, much has been written about this missionary effort. One good
monograph is César Augusto Machicao González' Historia de Apolo y de la Provincia de
Franz Tamayo (La Paz: Prefectura del Departamento de La Paz, Dirección de Cultura,
1990).
65Bishop Castillo y Castro alluded in his long 1651 report to Bishop Valderrama's
intial tour of the diocese, but no primary records of that visit exist in any archives in La
Paz. The first record of a completed visita was filed by Bishop Valencia in 1620; I located
this file in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville. The first formal visita y escrutinio
trial (with witnesses) housed in the Archivo Central Canónigo Felipe López Menéndez is
dated May 20, 1683, and was held in Guarina near La Paz.
66López Menéndez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Señora de La Paz, 12.

44
in all, conducted three episcopal tours over an eight year span from 1683 to 1691.
Usually the investigative team set out from La Paz in June or July — months in the middle
of the dry season — and concluded their visits by October, prior to the advent of the
yearly rains which significantly curtailed travel from November to March. However,
Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés final and most extensive tour of the diocese took well
over a year to complete. With occasional stopovers in La Paz, it lasted from June 1690 to
September 1691.
The Spanish tradition of the general visit has a long history. John Leddy Phelan, in
his book, The Kingdom of Quito, traces its roots to the patrimonial kingdoms of Western
Europe during the Middle Ages. A key element of the patrimonial state, as posited by the
German sociologist Max Weber in his long discussions of modem bureaucracies, was the
implementation of periodic visits by the ruler or his designated official to different parts of
the realm to prevent a fragmentation of royal authority67 Certainly, the nature of the
episcopal visitas and the inquiries of visiting ecclesiastical officials represented, as Phelan
points out, "a vision of society as it ought to be, a pale but nevertheless recognizable
reflection of the ideal world encompassed in divine and natural law."68 Even if the bishop
of La Paz or his visitor-general rarely encountered in the course of their travels ideal
67John Leddy Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century:
Bureaucratic Politics in the Spanish Empire (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press,
1967), 325 Phelan points out that the historical origins of the visita general go back to
Alfonso El Sabio's Siete Partidas. For a thorough discussion of the early history of the
civic visita general in Spain and Spanish America, see Chapter 10 of Phelan's study of
colonial Quito.
68Ibid., 328.

45
Christian communities complete with model priests and a dutiful congregation, the visita in
this part of Upper Peru — I argue later in this dissertation — empowered parishioners by
providing them an opportunity to air grievances which, with some luck, might lead to an
amelioration of their oppressed condition or improve their negotiating position vis-á-vis
the priest or rival village factions. In any case, the pastoral visita served as a nexus of
contact between rulers and those they ruled, and it appears from the witness testimonies of
the 1680s and 1690s that parishioners relished the chance to inform Church authorities of
aspects of the parish priest's behavior, whether positive or incriminating.69
Only the bishop or the visitor-general possessed the authority to judge the priests
on trial and impose penalties. Usually the collection of testimonies and evidence fell to the
second in charge, the chief prosecutor {promotor fiscal). Further down the line of
authority, and perhaps the man who did most of the actual work, was the secretario. His
job was to record in written form all relevant matters of the inspection (i.e. the tour of the
church and chapels, the reading of the public edict announcing the goals of the visita, the
interrogation of witnesses, the issuance of the final sentence, etc ). A vast majority of
visiting bishops and visitors-general also employed a translator — often a member of one
of the religious orders and usually a Jesuit — who was proficient in both Aymara and
69This appears to be in contrast to the situation in Central America and Mexico.
Murdo MacLeod reports that in these regions, the episcopal visita became a corrupt and
much resented institution in many cases, largely because of three features. 1. The bishop
tended to be less tolerant of local heterodoxies and would stamp them out via whippings,
jailings, burning of idols, etc. 2. Visitas became notorious for collecting large sums in
"fees" of various kinds. Some records from Chiapas tell of Indians fleeing to the monte
when they heard the bishop was coming. 3. Bishops often traveled with large entourages,
which meant food, food for mules and horses, and lodging for the whole crowd. Indians,
in some places, resented this Personal correspondence, May 1999.

46
Quechua A survey of the witnesses brought before the various promotores fiscales
during the first two decades of this study indicates that just over half required a translator
to give their testimony. The other members of the investigative team were a few secular
priests brought along to serve as witnesses of the proceedings. Frequently these priests
resided or worked near the town being visited, and were thus commissioned on a
temporary basis to certify the legitimacy and fairness of the trial.
Visiting authorities from the Diocese of La Paz followed roughly the same
protocol throughout the period under review. That is, the presiding official basically
obeyed the same logistical procedures as his predecessors. Using a 1683 visitay
escrutinio held in Combaya (located north of Lake Titicaca near Sorata) as an example, it
is possible to gain insight into the organization and day-to-day operations of the process as
it was practiced over a fifty-year period.
According to a report filed by Secretario Francisco de Truxillo y Godoy (his
official title was Presbítero Secretario de Cámara del Illustrísimo Señor Don Juan
Queipo de Llano Valdés mi Señor Obispo de La Paz), the group arrived in Combaya the
morning of the 9th of July, 1683. "After being received in the customary manner by
Bernardo Hemani de Bonifaz [one of the parish priests on trial] and a host of many
Spaniards and Indians,"70 Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier proceeded to say mass
before the congregation After the Eucharist, he read a four-page edicto de visita (the
edict of the visit) in its entirety. Among other things, the edict explained the purpose of
the episcopal visit and outlined the questions which witnesses (who were generally drawn
70ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 7.

47
from the town's more prominent citizens) would have to answer. In addition, Visitor-
General Eguares y Pasquier announced that any parishioners not called to testify before
the promotor fiscal could file a separate affidavit to air any grievances or protests they
might have This proved to be an important outlet for women parishioners to denounce the
priest's behavior, since they were never called as primary witnesses in any visita trial held
during the period under review 71 In fact, over a third (34 percent) of all separately-filed
affidavits (which numbered in the hundreds) during the first two decades of this study
were submitted by women.
After mass, the investigative team visited the tabernacle and other shrines of
importance. It was during this tour that Secretary Truxillo y Godoy recorded the visitor-
general's impressions of the church's ornaments and decor. In the end, after a generally
favorable inspection of the physical property, the secretary noted "one of the communion
chests (caxuelas) had some vessels (ampolletas) of silver and others of glass and so the
Señor Visitador ordered that all should be of silver."72 Such minor directives were a
common part of the pre-interrogation record, but occasionally a priest incurred significant
rebuke and even fines for his careless upkeep of the church or chapels. In fact, at the end
of this particular visita, Visitor-General Eguares y Paquier warned Don Bernardo that he
would be fined if he did not improve the physical conditions of several rural chapels in his
district
71 Occasionally, women were called to testify before the promotor fiscal, but only
when they had been implicated in earlier testimony as either victims of priestly abuse or
witnesses of misconduct.
72Ibid

48
In the course of the inspection of this town, it has come to my attention
that the chapels and vice-chapels within this parish's jurisdiction, to include
Carasani, Conlili, Suntusidi, Coata, and Chiacono, are without doors and
keys resulting in free access [of these holy places] to cows and herds of
horses 73
After the inspection, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier then returned to the
church and reviewed the libros parroquiales — the records of baptisms, confirmations,
marriages, and deaths — and an inventory of church construction. In addition, he made
sure Don Bernardo possessed relevant books and manuals concerning religious matters,
such as the published records of most recently convened provincial councils and synods, a
summary of moral cases (la suma de casos morales), an edition of the Council of Trent
decrees, and the all-important padrón, the record of parishioners who had fulfilled their
yearly quota of confessions 74
Don Bernardo then filed a report on other priests who lived in the area. In this
case, he mentioned Licenciado Lucas de Sosa, whom he described as a becino and
hacendado, Licenciado Ygnacio Pinto (also an hacendado) and Melchor de Salinas. The
first two, according to Don Bernardo, assisted him at various times throughout the year,
especially during Lent when religious activity was brisk and confession mandatory for all
73ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 125.
74By comparison, during the 1710 series of visitas, Fray Diego Morcillo Rubio
Auñón reviewed the following books (cited here as they appear in the original document)
prior to interrogating witnesses: "El Concilio Provincial, El Concilio de Trento, Las
Sinodales de este Obispado, El Cathecismo de Pío Quinto, Las summas que tuviese de
cassos morales, Los Libros de Baptizados, Cassados y Difuntos, Los Padrones de
Confessados, Las Licencias para los Casamientos" ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 213.

49
parishioners in the district Although Don Melchor occasionally helped out in the church,
Don Bernardo had never seen him administer the Sacred Sacraments to any parishioners.75
The trial of Bernardo Hemani de Bonifaz was preceded by an inquiry into the vida
y costumbres (life and customs) of Combaya's former priest (Don Bernardo's
predecessor), Joan Diez de Fuenmaior.76 The interrogation began on the 10th of July, the
day after the group's arrival In his official account of the proceedings, Secretary Truxillo
y Godoy recorded the first witness to testify before Promotor Fiscal Francisco de León
was "an Indian, who according to the interpreter Don Pedro de Valdés — the translator
named for the visita of this bishopric — calls himself Antonio Canabire, an hilacata from
the ayllu Yampara ,"77 Almost every witness in each visita y escrutinio trial held from
1680 to 1730 was identified in this way, he stated his name, his professional or social
75"As for Melchor, I have never seen him celebrate or administer the Sacred
Sacraments." ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 9.
76This is a fairly common occurrence throughout the documentary record. The trial
of resident priests usually came after a review of the parish's previous priest. Almost
without exception the same witnesses testified in both hearings
77ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 21. The ayllu has been the topic of extensive research
by both historians and anthropologists of the Andes. It is usually considered the primary
social foundation upon which Andean culture stands, since most individuals living in
predominately indigenous villages today have some ayllu affiliation. In the pre-colonial
period, an overwhelming majority of commoners, nobles and rulers were members of
ayl/us, and thus shared in communal work obligations and the distribution of land. For a
comprehensive and contemporary examination of the social, political and economic facets
of the ayllu as it evolved in the colonial period, consult the several chapters dedicated to
Andean social structure in Larson and Harris, Ethnicity, Markets, and Migration in the
Andes, and Roberto Choque Canqui, Sociedad y economía colonial en el sur andino (La
Paz: HISBOL, 1993).

50
rank,78 and his ayllu, district79 or village affiliation. Later in the testimony, testigos also
provided their age The youngest men to appear before the promotor fiscal were eighteen
years of age. The oldest were Don Carlos Gudina, a ninety year old Yndio natural of
Songo, and Pedro Linaja, a former principal of Combaya who claimed to be ninety-four
years of age when he testified in 1710.
Antonio Canabire and all the subsequent witnesses proceeded to answer a series of
twenty-six questions which had first been announced in the edicto de visita and that varied
from issues concerning the proper administration of the Sacred Sacraments, to Don Juan's
78A vast majority of the Indians called as witnesses were either caciques (regional
chiefs), hilacatas (defined by Theresa Cañedo-Argüelles Fábrega as “Indios de segundo
rango”), or principales (other important members of the community). Cañedo-Argüelles
Fábrega, Potosí: la versión Aymara de un mito europeo, 25.
79Frequently Indian witnesses identified themselves as members of a parcialidad, a
socially and geographically based faction of citizens. Like the ayllu, the moieties of
Hanansaya and Urinsaya were characteristic of pre-Columbian societies, whereby those
members associated with the parcialidad Hanansaya occupied the upper half of society
(i.e. the nobility) and those of the parcialidad Urinsaya were commoners. Writing in
1621, the Augustinian friar Ramos Gavilán commented “The Urinsayas are the natural
Indians who are of common background — at least according to the Anansayas — who
were forasteros and upstarts, people without their own land, maintained by charity in their
[the Anansaya ’5] villages. The Anansayas reported that they had come here at the behest
of the Inca because he knew them to be troublesome. . . They possessed little loyalty for
his Highness.” Thierry Saignés, Los andes orientales: historia de un olvido, 34.
According to most scholars of Andean history, including Saignés and Karen Powers, these
hierarchical groupings changed considerably during the colonial period due to the influx of
foreign elements {forasteros and yanaconas) into what had previously been predominately
originario settlements For a general discussion of moieties in the colonial Andes, see
Irene Silverblatt, Moon, Sun, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and
Colonial Peru (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987); Thierry Saignés, Los andes
orientales: historia de un olvido, Ann Zulawski, “Forasteros y Yanaconas: la mano de
obra de un centro minero en el siglo XVH,” in Brooke Larson, Olivia Harris, and Enrique
Tandeter, eds Estratégiasy reproducción social: siglos XVI a XX (La Paz: CERES,
1987), and Karen Powers, Andean Journeys: Migration, Ethnogenesis and the State in
Colonial Quito (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1995).

51
sexual behavior ("has the parish priest had inside his house any suspicious woman which
would cause much scandal within the community."80), to his involvement in local
commercial ventures (“has the parish priest had business dealings or contracts involving
trade goods, thus intermingling with secular men for these purposes ”81) After Antonio's
testimony (which included, incidentally, widespread allegations of religious and criminal
misconduct) eight other witnesses came before the promotor fiscal and corroborated his
testimony. This pattern was common; the vast majority of visita trials from 1680 to 1730
involved witnesses whose testimonies were consistent.
Subsequent testigos in the case against Don Joan were Capitán Joan Martín de
Sosa (a fifty-five year old lieutenant of the corregidor of the province), Miguel de Sossa (a
forty-four year old hacendado), Luis de Ojeda (a 30 year old vecino of Combaya), and
finally a group of Indians who testified together: Sebastián Quispe and Andrés Mamani
(twenty-one and eighteen years old respectively and both identified asjyanaconas from the
parish of San Sebastián de La Paz),82 Joan Tamona (a thirty year old from the ayllu
80ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 13r.
8'Ibid. A transcription of these questions — which throughout the time under
review remained thematically consistent, albeit sometimes in different forms — is included
as Appendix B and entitled “The Visita Interrogation.”
82 Yanacona is another term from the pre-Columbian era. In the Diocese of La Paz
during the colonial period, the term was used to identify landless Indians who mainly
worked for local hacendados. Yanaconas were distinguised from forasteros because the
latter could technically (and did, in some instances) own land, even though they had no
ancestral ties to it. Herbert Klein states: "Arriving as migrants to the old communities or
latecomers to the new ones, these forasteros . . . were given lesser land rights or no land
at all, and simply took up residence as landless laborers on the plots of the originarios. In
changing status, they may have lost their lands, but they removed themselves from all their
tax obligations as well. Until the eighteenth century, forasteros did not have to pay the

52
Charasani),83 Xtóbal Alanoca (a twenty-five year old from the ayllu Guache), and Diego
Estaca (a thirty year old from the ayllu Yampara). This particular witness pool was not
typical, at least for the first two decades of this study. In most visitas y escrutinios from
1680 to 1700, the promotor fiscal interrogated exclusively Indian parishioners. If a
Spaniard testified at all, he was usually the only one.
Because this visita involved two parish priests, Promotor Fiscal León did not issue
his summary of the case to Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier until the July 12, two days
after the interrogation began In his report, he outlined the allegations of misconduct
made against Joan Diez de Fuenmaior, which included, among other things, forcing the
sick and dying to come to Combaya instead of going out to them to administer last rites,
and having in his company two brothers who abused the Indians, whipped them for no
reason and "made them work without compensation, which is against ordinances
(ordenanzas) and decrees of His Majesty."84 In typical fashion for cases which involved
violations of Church rules, the promotor fiscal recommended that the erring priest be
punished severely for his delinquencies:
To Your Majesty I ask and appeal that in conformity with the proof of
allegations condemn the aforementioned Licenciado Joan Diez de
tribute tax, nor were they subject to the mita." Herbert Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a
Multi-Ethnic Society', 52. A more contemporary source on yanaconaje in colonial Bolivia
is Thierry Saignés, “Indian Migration and Social Change in Seventeenth-Century
Charcas,” in Larson and Harris, Ethnicity, Markets, and Migration in the Andes.
83Combaya was frequently cited as being composed mostly offorasteros. It is
likely the ayllu that this witness referred to was the Indian village of Charasani, located
less than fifty kilometers away to the northwest of Combaya.
84ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 39

53
Fuenmaior in the form he deserves for the crimes that he has committed
about which I put forth these accusations. . . . I ask for justice and court costs.85
In trials which involved no punishable transgression, the visitor-general or the
bishop then filed his final sentence.86 But because this case revealed several violations of
Church authority, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier issued his own summary of the
charges against Don Joan and summoned the priest to respond to the allegations within a
few hours. In a written report, the priest defended himself and his actions ("todo es
falso"87), and appealed: “it would serve you to order me free of all charges that the
promotor has had against me, to declare me a good priest, and likewise to award my
zealous and vigilant work according to my [exemplary] record."88 Not surprisingly, as I
discuss at length in the later chapters of this dissertation, the case against Licenciado Joan
Diez de Fuenmaior ended with the issuance of a favorable final sentence: “We declare that
... he fulfilled as was his obligation the task of administering the Sacred Sacraments to
the parishioners of this district. . . living honestly without neglecting the duties of his
sacerdotal position."89
85ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 39r.
86Most sentencias finales which concluded the visita y escrutinio were favorable
and formulaic; usually they did not mention specific accomplishments other than "being a
good priest" and "having sufficiently administered the Sacred Sacraments to his
parishioners." A transcription of a typical final sentence is included as Appendix C and is
entitled “The Sentencia Final of Pedro de Montesdoca.”
87ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 43.
88Ibid
89ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 46.

54
He was, however, fined a total of sixty pesos for three offenses; Visitor-General
Eguares y Pasquier designated a third to be paid to complete the construction of the
church in Combaya Don Joan had to pay twenty pesos to the Tribunal of the Holy
Crusade {la Tribuna! de la Sancta Cruzada), and the final third would be applied as
Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés saw fit. Finally, the visitor-general ordered Don Joan to
repay any amounts of money which were inappropriately and illegally collected from
widows of the recently deceased.
On the fourteenth of July, the investigative team led by Visitor-General Eguares y
Pasquier left Combaya and arrived the next evening in Ancoraymes, located approximately
thirty kilometers away Just as in Combaya, the visiting officials arrived at the church,
were greeted by Indians and Spaniards, held mass, and conducted interrogations of
parishioners. In another contentious trial which pitted parishioners and other priests
against Bachiller Antonio de Vivero, the promotor fiscal interrogated over fifteen
witnesses and received affidavits from a record twenty-two other citizens. The content of
the case against Don Antonio, the indictments brought forth by nearly every parishioner
(Indian and Spanish alike), the priest's appeal, and the final sentence are chronicled in
detail in the last section of Chapter 6 of this study.
Summary
Shortly after Francisco Pizarro's arrival on the Pacific coast, and in the subsequent
decades of Spanish colonization of Peru, Charcas became one of the most important
mining and commercial centers in all of the American colonies To the highland mines of
Potosi in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came tens of thousands of European

55
settlers, most of whom — after failing in their endeavor to return eventually to Spain with
their riches — stayed in the southern Andes to capitalize on the many economic
opportunities the diverse region, and its native peoples, promised.
For much of the colonial period, life in La Paz and its supporting territories (mainly
the Yungas and the Lake Titicaca district) was probably less frenzied compared to the
hustle and bustle of Potosí and the audiencia capital of La Plata (Sucre). But La Paz
dominated the northern sector of the district, and served as a vital commercial link and
provisioning junction between these southern Andean cities and the important urban
center of Cuzco.
As throughout much of colonial Latin America, the region's relative prosperity
depended, in part, on the Spaniard's ability to raise capital and maintain political and social
control of the sizable and comparatively healthy indigenous population. Mostly, however,
it relied on the systematic exploitation of Indian labor and the expropriation of native land.
Among the many agents of social, economic and political control were Catholic priests,
both secular and regular, who served, in a sense, as intermediaries between two cultural
worlds
The Spanish brand of organized religion came to Charcas with the first colonists,
as missionaries accompanied the initial conquistador bands that roamed east from Cuzco
in the 1530s. Soon however, ecclesiastical administrators recognized the need for proper
jurisdictions, and by the early seventeenth century an archbishop in La Plata and two
bishops in La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra governed religious life in the territory.
Under their supervision and usually far away from the episcopal seat, thousands of parish

56
priests toiled and with few exceptions, they led inconspicuous lives despite the significant
role they played as agents of the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church in colonial Latin
American society
In the Diocese of La Paz in 1730, secular priests staffed sixty one of the district's
seventy-two parishes. The other eleven churches were managed by members of the various
religious orders. After 1680, rarely did parish priests work alone; usually they hired one
or two assistants (ayudantes or tenientes de cura) to help them with their religious duties
in town and to service remote hamlets throughout their jurisdiction. These men, like the
parish priest himself, were often underpaid and overworked, and — as I point out in
Chapter 5 — not infrequently engaged in illicit practices or commercial dealings (at the
expense of Indian parishioners) to make a decent living. One check on illegal activity by
priests was the visita y escrutinio, a trial procedure which involved periodic visitations by
ecclesiastic officials to each parish in the diocese. These visitas form the documentary
backbone of this dissertation, since they reveal both the spiritual and intellectual concerns
of the high clergy and patterns of socioeconomic and religious behavior among parish
priests. More importantly, as I discuss fully in the later chapters of this dissertation, these
pastoral inspections constituted a point of interaction — a medium of contact and
negotiation — between Indian parishioners, ecclesiastical officials, and the resident priests
on trial.
In the next two chapters, however, I focus on who these secular priests were, their
origins, what types of families they came from, and their self-professed motives for
entering the priesthood. In Chapter 3, I discuss their social and economic backgrounds.

57
Chapter 4 deals with their academic careers and achievements as parish priests, as
employees of the Spanish state, and as friends, neighbors, and sometimes bitter rivals of
the people they served

CHAPTER 3
SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS
Parish priests living in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were men of
varied backgrounds who sought to depict themselves professionally as religious men, even
though their collective behavior in civil activities suggests they were more worldly and
materially centered than they indicated in official correspondence. If, as agents of thhe
church and men of the cloth, they may have aspired to a higher, more spiritual level of
consciousness and conduct, the documentary records suggests they were in fact simply
men of their time and place, preoccupied with many of the same concerns as their secular
neighbors and relatives 1 Who these men were, and how their social backgrounds,
educations, and professional careers helped shape their attitudes and behavior are
significant factors in understanding not only how religious life was organized on the most
basic level, but also how these men factored into the complex social milieu that was
colonial Andean society.
After a brief discussion of documentary sources, this chapter focuses on the
familial and financial backgrounds of the parish priests who worked in the Diocese of La
Paz from 1680 to 1730. In the subsequent chapter (Chapter 4), I examine the priests'
'In his negative assessment of the performance of priests living and working
throughout the Audiencia of Charcas, Luis Peñaloza Cordero writes: "one might say that
with some exceptions, the Church abandoned its spiritual mission and dedicated its energy
to satisfying their material needs.” Nueva Historia Económica de Bolivia, 192.
58

59
academic careers, before concluding with an analysis of how these men viewed themselves
professionally as spiritual specialists in this rugged and often inhospitable Andean region.
Sources and Samples
This analysis of the career patterns and socioeconomic background of the secular
clergy of the Diocese of La Paz is based on information derived from three types of
archival sources: peticiones de órdenes (petitions for orders), a collection of documents
handed in by prospective priests seeking ordination from the bishop; relaciones (or
probanzas) de méritos y servicios (account or proofs of merits and services), a type of
professional résumé priests submitted when applying for a job or transfer; and two reports
recommending certain priests for promotion or special recognition, one filed by Bishop
Queipo de Llano Valdés in 1690 and the other by Bishop Femando de Rojas y Acebedo in
1725.
Petitions for minor (first tonsure and los cuatro grados — the four degrees2) or
major (subdeacon, deacon and presbyter) orders followed a standard set of procedures.
The applicants — usually young boys inclined to the priestly vocation or older seminary
students — provided the bishop with personal information which proved their legitimacy,
worthiness for the priesthood, dedication to the Church, educational training, and any
spiritual predilection which signaled their calling to the service of God. As part of their
applications, candidates provided birth and baptismal records and sometimes
2The ritual of "first tonsure" involved the ceremonial cutting of a portion of the
candidate's hair on the crown of the head. In the sixth and seventh centuries, this practice
emerged as a distinct rite of admission to the clerical ranks. The "four degrees" refers to
the four ministries conferred upon the minor ordinate: porter, lector, exorcist and acolyte.
The Encyclopedia of Catholicism, 1st ed., s.v. "first tonsure," and "minor orders."

60
recommendations written by prominent friends or relatives.3 The most important part of
the ordination process, apart from the general examination of the candidate himself, was
the interrogation of witnesses before an ecclesiastical board of examiners. Both of these
procedures were governed by an edicto para órdenes (edict for orders, a formal document
issued by the presiding bishop for each candidate) whose tone and content betrayed the
spirit of the Council of Trent and the religious preoccupations of the time.
Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés' edict for orders for Juan Feliz de Vargas y
Villagomez, processed in June of 1689, was typical of edicts issued by the various bishops
of the Diocese of La Paz throughout the period under review. It advised all persons,
ecclesiastics as well as ordinary citizens, that Don Juan was seeking first tonsure4 — the
first of several transitional ministries for those preparing for the priesthood — and that
persons aware of any reason that the young boy should not be admitted should come
forward The edict, as a whole, concerned the life and customs of the candidate, and
included a wide variety of questions which ranged from the applicant's lineage and age to
his record of service in his local church. Almost invariably then, one of the witnesses in
any ordination trial (including Don Juan's) was the boy's hometown priest. At issue was
3Filed as part of Gonzalo Núñez Bela's ordination papers, for example, was a
recommendation by the presiding bishop of Santa Cruz, who, on behalf of the young man,
wrote: "he is a fine young lad and appears to me to be of modest character ” ACCFLM,
Tomo 27, fol. 82.
4William Taylor reports that the Fourth Provincial Council of Trent elaborated on
this guideline, adding that boys as young as seven were eligible for first tonsure if they
were prudent boys who showed an inclination toward the office. Taylor, Magistrates of
the Sacred, 571

61
not only the candidate's behavior and background, but also that of his parents, other living
relatives, and ancestors. The first sections questioned:
if the father or mother of the aforementioned Don Juan Feliz de Vargas . . . or
any of his two paternal grandparents has been a heretic or believer,
follower or defender of heretics, or if the aforementioned candidate for
orders has been a slave, Indian or mestizo or if he is descendant of those
recently converted to the faith or ... if he is the product of a legitimate
marriage.5
The edict's subsequent questions expressed similar concerns; does the applicant generally
behave like a Christian should; is he married6; has he ever been married or been possessed
by the devil; is he crazy; if in battle, has the candidate run away from the enemy in a
cowardly fashion, does he often get drunk or frequent taverns or drinking houses; and
finally, was the applicant "prudent, composed, peaceful, and of good reputation, qualities
which are and have been worthy and sufficient for ordination?"7
The witnesses, for their part, almost uniformly responded by simply repeating the
question, adding only a "sz" or a "no" to the clause.8 Bachiller and fellow priest Juan de
5Ibid
6Gerónimo Gabriel de Villalba was the only candidate for orders or jobs who
acknowledged he had previously been married. To convince the bishop of his noble desire
to enter the priesthood and the admirable qualities of his then-deceased, fourteen year old
ex-wife, Don Gerónimo explained: "I have applied myself to my studies after the death of
Doña Rossa de Vera y Molina, my legitimate wife with whom I contracted to marry. She
died a virgin in a bedroom of her parent’s house. On this account, as is public knowledge,
I have not led a disorderly life (zregularidad de vida mía) because I was married just once
to a virgin. ... It would serve Your Most Excellent Lord to admit me to first tonsure.”
ACCFLM, Tomo 23, fol 144
7ACCFLM, Tomo 15, fol. 5.
8On the quality of responses by witnesses in La Plata in the 1600s, Lincoln Draper
writes: "the repetition of information tends to follow the pattern established in the cover

62
Valencia, testifying on behalf of young Juan de Yvero 1691, stated:
The aforementioned candidate for orders never has been a member of a
religious order, neither has he been re-baptized nor possessed [by the devil]
nor has he had premonitions, heart disease, leprosy, or other contagious
illnesses, and [I] know that the aforementioned applicant is not impeded by
any part of his body.9
Job vacancies generated documents which were similar to the petitions for orders,
such that priests were required to submit baptismal records along with their relación and a
brief account of their performance in past visitas y escrutinios. Unlike the petitions,
apparently no standard format was followed by priests applying for jobs and witnesses
were not a part of the procedure. Clearly the most important element of each candidate's
portfolio was the relación, but these letters varied considerably in detail from one priest to
another
Indeed, while the archival records from La Paz, Madrid, and Seville contain
considerable details on the lives of many priests, others left scant, and in some cases, no
details concerning their education, birthplace, religious service, or professional
accomplishments. This is especially true for the veteran priests who were working in the
diocese when Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés arrived in 1681. In his 1686 petition for a
vacancy in Guancané, for example, Joseph Muñoz de Real provided no information other
letter and was obviously the product of an agreement between the priest and the testigo."
Lincoln Arnold Draper, "Archbishops, Canons and Priests: The Interaction of Religious
and Social Values in the Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Bolivia."
9ACCFLM, fol. 70 Tomo 19.

63
than the fact that he was the legitimate son of Capitán Francisco Faria Mascareñas and
Doña Andrea de Ver y Cárdenas.10
By contrast, other curas, especially those working in the 1710s and 1720s,
recounted their entire lives from infancy11 to their latest promotion. In this way, the more
complete relaciones differed significantly from the petitions: whereas the petitions tended
to furnish only basic personal details (date and place of baptism, hometown, names of
parents and godparents, and sometimes a brief record of their educational training up to
that point), the detailed résnmés contained considerable data on priests' illustrious
Christian heritage, admirable past service, hardships endured in the field, and usually long
lists of academic achievements.
In any case, both the petitions for orders and job applications gave prospective
priests and ordained clerics an opportunity to boast about themselves and their ancestors,
and thus contain an inherent bias which cannot be overlooked. In his study of the secular
clergy in La Plata, Lincoln Draper states: "As a result, the picture of the priesthood that
emerges from a reading of a number of these documents is that of a clergy as it wished to
be seen, or as it thought the royal government in Spain wanted the clergy to act."12 This
problem of reliability of sources, of course, cannot be overcome, and it is possible to
I0ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol. 7.
"Commenting in 1710 on his early calling to the Church, Joseph Fransisco de
Abendaño "dedicated all the time from my youth, from the time I could reason (desde la
edad del usso de razón) to serving this Sacred Cathedral Church." ACCFLM, Tomo 27,
fol. 51.
"Draper, Archbishops, Canons and Priests, 202.

64
ascertain (through analysis of a wide array of documentary sources) at least some idea of
the socio-economic base of parish priests and the extent to which they deemed their lives
as valuable to the overall mission of Catholicism and to imperial Spain.
Perhaps the most unbiased view of the secular clergy comes from the two reports
(informes) written in 1690 and 1725 by Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés and Bishop
Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo, respectively. Unfortunately, however, Bishop Queipo de
Llano Vaides limited his informe to only the top thirty-five parish priests, and while
Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo reviewed the accomplishments of fifty-five priests, it
is obvious when comparing both bishops' accounts that they relied heavily on the priests'
relaciones for their information. Indeed, a thorough reading of the reports gives the
impression that personal preferences and friendships, rather than educational qualifications
or dedication to one's job made the difference between priests listed first or last among
personas beneméritas (praiseworthy people).
Another problem of sources stems from the fact that biographical data for the
eighteenth century are more complete than those for the seventeenth century. This is
possibly a result of better bookkeeping, but more likely attributed to population growth,
professionalization of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy over time, and increased activity and
competition within the diocese for Church jobs. No statistical study has been done for the
territory which comprised the Diocese of La Paz during these years, but Herbert Klein
claims in his general study of Bolivia that while many of the other regions in Charcas
faltered demographically in the eighteenth century, the region around La Paz actually
prospered and grew in population. Klein states: "the one hundred fifty or two hundred

65
thousand campesinos of its [La Paz'] hinterland converted the city into the administrative
and mercantile center, [thus] making it the most densely populated zone of the
altiplano. ”13 Indeed, the number of submitted petitions for orders reflected this growth
of population and religious activity over time. Records from the Archivo Central in La Paz
indicate that from 1680 to 1700, seventy-one young boys and seminary students applied
for minor or major orders compared with one-hundred and twenty seven for the first three
decades of the eighteenth century. Likewise, and in part due to the tragedy of the general
epidemics of the late 1700s, and 1710s which took the lives of several eighteenth-century
priests, Bishops Queipo de Llano Valdés (1680-1694) and Bernardo Carrasco de
Saavedra (1695-1697) oversaw only twelve job competitions {oposiciones), while the
bishops of the last thirty years of this study supervised twenty one.
Of the one hundred and seventy-eight clerics who held the title of cura in cities and
villages throughout the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730, good biographical records
exist for only eighty-seven priests. Of the one hundred and ninety-eight candidates for
ordination, I have located satisfactory data for only fifty men. Thus, the following study
draws together data from one-hundred thirty-two men, most of whom went beyond the
request for orders to become fully ordained priests.14 It is important to mention that this
sample is representative because all five decades of the study are equally covered, and
13Klein, Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-ethnic Society, 91.
14A few men who were assistants to the parish priests (usually called ayudantes,
but also sometimes tenientes de cura) and a fair number of priests who served as either
cura ínterin or cura coadjutor are also represented in this analysis, albeit to a significantly
lesser extent.

66
both men of high achievement and those who may have been unemployed (at least as
priests) for a majority of their lives are part of this survey.
Priests as Members of Colonial Andean Society
With the exception of an Indian from Chucuito named Joseph Julián Ynga Charaja,
all applicants for orders and parish priests of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730
claimed Christian heritage and Spanish ancestry.15 Juan Feliz de Vargas y Villagomez'
description of his ancestry was identical — nearly to the word — to statements made by
other priests regarding their family backgrounds. In his response to the question
concerning his legitimacy16 and the racial purity17 of his ancestors, Don Juan commented .
15 A relatively small number of Indians managed to enter into the priesthood as
ordained priests and those who did had to prove their aristocratic origins. In his study of
priests in Mexico, William Taylor reports, however, "There were few Indian curas in
Guadalajara, but in the archdiocese perhaps 5 percent of the parish priests in the late
colonial period were identified as Indians. All had demonstrated to the satisfaction of the
examiners that they were men of noble ancestry and legitimate birth, and most were from
one of the Indian barrios of Mexico City or a pueblo in the Valley of Mexico." Taylor,
Magistrates of the Sacred, 87
16Nearly all candidates for orders and jobs in the Diocese of La Paz claimed
legitimacy, meaning that they were the sons of a married Christian couple. Francisco
López de la Vega, a presbyter from Oruro applying for residency in the diocese, was the
only example of a priest who acknowledged his parents were single {solteros) at the time
of his birth. Nevertheless, he claimed purity of blood, and mentioned his parents, Don
Antonio López de la Vega and Doña Leonor de Balboa, by name. ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol.
94.
17In a few cases, such as the ordination trial of Juan Francisco de Herrera, the
status of the candidate's purity of blood was in question since he was abandoned
{expósito) as a child Don Juan appealed to Bishop Queipo de Llano y Valdés in 1685: "as
I have always been known as an orphaned child without knowledge of my father or
mother." ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol. 115. Although bishops did call a few extra witnesses to
testify to the good behavior of those whose parents were unknown, not once did any
bishop deny ordination based on this uncertainty.

67
I am the legitimate son of Don Bernardo Feliz de Vargas y Villagomez and
of Doña Ynez Fabiana de Roa y Espinosa. . . . My grandparents have never
been believers, accomplices, followers, or defenders of heretics and ... [I]
am not and never have been a slave, an Indian, a mestizo or offspring of the
recently converted to the faith.18
Technically Indians and mestizos could enter the priestly vocation The Third
Ecclesiastic Council of Lima held in 1582-83 issued the following decree which was later
summarized in the Recopilación de las Leyes de Indias (Book 1, Title VII, Law 7): "the
Bishops of these Indies [can] ordain as priests mestizos from their districts if they possess
the qualities and credentials of priests."19 But the difference between policy and practice,
at least in the Diocese of La Paz was profound, as illustrated by the distance which
candidates for ordination and jobs uniformly placed themselves away from any mala raza
or racial taint. Gaspar de Herrera, using language typical of his peers, began his
ordination request in 1686 by declaring: "we [members of my family] are Old Christians,
free of all racial taints and known publically as such."20 Joseph Julián Ynga Charaja's case,
obviously, was the exception, and reflected the crown's active promotion of Indians for
ordination which began after the promulgation of a royal decree issued in March 1696,
whereby Indians technically could be ordained and ascend to the status of presbyter.21
18ACCFLM, Tomo 15, fol. 8.
19Monseñor Severo Aparicio Quispe, O.M. "Estudio Prelimar," in La
Evangelizadon de! Perú en los siglos XVIy XVII (Arequipa: Actas del Primer Congreso
Peruano de Historia Eclesiástica, 1990), 62.
20ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol. 81.
21The cédula real (royal decree) referred to here is entitled, "Decree issued by the
Council of the Indies concerning the promulgation of the general law which confirms that
Indians and mestizos can ascend to high positions within the Church and as ecclesiastics.”

68
Born in the second most important urban center of the diocese, the city of
Chucuito which is situated on the southern banks of Lake Titicaca, Joseph Julián Ynga
Charaja's father had formerly served as the region's cacique gobernador (governor chief).
His mother, according to his relación, was a member of the city's most prosperous ayllu,
the Guagi In his application for minor orders, Don Joseph expressed himself much like
his creole peers:
I appear humbly at the feet of Your Most Excellent Majesty . . . and say
that in order to serve better our God. ... I have decided to follow the
ecclesiastical path, continuing with my studies of grammar and moral
theology, undertaken from my earliest years until the present time, always
giving proper attention to my personal behavior and comportment.22
Witnesses brought in to testify on Don Joseph's behalf attested to the young man's noble
heritage: "he is from Indian nobility on account of the honorific positions they [his
ancestors] have held in that province."23 The crown and Church's preoccupation with
purity of blood apparently did not end with those of Hispanic descent; at one point in the
interrogation of witnesses, the applicant's pure Indian blood was questioned 24 For their
and located in Richard Konetzke, Colección de documentos para la historia de la
formación social de Hispanoamérica, (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones
Científicas, 1962), vol. 3, 64 For a comparison of how this decree was handled in
Mexico, see Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 568.
22ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 45.
23ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol 46.
24In a cédula real dated 12 March, 1697, King Philip IV declared "that Indians of
high nobility, such as caciques and their descendants, will be considered to have purity of
blood, to be nobles and capable of redemption in all functions and professions that require
such prestige." Vicente G. Quesada, La vida intelectual en la América Española (Buenos
Aires: La Cultura Argentina, 1917), 224.

69
part, none of the witnesses were willing to state definitely that Don Joseph's was “pure-
blooded.” They uniformly remarked: "I do not know if he has any mixture of black,
mulato or mestizo [blood]."25
In all other ordination procedures, applicants underwent a series of standard
examinations designed to prove their Christian ancestry, and to test their competency in
Latin, the Indian languages, and Church doctrine.26 In the case of Don Joseph, Bishop
Morcillo Rubio y Auñón, in addition to the exams, sent the young man to the Convent of
San Francisco for a probationary period of service. In the opinion of the prior of the
convent, Fray Juan Martínez Xuárez, Don Joseph possessed all the necessary qualities to
become a good priest.
[the candidate] has worked in this convent for eight continual days in
various exercises in fulfillment of your Lordship's mandate . . . and he has
participated in all of the acts of the community, the choir, and other
exercises of humility culminating with the administration of the Sacred
Sacrament of penance and [thus he was] received by Our Lord to attain
with cleanliness of his soul the Sacred Orders he seeks.27
25ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 46. Reflecting the growing intolerance of Spanish
policies towards people of mixed blood, Quesada comments on the crown's reluctance to
admit people of color and mixed-bloods into American schools and other organizations.
"From these teachings mestizos, mulatos, cuarterones and by all means, blacks were
excluded . the Viceroy . . ordered that zambos, mulatos and cuarterones shall not be
admitted as students, and if they obtained a degree, it shall by nullified. " Quesada, La
vida intelectual en la América Española, 222 .
26The Third Ecclesiastical Council of Lima recommended that all bishops "appoint
in their dioceses examiners who will test those curates who will work with Indians. They
will be tested to see if they have sufficient knowledge of the Arts and also if they are
proficient in the language of the Indians." Aparicio Quispe, "Estudio Prelimar," in La
Evangelación del Perú en los siglos XVI y XVII, 59 .
27ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 47.

70
Accordingly, on the 14 of March, 1710, Bishop Morcillo Rubio y Auñón conferred minor
orders upon Don Joseph Julián Ynga Charaja, who thus became the first “pure-blooded”
native American to enter the secular clergy in the Diocese of La Paz.
Except for his Indian blood, Don Joseph had many of the same qualities and
credentials as his Spanish colleagues, including his birthplace and residence. Indeed, an
overwhelming majority of the members of the secular clergy who worked and lived in the
Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were American-born creoles (criollos) whose
parents lived within the territorial confines of the diocese. Of the one hundred thirty-two
parish priests in the sample group, only thirty were bom outside the region, and many of
these men had lived as domiciliarios (residents) of the diocese for many years. Twenty-
three priests professed to be born and raised in La Paz, while twenty-one men defined
themselves somewhat ambiguously as originarios — or natives, which may indicate they
were from the capital city or its environs (Calacoto and Palca, for example), but certainly
meant that they were born in the diocese. Thirty men of the sample group were from
smaller towns of the diocese, growing up on haciendas near provincial villages like
Sorata, Mocomoco, Moho, Achacache, or Chuma. Four were from Don Joseph’s
hometown, Chucuito, and the Villa de Puno — another important colonial village — was
home to three men 28 The birthplace of twenty-three priests from the sample group is
unknown.
It was not uncommon for priests who were originarios of the Diocese of La Paz
28Both Chucuito and Puno are now cities in Peru, but until the 1780s, when the
new episcopal boundaries were drawn, were a part of the Diocese of La Paz

71
to return eventually to their hometowns as parish priest, and the record shows that many
curas at least applied for jobs where they grew up, even if they did not ultimately get the
position. The tragic case of Gonzalo de la Cueba and Antonio de Valdés illustrates the
efforts of two priests who sought to return home, only to have nature step in the way. De
la Cueba (cura of Sorata) and Valdés (cura of Asillo, Bishopric of Cuzco) signed a mutual
agreement in March of 1694 to exchange curatos, "we have made an agreement to
exchange, one for the other, our respective benefices of Sorata and Asillo."29 Each of
these priests had left the diocese of his birth and now wished to return to his hometown
for several reasons, but most importantly because of poor health. De la Cueba wrote in
his appeal to the bishop:
I suffer from illnesses and discomfort while urinating and other internal
diseases which are exacerbated by the weather of Sorata on account of that
town's heat and humidity. The town of Asillo is much more favorable [for
me] because of its moderate climate and dryness.30
Maintaining residence in either location, the men emphasized, was a risk to their lives, an
accurate premonition since Don Gonzalo died before the transfer took place.
Two clerics from the sample group were from the capital of the Audiencia of
Charcas and the home of the archdiocese, the city of La Plata, and one cochabambino,
Pedro Alvarez de Ayora y Estrada, applied for orders from the bishop of La Paz.31 Three
29ACCFLM, Tomo 15, fol. 175.
30Ibid
31Don Pedro's career, parenthetically, is typical in some ways of the mobility of
clerics. Born in Cochabamba, he attended the Real Seminario de San Christóbal in La
Plata, where he attained his bachelor's degree and for four years taught grammar, before
moving to the Diocese of La Paz where he worked for eighteen years in various parishes

72
candidates for ordination were originally from Oruro, including Nicolás Pérez de la Mata
Patón, who referred to himself as a relative of Nicolás Urbano Mata y Haro who served as
bishop of La Paz from 1702 to 1704. No applicants with any experience or background in
Potosí appeared in the archival record of the Diocese of La Paz, perhaps indicating the
desirability of working near or in the richest and most populated city in Alto Perú at that
time
Looking outside the territorial boundaries of modem Bolivia, eighteen of the one
hundred thirty-two priests were from Perú: four from Arequipa, two from Cuzco, one
from the town of Azagara, and the rest from Lima. The fact that so many clerics from the
sample group were limeños might be attributed to the fact that a majority of bishops who
came to serve in the diocese from 1680 to 1730 held prominent positions in the viceregal
capital before being promoted to La Paz. Juan Queipo de Llano Valdés was a fiscal of the
Inquisition in Lima in the 1670s. Nicolás Urbano Mata y Haro held the position of
theological canon in Lima's cathedral before coming to La Paz, and Fray Alejo Femando
de Rojas y Acebedo was a limeño by birth.32 In addition, Fray Diego Morcillo Rubio y
Auñón, who served as bishop from 1709 to 1711 before his promotion to Archbishop of
La Plata, brought with him at least six male relatives, three of whom were originally from
Lima (the other three were men from Honduras and Guatemala and worked for him there
during his tenure as Bishop of León [Nicaragua], prior to coming to South America).
One cleric, the well-traveled Juan de Mosquera, was bom and raised in the
Kingdom of Santa Fé de Bogotá, and served as cura in the dioceses of Cuzco and
32López Menéndez, Historia de la Diócesis de La Paz, 10-13.

73
Arequipa before coining to work for the Bishop of La Paz as cura of Guaneará in the
1690s. It is curious that no ecclesiastics or seminarios from cities or towns in territories of
modern day Paraguay or Argentina applied for orders or sought positions within the
Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730.
Nine men from the sample group cited direct Spanish lineage. Of these nine, two
curas were actually born in Spain. Lucas Bonilla y Portillo, a relative of Fray Diego, and
that same bishop's younger brother, Pedro Morcillo Rubio, were from Villarobledo and La
Mancha, respectively. Among those who claimed Spanish heritage, it was not unusual for
them to be tied through patronage to the presiding bishops or one of his predecessors.
The paceño Gabriel de Barroeta y Guilléstegui, for example (cura of Sapaqui, Guaqui, and
Tiahuanaco, and then rector of the Cathedral from the 1680s to the 1710s), was the
nephew of Gabriel Guirástegui, bishop of La Paz from 1670 until his death in 1678.33 Don
Gabriel's parents, according to his job application of 1688, were "natives of the Villa
Marquina, Province of Cantabria, in the Kingdom of Spain."34
Clearly, candidates for orders or jobs saw any Spanish ties as beneficial and
hastened to make hereditary connections to the metropolis to impress their superiors.
Often, these ancestral ties were to military men whose courageous exploits and acts of
heroism were symbolic of the family's distinguished lineage and loyalty to the Crown. In
his relación of 1692, Licenciado Dionisio Probincia de Peralta recalled the memory of his
33Ibid., 9.
34ACCFLM, Tomo 13, fol. 268.

74
famous uncle, Luis de Peralta Cabesa de Vaca: "he was. . [one] of the first
conquistadores and pacifiers of this Kingdom."35
Among the many cases of priests recounting the legends of their ancestors, the
story of the paceño Doctor Pablo Joseph Salgado y Araujo stood out. After introducing
himself as the legitimate son of the Maestro de Campo Martín Salgado y Araujo and Doña
Lucía Diez de Medina, Don Pablo proceeded to chronicle the noble and heroic deeds of
his parents, grandfathers, grandmothers, and other relatives on both sides of his family in
vivid detail Boasting of the political record of his Galician-born great-grandfather, Don
Pablo contended that Payo Salgado y Araujo served as Governor of the cities of Aguila
and Barleta in the Kingdom of Naples before coming to the Americas as a retainer of
Viceroy of Perú, the Count of Montesclaros, who served in that post from 1606 to 1616.36
Don Pablo's great-grandfather eventually settled in Arica, becoming Commissary General
of the Cavalry, a charge
quite appreciable considering the circumstances of the time, which
immediately resulted in a appointment in the Royal Service of Your
Majesty, with the widely known dangers to life occasioned by the hostilities
of the enemy's invasions.37
This reference to enemy invasions probably referred to the continual Dutch attacks on
coastal ports north and south of Lima in the seventeenth century .38
35ACCFLM, Tomo 22, fol 87.
36J H. Elliott, "Spain and America before 1700," in Colonial Spanish America, ed.
Leslie Bethell (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984), 66.
37ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 181.
38For a complete record of naval hostilities along the coast of Peru during the
colonial period, see José Valdizán Gamio, Historia Naval del Perú (Lima: Dirección
General de Intereses Marítimos, 1984).

75
Further, Don Pablo emphasized how his great grandfather also "gave donations of
considerable quantity to the oidores (judges) who came to him to ask for them in Your
[Magesty's] Name39 Don Pablo's father, Martín Salgado y Araujo was also a soldier in
Arica, and in addition to defending the coast from enemy aggression, took on the civic
duty of alcalde ordinario (town mayor), "in whose ministry he dedicated himself with
vigilance."40
Doctor Antonio de Zegarra de las Ruelas de la Cueba y Olea's description of his
illustrious lineage — while perhaps not as far-reaching as Don Pablo's family history —
was more typical of accounts priests told of their ancestors in hopes of gaining favor with
the bishop In his bid for a canonship in the Cathedral in 1732, Don Antonio claimed his
ancestors had descended from a mui exclarecida (very distinguished) nobility and that his
paternal great-grandfather, Juan Segarra abandoned an entailed estate (mayorasgo) which
he possessed in Seville to come to this Kingdom of Perú to assume official duties in the
corregimientos of "Condesuios, Aimaraes and Pacajes."41 Don Antonio's other great¬
grandfather was Don Nuñi de la Cueba of the prestigious Order of Santiago. He was also
a recipient of an early encomienda in Condesuios on account of the "heroic service of his
ancestors in the Gerras de Flandes (sic) [the wars of Flanders]".42
39ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 181.
40Ibid.
41 AGI, Charcas 389, 4 Julio 1732. The corregimientos of Condesuios, Aimarares,
and Pacajes are references to three of the first corregimientos established in the mid¬
sixteenth century in Alto Perú by Francisco Pizarro
42Ibid.

76
Don Antonio's account of his family's prominent position in local society was
probably accurate; if the archival record for the Diocese of La Paz is any indication, the
Zegarra family is well represented in the early history of Alto Perú and specifically the
region encompassed by the Diocese of La Paz. Men with the surnames Olea, de la Cueba,
and Zegarra served in the diocese in various priestly functions in four of the five decades
covered in this study. In the 1720s alone, priests of this lineage were parish priests in
Palca, Chulumani, Caquingora, San Antonio de Machaca, Calacoto, and Caracato.
Indeed, representation in the diocese of relatives, whether cousins, brothers, or uncles and
nephews was quite common between 1680 and 1730 and suggests that many of the
region's prominent creole families intermarried to form a kind of socio-religious class of
citizens.43
Furthermore, and as might be expected given the importance of the parish priest in
colonial Spanish American society, many curas' families were among the most powerful
and influential in the region. To use just one example, Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés'
visitor-general throughout the 1680s, Juan Antonio de Eguares y Pasquier, was the
brother of the corregidor of Larecaja in the 1690s, Francisco Antonio de Eguáres y
43See Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred; Draper, “Archbishops, Canons, and
Priests;” and Schwaller, The Church and Clergy in 16th-Century Mexico for an analysis of
extended family networks and service in the secular clergy. By far the best source on the
social origins and family structures of parish priests in the colonial Andes is Paul Bentley
Ganster, “A Social History of the Secular Clergy of Lima during the middle decades of the
18th Century,” Ph.D. diss., University of California, Los Angeles, 1974. In this doctoral
dissertation, Ganster argues against the notion that rivalries invariably existed between
peninsulares and creoles at the end of the colonial period Among the secular priests of
these backgrounds, he points out, contestation depended more on socioeconomic factors
rather than birthplace.

77
Pasquier44 Bishop Guilléstegui, who served in that post in the 1670s, certainly left a
legacy of collateral descendants active in secular and religious life for decades after his
death in 1678 Curas with the surname Guilléstegui worked in the diocese in all five
decades of this study, highlighted perhaps by Gabriel Barroeta y Guilléstegui's service as
vicar-general (provisor) between Bishop Villafañe Pandaño's and Bishop Fernando de
Rojas y Acebedo's respective tenures in the 1720s. In a final example, the Vivero
brothers, Luis and Antonio, served in the diocese in the late seventeenth century, and even
had a familial hold on the benefice of Ancoraymes, located on the northern shore of Lake
Titicaca, for nearly two decades in the 1680s and 1690s. Martín de Vivero, incidentally,
assisted his brothers as a theniente de cura in Ancoraymes at least until 1687
The archival record for the Diocese of La Paz contains numerous appeals and
recommendations written by prominent members of society on behalf of a young man
seeking ordination or a priest hoping for promotion A recommendation written by
Francisco de Carrion y Cáceres (cura in Palca and Songo in the 1680s and 1690s), for his
nephew Pedro Lino de Montalbo, was typical of how priests attempted to use their
positions of authority to help relatives gain favor with the bishop. Licenciado Carrion y
Cáceres appealed for Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes to focus not on the boy's obvious
physical handicap — which the priest acknowledged would have an impact on his ability
to carry out his priestly duties — but rather on his fine family lineage ("his parents are Old
44ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 52. Corregidores of the city of La Paz served five year
terms starting in the seventeenth century and were paid a salary of two thousand pesos per
year. Corregidores of the other corregimientos within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of La
Paz (Omasuyos, Paucarcolla, Larecaja, and Sicasica) were paid at an annual rate of one
thousand pesos per year. Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura, 66.

78
Christians"45) and his (the uncle's) own proven service to the church and crown when
deciding his nephew's fate In this odd recommendation which seemed to stress the
negative rather than the positive credentials of the applicant, the uncle beseeched:
Have pity on him The affliction, my Lord, of my nephew Don Pedro
Lino de Montablo . and excuse my ignorance of such matters, [causes
him] an irregularity whereby he limps on one foot, and because of this
impediment Your Most Excellent Lord has every reason not to continue
with the conferring of orders that has begun for this man. . . . This
functional bodily defect is such that it makes the man useless ... a
deformity, offensive to the sight of others . . . which necessitates some sort
of. . . staff or a kind of wooden leg because excluding such a thing, he cannot
rise to the pulpit to say mass without considerable indecency.46
For his part, Don Pedro did not bother to mention his deformity to the bishop, noting only
that his mother was the sister of the priest of Songo and that, like his peers, he "has
studied and dedicated myself to the study of grammar and moral theology and I do not
possess any defect outlined by the Council of Trent."47
Familial favors and nepotism dominated Diego Morcillo Rubio y Auñón's tenure as
bishop from 1709 to 1711 As mentioned earlier, Fray Diego brought with him from the
Bishopric of León at least six relatives, each of whom had considerable success in the
several job competitions conducted from 1709-1712,48 this despite not having any
45ACCFLM, Tomo 19, fol. 2.
46Ibid
47Ibid, 4. According to subsequent testimony, two years after applying for minor
orders, on the 27th of December 1963, Pedro Lino de Montalbo was ordained a Presbyter
by Bishop Queipo de Llano y Valdes, although no records indicate if he ever served as
priest or assistant in any parish in the diocese.
48There were nine concursos in the span of three years from 1709 to 1712,
compared with only twelve for the first twenty years of this study. The inordinate number

79
knowledge, at least initially, of the local languages of Quechua and Aymara. Pedro
Ygnacio de Foncueba was cura of Vilque, Mocomoco and Laza in the 1710s and 1720s;
Ygnacio de la Rreta worked in the much sought after village of Coroico in the 1710s;
Ygnacio Diaz procured the curato of Ambana in 1710 and served that post until 1716,
when he followed Fray Diego to the Archdiocese of La Plata to become cura of the Indian
town of Quillacolla; Nicolás Mexia de Vargas worked in Sorata before moving on to Laza
in the 1720s, Lucas Bonilla y Portillo probably worked in the village of Sun, but the
archival record is ambiguous; and Pedro Morcillo Rubio, the bishop's brother, worked in
the Indian parish of San Pedro Extramuros in La Paz in the 1710s. Although not specified
as relatives, at least two other retainers of Bishop Morcillo y Auñón also held important
positions in the diocese. Juan Manuel de Figueroa, born and educated in Guatemala, was
still serving as parish priest in Sorata in 1730, and Francisco Coronado worked as rector
of the seminary school in La Paz in the 1710s, and for more than a decade from 1717 until
at least 1728, was cura of the pueblo of Laja, just west of the capital city.
Most of these men, therefore, stayed in the Diocese of La Paz after their
benefactor moved on to the Archdiocese of La Plata. This suggests either that Fray
Diego's retainers were either content with their employment in the diocese, or did not see
much of a future in moving south. Judging from the countless claims by parish priests of
their overwhelming poverty, perhaps the latter assumption was more accurate. Indeed,
Licenciado Francisco Coronado was one among a significant number of parish priests in
of deaths among priests perhaps was a result of the general epidemic which plagued the
area in the early 1710s.

80
the Diocese of La Paz who complained incessantly of his financial woes. More than half
of the members of the sample group (sixty-nine, or 52 percent), either in their petitions for
orders or professional résumés, mention personal poverty as a significant quality of their
lives. Of course, it is impossible to discern the legitimacy of these claims, and the few
records which exist on priests' financial situation do not necessarily corroborate their
collective testimony of poverty.49 To use just one example from literally hundreds of cases
located in the Archivo de La Paz of priests engaged in civil litigation involving valuable
estates and assets, Presbyter Antonio Mañueco complained in 1720 that Lorenzo Porcel
owed him the monetary equivalent of eight hundred fifty baskets of coca, an amount
allegedly advanced to Porcel from the cura's productive cocales (coca farms) in the
Yungas.50 In addition, a review of several priests' final wills and testaments reveals that at
least a few curas were considerably well off. For instance, Doctor Pedro de Goizueta
Brabo de Paredes, who served as precentor (chantre) of the Cathedral in the 1670s and
1680s, left an impressive quantity of riches to his relatives, including a house full of
European furniture, a valuable wardrobe, several chains of pearls, and an assortment of
silver rings — "one filled with diamonds."51
49Alberto Crespo Rodas contends that the city and region surrounding La Paz was
thriving compared to other parts of the Audiencia of Charcas. He bases his theory on the
sizable population of the area and the fact that "the agriculture farmed by the indigenous
peoples of the pre-Columbian era (potatoes, quima, pinapple, and a variety of fruits) was
expanded by the Spaniards." Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura,
382.
50ALP, Caja 52, Expedientes Coloniales Num. 7, 1720.
S1ALP, Caja 28, Expedientes Coloniales Num 8, 1682. On the personal holdings
and riches of priests, Peñaloza Cordero states accurately: "the personal belongings of

81
In any case, a significant number of priests invoked the bishops' sympathies for
their impoverished condition, usually supporting their claims with stories of poor relatives
who relied on their assistance for survival. Indeed, some priests, like Licenciado Martín
de Sarricolea y Olea, allegedly entered the priesthood not because of any religious calling,
but rather to provide for the welfare of their families. It is worth noting that poorer
candidates for orders and jobs frequently walked a fine line between, on one the hand,
trying to convince their superiors of their prestigious Spanish lineage and purity of blood,
while at the same time seeking the bishop's pity for their families' financial difficulties.
Don Martin stated in his application for a job in 1693:
I was bom in the City of Kings [Lima] of such reputable parents. . . [but I
cannot] represent my nobility [hidalguía] to Your Most Illustrious
Lord . . . [because] they left me so poor, which was my reason for having
applied myself totally to my studies, the only asset I have to help my three
orphaned sisters. . . [I] being [solely] responsible to relieve their
suffering.52
Taking care of family members, in fact, was the most common way for priests or
prospective priests to bring up their privation. Usually, as in the case of Don Martin,
priests asked the bishop to consider the plight specifically of their poor sisters, some of
whom were nuns or lay women housed in the nunnery of Our Lady of the Immaculate
Conception for lack of other alternatives for care. Pleading for an appointment to one of
the vacant posts in Songo and Caquiavire, Santiago de la Torre began his relación in
priests were often sumptuous and the clergymen counted among their assets agricultural
estates, workshops, manufacturing plants, etc. . .In addition, they made money from their
endowments and for the celebration of dedicated masses." Nueva Historia Económica de
Bolivia, 29
52ACCFLM, Tomo 22, fol. 268.

82
1710: "I have four sisters who are nuns in this nunnery . . . and another one [outside the
nunnery] and I cannot [because of unemployment] manage to relieve their suffering, so my
father, burdened by old age, is forced to work 1,53
The obligation to support poor sisters and other family members was not the only
method priests used to elicit compassion from the bishop for orders or employment.
While impoverished family members certainly played a part in the desperate appeal of
Doctor Diego Mexias Hidalgo, a prolonged drought left the priest unable to grow even
the most basic foods on the family farm. Moreover, Don Diego's mother invested the little
money bequeathed by his recently deceased father on his education in Cuzco, which meant
that the rest of the family was left penniless. In one of the most descriptive accounts of
poverty of all applicants for orders or jobs in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730,
Mexias Hidalgo wasted no time emphasizing the gravity of the situation. He began his
relación:
The reasons that I find myself with many obligations include having a sickly
mother (enfermissa) and a poor sister, who has been sick for more than ten
years as well, [constantly] collapsing and then [struggling] to right herself
for more than four of those years which required her to stay mostly in bed,
plus I have six orphaned cousins who are like sisters and then three
[dependent] nephews. . . . because of the fact that our parents are all dead,
we have been left destitute, without any relief other than that provided by
the small parcel of land (chacracilla), which my parents gave to me upon
ordination. . . This chacracilla has not been able to provide even the
slightest sustenance. . . . I have applied for jobs in the last four
competitions, not gaining employment in any of them. ... I put myself at
your feet . . to favor me with a benefice so we can feed ourselves, for the
few resources which my father left us my mother used to support me in the
Real Colegio of Our Father San Bernardo de Cusco.54
53ACCFLM, Tomo 32, fol. 133.
54ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 185.

83
Some petitioners who claimed poverty recalled the memory of prominent past
relatives, usually former or current bishops of the Diocese of La Paz who either ordained
them or awarded them for their faithful service with favorable positions, and who certainly
(at least in the view of the poor priest) would have worked to enable the petitioner to
avoid his current financial crisis Julián de Mendoza y Calatayud came to La Paz from
Lima as a familiar of Bishop Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra in the late 1690s. In the job
competition of 1728, Don Julián wrote briefly of his cortos méritos (few merits) before
apprizing Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo
of the tremendous arrears and miseries which I have suffered in the twenty-
four years I have served in this bishopric . . . having the responsibility for
four poor sisters who continually ask me about my fortunes . and I
always give them what I have, so as to relieve their suffering.53
Juan Manuel de Figueroa, one of Fray Diego's retainers from the Bishopric of
León, reminded the bishop in his relación from 1710: "I have worked for Your Most
Illustrious Lord for more than three years. . . [with] such decorated and praiseworthy
service, attending [to my duties] with punctuality and [proper] conduct." Don Juan ended
his the appeal by telling the bishop of his "seven poor and virtuous sisters back in
Guatemala who rely on my stipend for their survival."56
Summary
Almost all the boys and young men who applied for ordination in the diocese, and
a majority of parish priests who worked for the bishops of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were
creoles from local families. All claimed illustrious and untainted Spanish (or — as in the
55ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 274r.
56ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 148.

84
case of Joseph Julián Inga Charaja — Indian) heritage, and many had ties to former
bishops or royal officials of some economic or political importance. The fact that most
priests from the Diocese of La Paz had local connections helps explain, to a certain extent,
why many of them were involved in land and work-related disputes with their parishioners.
These men, in other words, had important personal links to the secular world around
them, and as many of the witness testimonies from the 1680s and 1690s prove, a fair
number exploited these ties to their own advantage.
Claims to noble descent and connections with powerful members of local society,
however, did not translate — if the priests' relaciones de méritos y servicios and the
peticiones para órdenes are to be believed — to a life of comfort and prosperity. Indeed,
priests from all five decades of this study complained constantly of the poverty and
hardships of their positions, this despite contradictory evidence from other sources which
suggests that many priests were well-endowed financially, some even affluent. As we will
see in Chapter 4, moreover, a fair number of seminary students attended school in Cuzco,
La Plata and even far off Lima, a fact which does not support the repeated claims of
financial destitution
In the broader picture, of course, these claims of poverty were a frank admission
that obtaining a parish was seen, among other things, as an economic advantage. Judging
from the parishioner statements from the 1680s and 1690s, many beneficed priests active
in the diocese during these years sought to parlay this advantage into an even more
profound dominance over local resources, labor, and ultimately, village politics. In other
words, a majority of priests employed at this time — again, if witness testimonies are to be

85
believed — took full advantage of their positions of power and attempted to impose their
will for financial gain or political power.
Chapter 4, incidentally, also discusses priestly performance, specifically which
accomplishments priests routinely recognized as their most notable achievements in the
line of duty As I point out in Chapter 5, however, these accomplishments contrast
sharply with the allegations of priestly neglect and abuse that plagued parish priests during
the first two decades of this study.

CHAPTER 4
PRIESTLY EDUCATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS
For young men dedicated to the priestly vocation, ordination and formal education
usually went hand in hand It was not uncommon for priests of low academic
accomplishment to become ordained and have successful careers,1 but an overwhelming
majority of clerics who worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 held
advanced degrees from either a colegio (secondary school), a university, or both. In large
part, colegios and universities founded in the Americas were designed to train
professionals to service, in essence, the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church. Hence,
educators and educational curricula placed much emphasis on training individuals to
become efficient doctors, lawyers, and priests, who in all likelihood would work for the
state at some point in their careers. Education in the Americas was thus both practical and
scholastic: practical in the sense that high marks and academic distinction usually
translated to better jobs and professional success, and scholastic since the structure of
learning and teaching in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries still borrowed
Usually these priests were ordained a título de idioma (by title of competence in
language), meaning in the case of the Diocese of La Paz, facility in Quechua or Aymara.
Many of the more educated priests were also wealthier, and in contrast were ordained a
título de capellanía (by title of endowment) which guaranteed a usually modest yearly
stipend tied to the commercial output of a particular estate or small farm.
86

87
heavily from medieval codes, dominated of course by the scholastic traditions of the
Church/'
For those clerics applying for the more lucrative or desirable positions (which
included, of course, the Cathedral and the other parishes in La Paz), an impressive
academic career was a considerable bonus, and parish priests did not hesitate to boast of
their accomplishments in their petitions for orders and employment.3 A statistical analysis
of the different levels of education completed by members of the secular clergy is difficult
to assemble because the data are incomplete and ambiguous, and no comprehensive report
of academic achievements of diocesan priests exists in the archival record. Furthermore,
whereas bachelor, licentiate, master,4 and doctor are all distinguishing titles reflecting
different levels of education, in many reports the bishops were seemingly uncertain of the
academic accomplishments of a given priest, and placed the honorific and indefinite "don"
before his first name The title "don" was, in effect, no indication at all of one's
educational level, and thus could refer to a priest with no advanced degree, as well as to a
^Scholasticism is defined as "the search for devout contemplative understanding of
the divine mysteries, or as understanding the intellect sought within faith by using all the
resources of human reason." The Encyclopedia of Catholicism, vol 1, s.v. "scholasticism."
3On the difference between creole and peninsular relaciones, Mario Góngora
writes "Creoles seeking ordination or a benefice, in particular, tended to highlight in their
relaciones their prior academic standing and achievements in an effort to distinguish
themselves from peninsular rivals who emphasized social and familial background in their
petitions for jobs " Colonial History of Spanish America, 187.
“The title of maestro (master) was not an educational title per se, since it refers not
to an earned degree, but rather to the appointment as an instructor at a colegio or
university. Quite a few men who eventually went on to become priests in the Diocese of
La Paz served as teachers at schools in Cuzco, La Paz and Lima before entering the
priesthood, and thus identified themselves in official documents as maestros.

88
bachelor or a doctor For example, in a 1725 official report to the King, Bishop Fernando
de Rojas y Acebedo referred to PedroYgnacio de Foncueba as simply "Don Pedro." In
subsequent documentation, however, it is clear that the man graduated with a licentiate
degree in Moral Theology from the Colegio de San Francisco de Boija in Guatemala City.
Notwithstanding the confusion surrounding the title "don," some conclusions can be made
about the academic achievements of parish priests from the two reports filed by Bishop
Queipo de Llano Valdés in 1690 and by Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo in 1725.
The 1690 report on thirty-five diocesan priests revealed a highly educated group of
men, surprising perhaps considering La Paz had no university and the fair distance of the
capital city from the major colonial cities of Cuzco, La Plata and Lima. Five curas held
baccalaureate degrees, and six parish priests were licenciados. Five men identified
themselves as masters, and ten priests used the title of doctor. Of the nine men whose
designation was simply "don" in the 1690 report, further research revealed that one was a
bachelor, six were licentiates, and the educational levels of two men, Juan de Mosquera
and Juan Antonio de Eguáres y Pasquier (Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés’ visitor-
general), cannot be ascertained
In the 1725 report of fifty-five priests employed in the diocese that year, only five
men were identified as bachelors, seven had licentiate degrees, three priests used the title
of master, and thirteen were doctors. Of the twenty-nine parish priests who received the
ambiguous title of "don," further research revealed that four held bachelor's degrees, three
were masters, fourteen were licentiates, and one was a doctor. The educational level of
the remaining seven priests remains unknown. This might reflect their relatively low
academic accomplishments.

89
The 1690 and 1725 informes indicate, in sum, that many curas who worked in the
Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 held advanced university degrees, although having a
doctorate was not always a ticket to better employment, as indicated, for example, by the
career of the parish priest of San Antonio de Esquilache, Diego de Peralta y Ayala.
Doctor Diego was active in all twelve of the concursos of the 1680s and the early 1690s,
yet was unable to land a new position before his death in 1693, which proved to be the
only way out of working in San Antonio, a notoriously difficult and dangerous place to
work according to various priests' testimonies.5
If the secular clergy of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 was, by and
large, an educated group, what type of schooling did they receive in the Spanish American
secondary schools and universities? No monographs have been written about the school
most attended, the Colegio de San Gerónimo in La Paz, so it is difficult to state with full
confidence the curriculum most future priests of the diocese followed. But in all
likelihood, prior to the Bourbon reforms of the mid-eighteenth century, academic life and
instruction varied little from one colegio or university to the next, and thus a student in the
Andes received roughly the same training as his peers in other parts of Spanish America.6
5See footnote number 25, Chapter 2, for an account of the inhospitality of San
Antonio de Esquilache as a place to live and work.
6See Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, Ganster, “A Social History of the Secular
Clergy of Lima during the middle decades of the Eighteenth Century;” and John Tate
Lanning, Academic Culture in the Spanish Colonies (London: Oxford University Press,
1940) for an overview of academic life and priestly education during the colonial period.
For a complete review of all major universities founded during the colonial era in Spanish
America, see Agüeda María Rodríguez Cruz, Historia de las Universidades
Hispanoamericanas (Bogotá: Imprenta Patriótica del Instituto Caro Y Cuervo, 1973).

90
In his study of parish priests in Mexico, Taylor contends that boys throughout the
Americas typically began their formal education between the ages of ten and twelve,7
although most had some sort of private tutorial education at an earlier age. The scant data
from the Diocese of La Paz on early education confirms this point, as boys who applied
for grants to attend the Colegio de San Gerónimo were on average twelve years old. The
content of the colegio and university curricula followed a medieval plan of study, with
students spending the first five years completing the minor subjects of grammar, rhetoric,
and philosophy.8 The grammar course consisted of writing, reading and instruction in the
pronunciation of Latin, while the series of rhetoric courses concentrated on both Spanish
and Latin texts, syntax, and the art of debate. Indeed, throughout their educational
careers, top students engaged in public debates, often honing their oratory and
argumentative skills, valuable tools obviously for a career in the priesthood. Juan Manuel
de Figueroa, cura of Sorata in the 1720s, first studied grammar at the Colegio Real de
Nuestra Señora de la Asumpción in Guatemala City, then spent three years at that same
city's Universidad Real de San Carlos where, "with high marks from my professors I gave
a public presentation of logic with various conclusions."9 On the value of these public
7On the question of formal education and age, Laura Escobari Quejerazu reports
that as early as the age of four, boys attending the Colegio San Boija in Cuzco received
schooling in "prayers, the catechism, and. . .the first rudimentary lessons on reading, writing
and singing." Laura Escobari Quejerazu, "La Evangelización por medio de la Educaciones:
Los Jesuítas y el Colegio San Boija del Cuzco," in La Evangelización del Perú, Siglos
XV1-XV1I, 207.
8Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 90.
9ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 148.

91
lectures, Taylor contends, "in the [higher educational] process they became veterans of
public display of their knowledge - in sermons, lecture, disputations, examinations of
various kinds, and the publication of literary works."10
For students who wished to pursue an advanced degree or who sought ordination
and a career in the priesthood, additional course work (taking on average three years to
complete) in theology, law, Aristotelean logic, various sciences and mathematics was
beneficial Theology, of course, was the main focus for future priests, and as Mario
Góngora points out, students entering either a colegio mayor (upper-division secondary
school) or a university focused less on the scriptures than on scholasticism, contemplating
the teachings of theological philosophers such as Duns Scotus and more importantly, St.
Thomas Aquinas.11
This pattern was certainly followed by priests of the Diocese of La Paz. A student
of the Colegio Real de San Martin (Lima), Doctor Fernando Suárez y Montenegro "won
the approval of his teachers"1" so they awarded him a grant to pursue advanced studies in
Sacred Theology, where he "defended in a distinguished presentation {acto) the entire first
part of St. Thomas."13 Students who completed this final stage of course work in the
10Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 91
uGóngora, Studies in the Colonial History of Spanish America, 188.
'Of the teachers of future priests, Góngora writes: "In theology, however, the
teachers preferred the system of dictation, in order to gain continuing support for their
own opinions or the views of particular schools of thought regarding current topics of
controversy." Ibid., 189.
13ACCFLM, fol. 283. Tomo 26. On the curricula and public presentations, Lanning
writes: "In the Arts courses, in which the majority of undergraduates enrolled, the logic,
metaphysics, and physics of Aristotle dominated until the late eighteenth century...On
Saturdays and Wednesdays, a student championed a thesis. These 'acts,' when they became
formal, were known as conclusions in which one or more students defended a given thesis

92
colegio were awarded a bachelor's degree in either Arts or Philosophy, but only after
passing an oral examination before a panel of at least three teachers.14
If the 1725 survey of priests in the Diocese of La Paz is any measure, many
bachelors went on to receive even more schooling to earn their licentiate and doctoral
degrees. According to Taylor, once a student dedicated himself to the priesthood and was
on track to become ordained, he typically advanced to study one of two types of theology:
dogmatic or moral. A good student could earn a licentiate degree in roughly four years in
one of these theological disciplines or in canon law. Students who wanted a doctorate
typically spent another two to four years specializing in some aspect of theology before
graduation 15
The path to ordination and the pursuit of an advanced degree were usually
simultaneous, even if the conference of orders and graduation were handled by separate
administrative entities. A few years into their formal educations, prospective priests
typically began applying for minor orders through the bishop's office. The first stage of
ordination was first tonsure, whereby students as young as seven years of age, but usually
thirteen or fourteen, took first vows and had a portion of their heads shaved in preparation
for entering the priesthood The second stage, that of órdenes menores was conferred
upon recommendation of the student's pastor and one of his teachers, although the
bishop's office made the final decision depending on the candidate's qualifications. Taylor
reports that "normally, future priests would have begun the minor orders at age fourteen
as a step toward the baccalaureate, licentiate, or doctorate." Lanning, Academic Culture
in the Spanish Colonies, 43.
14Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 90.
15Ibid , 91

93
after completing the grammar course and demonstrating knowledge of Christian doctrine
and the mysteries of the faith 1,16
Once reaching the age of twenty two, according to Church rules, future priests
could seek promotion to the major orders of subdeacon, deacon, and finally, presbyter,
each level with the appropriate periods of probation (called intersticios) required between
promotions The Council of Trent specified the minimum ages for these orders, although
the various bishops of La Paz routinely pushed through waivers of these requirements due
to - according to a number of testimonials - the inopia (lack) of ordained priests in the
region In any case, technically the minimum age for subdeaconship was twenty two.
Deacons had to be at least twenty three, and fully ordained priests were required to be, at
a minimum, twenty-five years of age 17
Taylor and Lanning point out that by the time candidates for the priesthood
finished a baccalaureate degree and subsequent theology courses, they were on average
about twenty-three or twenty-four years old, within a year then, of minimum age for the
priesthood. The archival record for the Diocese of La Paz supports this claim, as most
candidates for presbyter were deacons who had received their bachelor's degree and thus
had applied for final orders shortly after graduation. These deacons were, on average,
twenty-three years old For men who entered the priesthood with higher degrees, such as a
licentiate or doctorate, it was customary for them to complete their studies before seeking
full ordination. Some priests, like Roque Rutal y Marquina - a frequent candidate for job
16Ibid, 93.
17Ibid , 93-94

94
vacancies in the late 1680s and 1690s - waited to apply for first tonsure until after he
finished his bachelor and licentiate degrees from the Real Universidad de Cuzco in 1688.18
Of the one hundred and thirty-two priests of the sample group, at least thirty
attended, at some point in their academic careers, the Colegio Real de San Gerónimo, La
Paz' seminary school More than half of these students attended the Colegio de la
Compañía de Jesús in La Paz19 either prior to, or in some cases, at the same time as their
enrollment in the Colegio Real. Studying Latin grammar and undergoing language
(Quechua and Aymara) training with the Jesuits, while taking courses in the Arts and
theology at San Gerónimo, was apparently a common practice at least among students
originally from the diocese The paceño Gaspar de Herrera's educational career was
typical of many young men applying for minor orders. He wrote to Bishop Queipo de
Llano y Valdés in 1686: “I am a seminary student in the Colegio de La Paz (San
Gerónimo] I have served this colegio and the (Cathedral] Church for more than seven
years, continuing my studies in the Compañía de Jesús of this city."20 Three years later,
Joseph Noguera y Olasaval received a grant to enter the Colegio de San Gerónimo based
18ACCFLM, Tomo 13, fol. 329.
I9On the importance of Jesuit instruction in the Audiencia of Charcas, Lanning
writes: "they anticipated royal authorization (to teach] . . . (and] in their realization that
through the mastery of the native tongues they (could] evangelize the aborigine. . . . The
drift was plainly to Charcas as the center of Jesuit spiritual and intellectual domination, for
the capital was within reach of a large indigenous population, wrapped in a perennial
spring, and conveniently close to the wealth of Potosí." Lanning, Academic Culture in the
Spanish Colonies, 22.
20ACCFLM, Tomo 9, fol. 79.

95
on his superior work and behavior as a student in the Jesuit colegio, where he studied
grammar and lived "with total modesty and composure.”21
Twenty-eight of the clerics of the sample group attended school in Cuzco,22 which
was, according to Lanning, a significant center of learning because of its "ancient and
renowned importance."23 At some point in their academic careers, sixteen of these men
took classes at the Colegio de San Bernardo, founded in the sixteenth century by the
Jesuits, who later formed the University of San Ignacio de Loyola for the colegio's top
graduates. Five priests from the sample group held advanced degrees from this Jesuit-
administered university.
The Jesuits did not completely control higher education in Cuzco, however, as
twelve future priests of the Diocese of La Paz attended the Colegio de San Antonio Abad,
the first Spanish American school established in Cuzco founded by friars of the Dominican
order.24
21ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 25.
22There are two excellent compendiums of primary sources on many aspects of
social, economic, political, and educational life in colonial Cuzco. Edited by Horacio
Villanueva Urteaga, Cuzco en 1689: Economía y sociedad en el sur andino (Centro de
Estudios rurales andinos, “Bartolomé de las Casas,” 1982) is a collection of reports
generated by order of Doctor Don Manuel de Mollinedo y Angula, the Bishop of Cuzco
in the late 1680s. The colegios and universities of San Bernardo, San Antonio de Abad,
and San Francisco de Boija are referenced throughout the compilation. Also see Diego
Esquivel y Navia’s important work entitled, Noticias cronológicas de la Gran Ciudad del
Cuzco (Lima: Fundación Agustín Wiese, 1980).
23Lanning, Academic Culture in the Spanish Colonies, 27.
24Ibid, 27. On the competition between the religious orders for students, Lanning
writes: "Rivalry between the Jesuit institutions and San Antonio de Abad was natural, for
students of the latter had to make the trip to Lima or succumb to a Jesuit examination at
home. The furor excited by the situation led to the creation, in 1692, of a second and rival

96
Doctor Antonio Sabater's (an ordained priest who worked in the diocese in the 1720s)
academic career was typical of many of the more educated clerics who, as natives of the
diocese, first attended schools in La Paz then ventured west to Cuzco for an advanced
degree before returning home to practice their vocation. In the early 1700s, he attended
the Colegio de la Compañía de Jesús in La Paz, where he studied Latin before moving on
to Cuzco's Universidad de San Ignacio. From the University he received a bachelor's
degree in Science, and later, after finishing a course in the Arts ("with the requisite end-of-
the-year public lectures before the faculty"25) he earned a master's degree in that discipline.
After three more years of schooling and additional public lectures, the University found
him "worthy and deserving"26 of the degrees of licentiate and doctor, which were
conferred on the 11th of October 1709. He then returned to La Paz and within a few
years completed the ordination process and first competed for,jobs in the concursos of
1712.
Some future priests, such as Bernardo de Peñaranda, were born in the Diocese of
La Paz, went west to begin their formal educations in Cuzco, only to return to La Paz to
complete higher degrees. As a descendent of "one of the first families of this city (La
Paz],"27 Don Bernardo attended the Colegio de San Antonio Abad in the 1700s before
returning to the Colegio Real de San Gerónimo. While a student there, he applied for and
institution called the University of San Antonio de Abad with the power to give degrees "
Ibid
25ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 187.
26Ibid
27ACCFLM, Tomo 27, fol. 54.

97
received minor orders in February of 1710. There is no record of Don Bernardo's service
in the diocese after this date, but it is possible he was an assistant to his older brother,
Vicente de Peñaranda, who worked as parish priest in Viacha in the 1710s and 1720s.
A fair number of parish priests from the sample group completed their studies in
Lima before moving to the Diocese of La Paz to start their careers. This trend is not
surprising - and not necessarily representative of the secular clergy of the diocese as a
whole - since the retainers Bishop Rubio y Auñón brought with him from Lima tended to
file detailed relaciones and were included in the sample for this reason. A total of twelve
future priests who applied for orders or,jobs in the Diocese of La Paz - at some time
during their academic careers - attended either the Colegio San Martin, the Universidad de
San Marcos, or the Colegio de la Compañía de Jesús in Lima 28 Such was the case of
Licenciado Nicolás de Mexía de Vargas, a limeño whose life served as an example of not
only the mobility of parish priests, but also of the variety of professional positions priests
held in service to the crown and the Church.
Bom in Lima, Don Nicolás entered Lima's Jesuit colegio at the age of twelve,
where he studied grammar and rhetoric. After completing these courses, he matriculated
at the University of San Marcos, and, after "having defended various confessionals,"29 he
earned his bachelor’s degree with full approval from his instructors. Don Nicolás continued
his studies at the University, focusing mostly on aspects of canon law, before being
appointed conciliator of the rectory. Later, he served as a lawyer before the Real
28See Chapter One of Lanning's Academic Culture in the Spanish Colonies, for
information on the founding and administration of these limeño institutions
29ACCFLM, Tomo 29, fol. 170.

98
Audiencia of Lima, and as Judge Advocate-General of War in His Majesty's Royal
Service, all before being ordained by the Bishop of Buenos Aires. Don Nicolás went on to
have a long and industrious career in the Diocese of La Paz, serving as rector of the
seminary school, and as parish priest in Sorata and Laza in the 1710s and 1720s.30
Indeed, the spectrum of schools represented among just the sample group indicates
a striking degree of mobility among parish priests who worked in the Diocese of La Paz
from 1680 to 1730 Young men literally moved from one urban center to another in
search of advanced degrees, a trend which reveals to some extent the wealth of at least
some of the families who sent off their boys for training In addition to the
aforementioned schools in La Paz, Lima, and Cuzco, parish priests from the Diocese of La
Paz attended the following colegios or universities: the Colegio San Borja in Cuzco;31 the
University of San Fransisco Xavier, the Colegio de la Compañía de Jesús, and the Colegio
de San Juan Baptista in La Plata; the Colegio de San Francisco de Borja in Guatemala
City; the University of Guamanga, Perú; and finally, the University of Toledo in Spain,
where Bishop Rubio y Auñón's brother, Don Pedro Morcillo Rubio, was educated.32
In addition to their noble lineage, alleged poverty, and notable educational
achievements, a majority of clerics working in the Diocese of La Paz also boasted of their
30Ibid.
31For a brief analysis of the importance of the Colegio de San Boija del Cuzco
during colonial times, see Escoban Quejerazu, "La Evangelización por medio de la
Educación: Los Jesuítas y el Colegio San Boija del Cuzco," in La Evangelización del
Perú, siglos XVI-XIU.
32Twenty-five of the one hundred thirty-three men profiled did not mention where
they had received instruction, and well over half of these were young boys seeking first
tonsure and thus probably had no formal training up to that point.

99
special dedication to their jobs and their parishioners. Every petitioner for orders and
most priests applying for job vacancies from 1680 to 1730 noted at the very least their
spiritual devotion to the Church and their unabashed loyalty to their local church or
Cathedral33 Describing his worthiness for orders, for example, a seminary student named
Ysidro Brabo commented in 1709 that he was "possessed with the spirit of serving God
and the ecclesiastical profession, and for the good of my conscience, I have devoutly
served this Sacred Cathedral Church."34
If every applicant for ordination provided as part of his petition for orders a usually
brief description of achievements in service of their local church, parish priests frequently
specified in long detail particular experiences which they hoped would separate them from
their colleagues. One common way for a priest to distinguish himself was to highlight the
favorable results of a recently completed pastoral visita. Commenting on the bishop's
positive final sentences from the 1725 and 1728 series of visits, Br. Juan García de Arriaga
(cura of San Miguel de Hilave in the 1720s) reminded the bishop:
[I] was declared a good priest, having been vigilant in [my] ministry, being
exemplary in all operations, careful in governance, quick and active in the
teaching of [my] parishioners, lending a helping hand to the wretched
(imiserables) Indians.35
33 As part of their admission into the seminary, students had to perform certain
volunteer duties assisting the parish priest of the Cathedral See Chapter Five of Taylor,
Magistrates of the Sacred, for an analysis of seminary students and their responsibilities in
the Diocese of Guadalajara and the Archdiocese of Mexico.
34ACCFLM, Tomo 26, fol. 241.
35AGI, Charcas 414, 3 January 1731.

100
As priests of Indian parishes, most secular clerics of the Diocese of La Paz singled
out their special dedication to the instruction and care of their indigenous parishioners,
rarely expressing any anxiety about either their effectiveness as teachers or the Indian's
ability to accept the Catholic faith as their own Indeed, at least during job competitions,
priests tended to portray their parishes as ideal Christian communities. Miguel Cayetano
de Avendaño (parish priest of the Indian village of Chuma in the 1710s and 1720s), for
instance, bragged that he never had to answer to complaints (capítulos) made against him
by any of his Indian parishioners. In fact, he reported that the corregidor of the Province
of Larecaja, Benito Goncálvez de Santalla, had issued a favorable report on his behalf,
claiming, among other things, that
because of the fervor and compassion he shows for the suffering, as well as
for the conservation of the Indians of his region . . he (the corregidor) did
not doubt that he would continue in the future in all that concerned their
well-being and relief [from suffering] .36
Athanasio Calvo also won praise for his devotion to the Indian members of his
parishes,37 but his primary merit - as expressed in his relación - had to do with the variety
of posts he had held within the diocesan bureaucracy. In addition to his appointments as
cura of Mocomoco in 1706 and then Puno in 1712, Don Athanasio held the positions of
vicar-judge (vicario juez eclesiástico) in both of those ecclesiastic jurisdictions, church
36AGI, Charcas 412, 24 November 1721.
37"And other notable qualities which Don Phelipe Athanasio Calbo possesses, in
addition to his merits, titles, academic marks, and his exemplary character, include the
diligence he has in the fulfillment of his priestly obligations. In all of his tasks he has been
very careful and had much success getting the most out of the congregations where he has
worked He has served with total and continual patience, virtue, and provided a good
example, never failing to hold confession and or be available at the pulpit at whatever hour
of the day." AGI, Charcas 414, 30 January 1718.

101
attorney before the Audiencias of Lima and La Plata; synod examiner (examinador
sinodal) and general examiner {examinador general) of the Diocese of La Paz, Apostolic
Commisary {commisario apostólico) of the Tribunal de la Sagrada Cruzada de la
Inquisición for the Province of Puacarcolla, and finally, visitor-general of all the oratories
and chapels in the area38
Some priests, like Doctor Matheo de Narvaja, managed to attain administrative
distinction and also be recognized for their exemplary work in the field. Don Mateo held a
more advanced degree than Don Athanasio, but was appointed to roughly the same
administrative posts as his colleague.39 In his view, however, he deserved special
appreciation for his extensive service in many of the Indian villages in the diocese. By
1722, only twelve years after becoming ordained and getting his doctorate in Sacred
Theology from the Colegio de San Bernardo in Cuzco, Don Matheo had served as parish
priest in Tiahuanaco, Calamarca, Vilque, Moho, Tiquillaca, Puno, Cohoni and Collana.
In contrast to Don Matheo, who clearly sought to impress his superiors by
emphasizing the number of parishes in which he had worked, some priests hoped longevity
in the diocese would convince the bishop of their worthiness for a promotion. A perennial
assistant, Antonio Joseph de Cárdenas, somewhat sarcastically pointed this out in his
appeal for a beneficed position in either Hilave or Challana: "my merits are only having
38Ibid
39During his career, Don Matheo served as vicar-judge of the ecclesiastical districts
of Cohoni and Collana, and San Pedro and Santiago Extramuros of La Paz; synod
examiner, and finally visitor-general of the Diocese of La Paz.

102
served in various parishes in the administration of the Sacred Sacraments, preaching and
teaching the Christian doctrine [catechism] to the Indians for the last forty-three years."40
Many younger priests and those seeking ordination, while perhaps lacking in
experience and sacerdotal training, sought to gain favor from the bishop by highlighting
their language skills41 Indeed, parish priests working in the Diocese of La Paz during the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries had to pass a series of language examinations which
proved their proficiency in at least Aymara, and in some cases, Quechua as well.4" Pedro
de Noguera in his appeal for minor orders in 1693 justified his request by pointing out the
lack of church functionaries in the diocese and "because I am a language specialist" {por
ser linguarez [sic]).43 In 1709, Joseph Savater sought ordination a titulo de lengua on
account of being an "expert" {perito)44 in the native languages of the region, while his
colleague, Marcos de Herrera (an assistant priest who worked in the parish of San Pedro
40ACCFLM, Tomo 32, fol. 127.
“'Constitución III of the Second Ecclesiastical Council of Lima (1565-67) read, in
part: "priests should learn with total diligence their language, so that they can instruct
them with better proficiency.” Aparicio Quispe, "Estudio Preliminar" in La
Evangelizadon del Perú en los siglos XVI-XVII, 58.
4 During the course of every examination of candidates for a job vacancy, a
language specialist of the examining board (usually a Jesuit) "had them translate an epistle
used in mass in Aymara, and he would ask them how he would explain to the Indians in
that language the mysteries of the Catholic faith.” ACCFLM, Tomo 22, fol. 108. On the
existance of Quechua-speaking enclaves in the region of the Diocese of La Paz, Crespo
Rodas reports that Charasani is just one example of a "region strongly Quechuasized
{quechuizado) " La ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura, 332.
43ACCFLM, Tomo 22, fol. 270. Don Pedro was probably a specialist in Aymara,
the Indian language referred to throughout these documents as the lengua materna of the
Diocese of La Paz
44ACCFLM, Tomo 26, fol. 258.

103
de Extramuros in the 1710s) acknowledged his shortcomings and strengths when he
remarked:
Although I do not possess the best credentials compared to other subjects
of this diocese lam sufficiently qualified for the benefices [of Hilave
and Palca] on account of my notable facility with the language of the
Indians, such that I can administer the Sacred Sacraments and preach the
Sacred Scriptures in their maternal language.45
For those aspiring priests who were not talented linguists or notable scholars, it
was important to highlight some other aspect of their priestly experience which might
impress their superiors. One easy way to get the attention of the bishop or cabildo
eclesiástico (the cathedral chapter, a governing body which oversaw appointments and
other administrative details) was to build or rebuild churches and chapels, and to furnish
these holy buildings with expensive ornaments. Indeed, a physical inspection of the parish
church and church property was the first item of business during an official visit, and
several priests drew the sharp criticism (and sometimes monetary fines) from the visiting
official for shabby upkeep of the church or chapel.46
Of the eighty-seven clerics of the sample group who held the position of parish
priest at some point in their careers, more than half mention in their relaciones their
dedication to construction and the outfitting of the parish church.47 Licenciado Agustín de
45ACCFLM, Tomo 29, fol. 187.
46See Chapter 2 for an account of how Bernadino de Hemani Bonifaz was warned
by Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés to take better care of the physical property of the
church in the district of Combaya.
470f the parish priests of late-colonial Mexico, William Taylor writes: "By law, the
cura and other local notables were expected to contribute what they could to the
construction, reconstruction, and outfitting of the parish church, and the crown expected
any repairs to be covered by the 8.33 percent of the tithe designated for fábrica. But the

104
Barroeta y Guilléstegui (cura of Mollebamba, Palca and Caquiavire in the 1710s and
1720s) reported in a 1729 relación, for example:
As a result of a limb that fell on the Church of the Conception ... the
altarpiece burned down, so [I] rebuilt it at [my] own cost, better than it was
before In this effort and for ornaments and carved silver (plata labrada),
which I have donated to this church, I have spent more than six thousand
pesos of my own money48
Obviously, parish priests were particularly proud when they could cite exact
amounts of their own money used for an addition or new project. In such cases, the
priests were usually specific about the quality of work done and the effort necessary for
completion. Doctor Juan Ruiz de Garfias, cura of Calamarca from 1708 to 1724,
repaired the crack that threatened the roof of the primary chapel replacing
it with a new one; I have also built a large tower; and ordered the
foundation for a chapel in the name of Santa Bárbara, a vestry ... for this
church, and at the present time the baptistry is being rebuilt. ... In addition
1 have adorned the church with many ornaments of carved silver and other
gems . . all for the decency of the church.49
Many priests commented not only on repairs, improvements and new projects they
had initiated in their current parishes, but also contributions they made to churches they
served earlier in their careers Manuel Feliz de Agüero must have considered his building
accomplishments throughout the diocese of first and foremost importance, since he only
bishops traditionally had reserved this fund for maintaining the cathedral building, not for
parish churches. Late colonial builder-priests therefore won considerable favor with
bishops and dignitaries of the cathedral. Every cura who could do so, consequently,
presented himself as a builder." Magistrates of the Sacred, 103.
48AGI, Charcas 412, 12 May 1729.
49ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 186r.

105
briefly mentioned his parents, educational background, and prior jobs before launching
into a lengthy and detailed account of his current and past construction projects.
In the mines of Merengúela I have served for the last twelve years with
reputable attention to the ministries of my charge, taking care of. . . the
Divine Cult by repairing at my own cost the church of the mines whose
tabernacle was only half done before I finished it. . . [and, in fact] I
improved it and the sanctuary too . . . adorning it with gems of silver and
[other] ornaments. I built from the very first foundations the church of
Santiago [where I served before] . . . complete with doorways of cut stone
and a tower also of cut stone, and in which I put two large bells.50
Later in the relación, Don Manuel commented on his equal dedication to aesthetics in his
first job in Ytalaque, where he also sculpted a stone doorway for the church and furnished
the church with "ornaments and other necessary ornaments of silver."51
Repairing damaged roofs and adorning altars with silver certainly impressed
bishops and other ecclesiastical officials, but the adequate fulfillment of the primary duties
of every parish priest (to administer the Sacred Sacraments and teach the principles of the
Catholic faith to the Christian masses) was also essential for promotion.52 Of particular
importance was the baptism and subsequent spiritual care of recently converted Indians,
many of whom lived in remote areas of the diocese. Priests who served these potentially
dangerous regions (the northern and eastern zones of the Diocese of La Paz were
considered by curas to be the least civilized areas) often highlighted the risk of working in
50ACCFLM, Tomo 29, fol. 175.
51Ibid.
“Throughout the documentary record for the Diocese of La Paz, priests brought
up on charges of not administering diligently the Sacred Sacraments to their parishioners
were said to be neglecting la primera obligación de su cargo.

106
such conditions and were not reluctant to remind the bishop of their courage in the face of
adversity
Bartolomé de Salas y Valdés and Joseph Francisco Avendaño were two such
priests Br Salas y Valdés served in the Diocese of La Paz in the 1680s and 1690s,
spending most of his time as either an assistant priest or a beneficed cura in the villages of
Los Mohos and Charasani, both located in the northernmost sector of the diocese
According to his 1688 relación, Don Bartolomé repeatedly challenged members of the
notorious Chunchos tribe to convert to Christianity.53 Nevertheless, and undaunted by the
risks to his life such an endeavor posed, the curas informed the bishop that he simply did
his job:
In the aforementioned region [Los Mohos], [myself] and twenty
Christianized Indians who are familiar too with the laws of the Caribs - the
infidels - advanced into Chuncho territory and more than thirty of them
[Chunchos] [submitted to us] and received all the waters of baptism.54
Joseph Francisco Abendaño worked in the eastern region of the diocese for most
of his career, spending most of his years (during the 1700s and 1710s) in the parish of
Chulumani, which he describes as the "frontera de los Indios Bárbaros" (frontier of the
barbaric Indians)55 Don Joseph allegedly completed all the duties of his position, serving
53The Chunchos were a rebellious group who resisted Inca sovereignty prior to the
arrival of the Spanish. For a brief account of early European contact with the Chunchos,
see Maria Luisa Soux et al. Apolobamba, Caupolicán, Franz Tamayo: Historia de una
región paceña (La Paz: Universidad Mayor de San Andrés, 1991).
54ACCFLM, Tomo 19, fol. 92.
55AGI, Charcas 414, 2 March, 1718

107
the Indians as well as his Spanish parishioners, most of whom were soldiers sent there to
guard the village from hostile Indian incursions. Of his predicament in 1718, he wrote:
I have continued [my duties] . . . with great zeal and vigilance in the
administration of the Sacred Sacraments, in service of the newly reduced
[converted] Indians as well as the Spaniards, who are here along this
Frontier of the Infidel to guard us and the church. Preaching, and
indoctrinating in the Sacred Scriptures . . [is] a real challenge because the
infidels constantly mingle with the recently converted. . . . This task is
insurmountable, in part due to the close proximity of such groups.56
Threats from human sources were not the only obstacles which parish priests
working in the Diocese of La Paz in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries
had to overcome Indeed, several clerics commented on the physical challenges of their
appointments, and how they still managed to fulfil their priestly obligations despite the
risks to their very lives the physical environment often presented. In the case of Doctor
Manuel Rodriguez de la Espada, that threat came from the "harshness" of the land, which
forced him to walk "at least one hundred and fifty leagues a year"57 instead of riding a
mule to serve Indians living beyond the parish village of Challana. In 1714, Don Manuel
appealed to the bishop for a different appointment, complaining:
For fifteen years I have labored here with considerable fervor, even with
the ruggedness of the territory which requires me to travel more by foot
than by mule, I have given spiritual sustenance (pasto espiritual) to my
parishioners, penetrating their inaccessible wilds (montañas), and uneven
mountain chains (fragosas cordilleras)58
56Ibid
57ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 179r.
58Ibid.

108
In addition, parish priests frequently cited poor health in their relaciones and
requests for transfers {permutas), and they nearly always blamed the harsh physical
conditions for their troubles.59 In the tropical region of the Yungas Chapes (east of La
Paz), Bernardo de Chábes complained he had endured thirty-six years of working in pain:
"the rigorous weather has taken away my health . [but I still] have the vigilance to
administer the Sacred Sacrament [to my flock]."60 For his part, Licenciado Joseph Ortiz
Foronda (cura of Suri in the 1710s) hoped for a promotion to either Guaqui or Cohoni,
asserting that he might have to renounce his benefice due to poor health He informed the
bishop in 1715, "in Suri I have had serious health problems, [which cause] a risk to my life
on account of the weather which is so damaging to my [bodily] constitution."61
The epidemics of the early eighteenth century also tested several priests' physical
and mental resolve. In the 1720s, Miguel de Piérola worked as assistant or parish priest in
Indian villages throughout the diocese - "in places that have worn down my health and
[posed] risks to my life."62 In 1728 Bishop Rojas y Acebedo appointed him as the interim
priest in Paucarcolla, where he "experienced the same bad health, [and] due to the general
590f the nine transfers which took place from 1680 to 1730, all had to do with
priests' poor health.
60ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 180 On the remoteness of the Yungas Chapes regions,
Crespo Rodas states: "the Yungas were outside of all administrative control.” La ciudad
de La Paz: su historia, su cultura, 67.
61ACCFLM, Tomo 30, fol. 149.
62ACCFLM. Tomo 36, fol. 261.

109
epidemic (común epidemia), other grave dangers in my effort to fulfill my ministerial
duties."63
Commenting on the plagues, some priests, including Juan Baptista de Moya y
Villacorta, bragged of their fortitude and munificence in the face of such terrible
conditions. As parish priest of Carabuco in the 1720s, Don Juan served
without fault to the duties of serving God, primarily during this epidemic
which ran through that region [Carabuco] from the first days of October of
the past year, administering the Sacred Sacraments to more than fifteen
hundred sick people, withstanding rains, glaring suns, and high winds
. . [to conduct] confessions both within and outside the town,
experiencing incredible inconveniences [getting] to the hamlets of the
Indians, most of the time dragging myself there, carrying in my arms those
[suffering] from the strongest and harshest diseases . . . routinely leaving as
late as four or five in the afternoon to do confessions, and sometimes as
late as midnight.64
Summary
The men who staffed the diocesan churches of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to
1730 were, by and large, educated men of academic distinction and notable professional
qualities While a majority received their schooling in local colegios and universities,
some came from as far as Central America and Spain to serve in the diocese after finishing
their educations. Without question, those who earned bachelor, licentiate, and doctoral
degrees had greater opportunities for advancement within the hierarchy of the Church, but
some of the most successful men (i.e those who gained employment in La Paz and in the
Cathedral Chapter) were men of modest academic achievement.
63Ibid.
“ACCFLM, Tomo 36, fol. 270.

110
For those dedicated to the priestly vocation, applying for ordination usually
coincided with various levels of educational training. Boys as young as eight and nine
could apply for first tonsure, and by the age of twenty-three, most of the men who
eventually served in parishes in the Diocese of La Paz had earned at least one of the major
orders. Once a subdeacon or deacon reached the age of twenty-five, he was ordinarily
finished with school and active in the numerous concursos held throughout the period
under review
Priests who sought promotion generally boasted of their exemplary dedication to
the Church and their clean record of service. In many instances, their professional
resumés resembled life as they hoped it would be. In an effort to increase their bargaining
power before religious officials and gain an upper hand in negotiations for advantage —
political or otherwise — over village leaders, they frequently wrote of their undying
devotion to their parishioners, their indefatigable commitment to fulfilling the obligations
of their ministerial charge, and their proficiency as language experts and as managers of
construction projects which benefitted local churches and chapels. Indeed, if judged by
their relaciones alone, the image of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 would be
one of a supremely dedicated priesthood in service to dutiful congregations of loyal, and
learning, new Christian adherents
Indeed, as I discuss in the next three chapters, however, this idealistic image of the
thriving Christian community was, if judged by parishioner testimonies, an illusory one
From 1680 to 1700, a majority of witnesses who appeared before ecclesiastical officials
complained that their parish priest was either neglectful in his religious duties or involved
in conduct unbecoming to a man of the priestly vocation. In fact, for this twenty year

Ill
period, visita witnesses accused over half of the priests who stood trial before the visiting
bishop or visitor-general of omission or misconduct. The nature of these complaints, and
how priests and the presiding Church officials responded to what were often serious
allegations of priestly impropriety, are the focal points of the next two chapters.

CHAPTER 5
THE VILLAGE VOICE: WITNESS TESTIMONIES, 1680-1700
During the last two decades of the seventeenth century, parishioners testifying
before visita officials accused a majority of the parish priests who worked in the Diocese
of La Paz of either not doing their job or behaving in ways unbecoming to men of the
cloth. Conflicts between priests and their mostly native parishioners during this period
ranged from petty disagreements about the duration of Sunday mass to more serious
clashes which threatened communal accord. In the most severe instances, these
controversies may have jeopardized the very survival of some native communities which
were already strained by the exploitation of labor, tax demands, disease, and the flight of
tributary Indians from their ancestral homes.1
This climate of hostility and animosity existed, I argue, as a result of three
prevailing conditions. First, many village leaders during the 1680s and 1690s were
proactive, and energetically defended their communities against what they perceived to be
excessive demands or unfair treatment at the hands of their parish priest or the colonial
system on the whole. Second, the two bishops during these two decades, Juan Queipo de
Llano Valdés and Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra, were assiduous administrators who
^his pattern of originario flight from their ancestral villages has been discussed by
several scholars. For the Andes, see Larson, Colonialism and Agrarian Transformation
in Bolivia: Cochabamba 1550-1900, Chapter Four (entitled “Flee toward the Enemy:
Seventeenth-Century Migration Patterns,”) of Karen Powers, Andean Journeys:
Migration, Ethnogenesis and the State in Colonial Quito, and Larson and Harris, eds.,
Ethnicity, Markets, and Migration in the Andes.
112

113
supervised regular series of episcopal visitas designed specifically to curtail abuses
committed by the clergy. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, a majority of parish
priests working in the diocese at this time were apparently willing to test the legal and
moral boundaries of acceptable behavior, or compromise their good standing in the
community by engaging in political alliances which favored one village faction over
another 2
It is possible, even likely, that relations between priests and parishioners in the
Diocese of La Paz were equally contentious in preceding and subsequent decades. The
primary data in particular visita y escrutinio records, however, distinguish these final
decades of the seventeenth century as certifiably controversial ones. Of the one hundred
and fifty-four visitas conducted during these years, over half (50.6 percent) resulted in
some allegation of priestly malfeasance. In other words, the average priest during this era
was either authentically corrupt, or involved — no matter how tangentially — in local
power struggles and consequently implicated in wrongdoing. Either way, village strife in
2Many scholars have addressed village factionalism and intracommunity rivalries in
the context of colonial Spanish America. William Taylor examines the issue in various
publications, including his book Landlord and Peasant in Colonial Oaxaca in which he
finds that caciques usually squabbled over elections to public posts, office holdings, and
land disputes He states: “The Indians frequent recourse to litigation, often at great
expense, is one of the most striking aspects of their adjustment to colonial rule.” William
Taylor, Landlord and Peasant in Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford: Stanford University Press,
1972), 53 Taylor acknowledges in his article entitled “Conflict and Balance in District
Politics: Tecali and the Sierra Norte de Puebla in the Eighteenth Century,” that priests
often held a stake in these factional conflicts, since they were usually allied with one group
or another He writes: “the cura had traditional responsibilities that brought him into the
public affairs of his parish. ... His role as judge and protector of the Indians extended into
what today would be considered civil and political matters.” William Taylor, “Conflict
and Balance in District Politics: Tecali and the Sierra Norte de Puebla in the Eighteenth
Century,” in Simon Miller and Arij Ouweneel, eds., The Indian Community of Colonial
Mexico (Amsterdam: CEDLA, 1990), 284.

114
the diocese, at least as seen through the lens of the episcopal visita, reached its peak in the
1680s and 1690s, and engendered a climate of conflict and turmoil which surely affected
the religious mission of the Church in this particular colonial setting.
In this chapter and the next, I will evaluate the behavior and performance of the
parish priests active in the Diocese of La Paz during these decades by examining the
myriad of social and political relationships between members of the secular clergy, their
parishioners, and the two bishops who served during this era. I focus exclusively on these
final decades of the seventeenth century because they define the final era of full and
representative participation in the visita process Indeed, for nearly a thirty year period
from 1697 to 1725, as I discuss in Chapter 7, parishioners no longer had frequent dialogue
with higher ecclesiastical officials, and the conduct and performance of parish priests
working in Indian villages throughout the diocese went virtually unchecked. In that
chapter, I will discuss some of the possible the explanations for, and ramifications of, this
administrative lapse
These central chapters rely chiefly on three types of documentary sources: (1)
witness testimonies, (2) letters of self-defense written by priests accused of wrongdoing;
and (3) the bishop's or the visitor-general's final sentences. The most abundant and
descriptive record of priestly behavior comes from the multitude of witness testimonies3.
These court transcriptions represent the visions and the voices of the demographic
majority, since most of the witnesses who appeared before the visita's chief prosecutor
were indigenous parishioners under the spiritual leadership of the priest on trial.
3The number of witnesses who appeared before the two chief prosecutors of the
diocese during these years totaled 1,046.

115
Witness statements generally fell into two categories. The first type was testimony
which absolved the priest of any and all misconduct, commended him for performing his
duties according to the rules of the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church, and, in rare
cases, praised him for special acts of charity or benevolence These testimonies tended to
be formulaic and provided little information about local conditions and social dynamics
beyond that requested in the specific inquiry.
Far more instructive and useful for historical analysis are the many parishioner
responses which recounted certain activities and forms of behavior which placed the priest
at odds with local citizens, royal authorities, and colonial laws. Among other things, these
cases provide clues to understanding how religious life was organized on the local level,
what parishioners perceived as rights and privileges vis-a-vis their parish priests; and how
witnesses of the 1680s and 1690s took full advantage of the pastoral visita to combat the
cycle of exploitation which they believed endangered their cultures and communities.
For the purposes of this study, parishioners’ testimonies also help to define their
understanding of what was, and what was not, acceptable priestly behavior. Given the
centrality of the parish priest to local life, I would also argue these cases tell us more. By
examining the content of what witnesses said in the course of their interrogations, it is
possible to determine to some extent how parishioners managed to make sense of their
place in the often grave and burdensome world that surrounded them. In the process of
incriminating their parish priests, moreover, visita witnesses inadvertently or consciously
identified themselves with a social and moral order which — although always changing

116
and adapting to different situations — governed the decisions they made and the steps
they took to survive in an increasingly perilous colonial landscape.4
Over a thousand witnesses testified before ecclesiastical officials for and against
their parish priests in the episcopal visitas of the 1680s and 1690s. Eight hundred and
eleven, or 76.4 percent, were monolingual Indians who either spoke Aymara or Quechua.
Ninety witnesses (8 5 percent) were classified as Indios ladinos, bilingual Indians who
spoke Castillian and their native tongue Thus, the total number of indigenous parishioners
testifying in visita courts during these two decades was nine hundred and one, or 84.9
percent of the total witness pool. The remaining testimonies came either from persons
who were not identified racially (less than 1 percent) or from Spaniards (one hundred and
forty five, or 14.6 percent), seven of whom were parish priests brought in to testify against
their colleagues
Given such a large sample, some generalizations about these testimonies can be
made. By and large, witnesses tended to depict priestly behavior as either satisfactory,
unambiguously unacceptable, or somewhere in between. A statistical analysis of the 1680
and 1690 visitas shows that a good many priests (49.4 percent) emerged from the trials
entirely unscathed, their performance, as measured by both witnesses and the presiding
ecclesiastical official, was deemed adequate and untainted by any form of controversy. In
4Indian Identity has been the subject of much recent scholarship. Two of the better
anthologies on the topic are John Kicza, ed., The Indian in Latin American History:
Resistance, Resilience, and Acculturation (Wümmgton, DE: Scholarly Resources, 1993),
and Steve Stem, ed., Resistance, Rebellion and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant
World, 18th to 20th Century (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1987).

117
1683, for example, a parishioner named Mateo Moreno de Vayas, a forty-year old village
leader of Paucarcolla, described Br. Tomás de Alda Pasamontes as a man who:
treats his parishioners well with total affection {con todo cariño) and
charity. He teaches the catechism personally to all the Indians every
Sunday. He goes out punctually to the outlying farms {estancias) to
administer the Sacred Sacraments without charging the Indians anything at
all for this service nor does he require the sick to come to town to avoid
going out to them to administer last rites. ... He does not name officials
{alféreses) nor does he oblige the Indians to give him regular donations
{camarico), and anything they do give him he receives graciously. ... He
does not charge more than the allowable amount for funerals, at least the
Indians have never complained about this to me. . . . He has paid Indians in
money, not in kind, for any services or food he receives from them . . . [and
finally] He has served as a fine example to the congregation with his life
and customs 5
Indeed, parishioners in nearly half of the visita trials of the period portrayed their
parish priest in these laudatory terms. The uniformity of style and language from one
favorable testimony to the next implies that witnesses merely followed the cue of the
question in their responses, or answered with a simple “yes” or “no,” leaving the
secretario to complete the longer version of the response in his account of the
proceedings Answers such as “ Nd, the aforementioned priest has not had a suspicious
woman in his house,”6 and “Yes, he has faithfully announced festival days so that his
parishioners do not work [those days],”7 appear literally hundreds of times throughout the
documentary record for these years.
5ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fols. 202-205r.
6ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 23.
7Ibid.

118
The majority of visita witnesses, however, were not so complimentary, and often
used their time before ecclesiastical officials to make known the hardships they faced as
overtaxed subjects of the Spanish crown or as victims of the parish priest’s bad temper
and corrupt ways. Because the visita itself focused on the behavior of the parish priest, he
usually was the primary subject of their denouncements, and the comprehensive register of
complaints and accusations is extensive, and often constitutes a running narrative of
political conspiracies, village factionalism, personal rivalries, and sexually charged intrigue.
Not surprisingly perhaps, Indian witnesses seemed most perturbed by issues of
material loss and gain, particularly when money or the exchange of valuable goods was
involved.8 As William Taylor reports for Bourbon Mexico, Indians in all parts of the
diocese in the 1680s and 1690s seemingly had no tolerance for priests who did not comply
with regulations regarding prompt payment for either services rendered — like supervising
a priest's herd of sheep or housekeeping — or for food and other items purchased and
8Taylor writes extensively on parishioner complaints of priestly greed in Bourbon
Mexico. Comparing his own findings to the vision of priests provided by the colonial legal
commentator Juan de Solórzano Pereira, he states “cases of avarice and obsessive
preoccupation with personal wealth were well known in the eighteenth century, if not
typical Solórzano Pereira thought that material greed was a common vice among priests
and the root of all evil, and that the complaints of curas’ ‘black greed,’ ‘insatiable avarice,’
and ‘excessive attachment to possessions,’...indicated an overactive involvement in
worldly affairs that left them open to criticism.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 182.
John Frederick Schwaller, in his study of secular priests in sixteenth-century Mexico,
acknowledges that allegations of extortion and graft were common in ecclesiastical courts.
Citing the typical case of a priest named Fabián de la Peña, he writes: “The petitioners
charged that Peña demanded alms for the celebration of special feasts; that he engaged in
commerce; that he sold merchandise, wine and other items to his parishioners; that he
forced the Indians to build an addition on his house; that he took money from them to
have an altar built, and that he stole land from the Indians, keeping some for himself and
giving the rest to his concubine and her husband.” John Frederick Schwaller, The Church
and Clergy in Sixteenth-Century Mexico, 178.

119
delivered by Indian laborers on his behalf.9 In fact, of the seventy-eight cases which
included testimony denouncing some aspect of the priest's attitude or performance, thirty-
three (42.3 percent) contained allegations of priestly greed and the exploitation of Indian
labor.10 In 1683, for example, Don Phelipe 'Nnacanchi, a cacique and gobernador of the
ayllu Canchis in Ytalaque, accused Licenciado Mateos del Torres of treating the
mayordomos of the church as "chuzmas,"11 or slaves. A subsequent witness agreed with
this assessment, and stated further "he never pays the Yndios Pongos12 for the personal
work they do for him and those whose names I can remember are Lorenzo Zochoque and
Pedro Patana, both residents of this town."13
9Bishop of Quito Alonso de Peña Montenegro's famous Itinerario para párochos
de Yndios, published first in 1662, was an instructive guide that priests of the Diocese of
La Paz used at this time. It contained several thousand references to royal decrees and
other Spanish laws pertaining to priests and their behavior, and was cited a few times in
the visita trials of the 1680s and 1690s. The prohibition against forced labor and failing to
pay Indians for personal service was addressed by Bishop Montenegro in Book Two,
Treatise Ten, Section Three. Don Alonso de Peña Montenegro, Itinerario para párochos
de Yndios (Amberes: Hermanos de Toumes, 1754). On the importance and function of
this guide for colonial priests, Taylor claims that the “Itinerario placed the priest squarely
into the public life of the parish the keeper of community morality, glossing over the
boundaries between spiritual and temporal affairs. ... It provided detailed descriptions of
the responsibilities of priests in Indian parishes and what they needed to know to meet
these responsibilities.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 153.
'“Unless otherwise stipulated, all of the statistics in this chapter are based on the
number of cases which involved some allegation of priestly wrongdoing (i.e. seventy
eight), not the total number of visitas conducted during these decades, which totaled one
hundred and fifty four
’’ACCFLM, Tomo 6, fol. 187r.
uPongos was a designation for a class of Indians who ran personal errands for the
priest or who supervised his herd of domesticated animals. In other words, they were
forced day laborers
I3Ibid.

120
Payment in hard currency was important to Indian parishioners as well; first
because they needed coinage to satisfy their tribute obligations, and secondly because it
was easier to pay one’s way out of the Potosí mita with coins rather than kind. The
cacique Carlos Canasa from Guancané complained to ecclesiastical officials that Br. Juan
de Argote generally did not pay Indians in coins for any of the work they did for him. The
few instances when he did compensate workers, "he only gave them coca, food, and
chicha (maize beer)."14 Furthermore:
he only pays one real for each chicken, which costs Indians two reales a
piece, and for every pig that costs three pesos, he pays them only two, and
for a young bull (torillo) that costs two pesos, he pays them one. And he
never pays them anything for the kitchen work they do. Indians thus suffer
great distress as they search through their homes for things to bring to the
priest for his kitchen. All of us are so afflicted and dejected that many have
left and are currently fleeing from this town to avoid his abuse.15
Accusations such as these are found throughout the 1680 and 1690 visita records,
and no part of the diocese was immune from these types of priestly demands of money and
valuable goods Indeed, parishioners from at least three towns in each of the region's
seven corregimientos complained of labor abuse and the priests' accompanying
unwillingness to pay Indians according to the established, and clearly well-known royal
laws on the matter 16 Parishioners in four of the five towns of the corregimiento of
14ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol. 320r.
15ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol. 323r.
16There are literally hundreds of cédulas reales which addressed the issue of proper
payment for goods and services rendered by native Americans to Spaniards in the ]\ew
World during the colonial period. Bishop Montenegro discussed the issue at various
points in Books One and Two of his Itinerario para párochos. For a comprehensive list
of royal decrees which pertained to the treatment of Indians by Spaniards in colonial
America see Richard Konetzke, Colección de Documentos para la Historia de la

121
Omasuyos specified priestly greed as particularly damaging to communal accord, and
Indian witnesses from the village of Zapaqui, located about sixty kilometers southeast of
La Paz, denounced labor exploitation and the priests' refusal to pay for work in each of the
three visita trials held in the town in the 1680s and 1690s.
Priests accused of these violations were nearly always also implicated in related
crimes which entailed the illegal or excessive exaction of money or other assets. Indeed,
among the most common complaints registered by parishioners during the 1680s and
1690s were overcharging for the administration of religious services,17 the manipulation of
wills, forcing members of the community to assume costly civic posts, and demanding
steady donations to fulfill the many financial obligations these positions required.18
The first of these charges — overcharging for religious services — was almost as
widespread as allegations of priestly greed and abusing Indian labor.19 Parishioners in
Formación Social de Hispanoamérica, (Madrid: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones
Científicas, 1953).
17Fees for the administration of various religious services were governed by the
arancel eclesiástico, a schedule of fees periodically updated and approved by the local
bishop or archbishop of a particular jurisdiction.
18This is a reference to the forced appointment of citizens as alféreses. These
positions required individuals to take financial and organizational responsibility for various
Church-sponsored festivals (alferasgos) held throughout the year. Bishop Montenegro
addressed this issue in Book Two, Treatise Ten, Section Three of his Itinerario para
párochos, which broadly outlined various obligations and prohibitions priests must abide
by if they worked in Indian villages.
19Taylor, Brading, and Schwaller discuss in their respective studies the frequency
of conflict parochial fees caused between priests, parishioners and, in the case of Brading,
the Liberal politicians of the early national period Taylor devotes an entire chapter
(Chapter Seventeen) to arancel disputes, and states that “the most common and persistent
source of friction between parish priests and Indian parishioners in the late colonial period
was the fees for spiritual services that curas treated as an indispensable part of their

122
twenty-five trials (32 percent) reported that priests frequently exceeded the customary
(and officially prescribed) fees for the performance of religious services. In other words,
Indian witnesses were well aware of the appropriate charges for burials, baptisms,
marriages and other Church-sanctioned rituals, and did not hesitate to denounce the priest
if he ignored official guidelines. This practice, after all, affected parishioners in an
immediate and presumably profound way, and many were later beneficiaries of financial
restitution ordered by the bishop or visitor-general in his final sentence.
According to local Church rules, salary-paying tributarios either had to pay a
minimal amount (one or two pesos) or nothing at all for burial expenses, except for those
extra masses designated by the deceased in his or her last will and testament.20 Forasteros
— depending on the arancel being enforced at a given time — were required to pay
between four and six pesos for each burial.21 But as Antonio Canabire and all the
living.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 424. Brading contends that priests of the early
nineteenth century in Mexico were persistent in their application of the colonial arancel
despite governmental pressure. This conflict led to a direct challenge of customary
episcopal authority, and was part of the general atmosphere of distrust and suspicion
which characterized relations between the Church and State during the post-Independence
period in Mexico. Schwaller claims that charges of overcharging for religious services,
along with other allegations of financial greed and extortion, were “well-founded only
about half of the time.” Schwaller, The Church and Clergy in Sixteenth-Century Mexico,
178
20Promotor Fiscal León frequently referred to this custom of charging nothing at
all or only what the tributary Indians could afford for burials in his reports to the bishop or
the visitor-general
211 was unable to locate any copies of the arancel eclesiástico used by priests of
the Diocese of La Paz during these years. However, the bishops or the visitors-general in
their final sentences frequently referred to these amounts as acceptable and customary
charges for forastero funerals during this era. Taylor discusses the origins of the division
of clerical fees in Chapter Seventeen of his study on Bourbon Mexico. After stating that
the Council of Trent paved the way for the legality of charging fees for spiritual purposes,

123
witnesses who testified after him pointed out, Juan Diez de Fuenmaior of Combaya did
not exempt tributary Indians from this obligation and frequently overcharged forasteros
depending on their ability to pay.
Along with his ayudante, Licenciado Don Francisco de Arratia, he [Lie.
Fuenmaior] charged three or four pesos a piece for the burial of tributary
infants (criaturas). And for the babies offorasteros, they charged one
peso, and for adult forasteros from ten to twenty to fifty pesos. The
relatives of the deceased had to pay these amounts to them.22
Tributary Indians from all social ranks complained of these unfair charges in the
visita trials conducted during these two decades.23 One of the best examples involved
he writes: “As early as 1538, the crown called on provincial councils of prelates in the
Indies to draw up aranceles for masses, funerals, and other spiritual services in
collaboration with the highest colonial governors. From 1560 to the 1640s, royal cédulas
and legal commentaries reiterated that parish priests were to follow aranceles for
‘funerals, marriages, baptisms, and all the rest.’. . Divided into descending charges for (1)
españoles, (2) negros, mulatos, and mestizos, (3) Indios de cuadrilla (Indian laborers
residing on private estates), and (4) indios de pueblo, aranceles were published by the
dioceses of New Spain on various occasions in the early seventeenth century.” Taylor,
Magistrates of the Sacred, 427. This practice of charging different ethnic groups different
amount drew the ire, according to Brading, of nineteenth-century Liberals, since they
deemed that the clergy “played a central role in perpetuating the ethnic distinctions” that
plagued their new nations. Brading, Church and state in Bourbon Mexico, 144.
22ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 15.
23In some of the most contentious trials, women filed affidavits complaining mainly
of having to pay excessive amounts usually for the burials of their dead husbands To cite
just one example, of the nine separate affidavits filed in the case against Don Fadrique
Sarmiento de Sotomayor — parish priest of San Juan de Acora in the 1680s and 1690s —
six were written by widows. Mencía Orcoma, Ysabel Picho, Maria Yllagama, Ana
Arcoma, María Parpa, and Maria Yura Choncoya all complained that they paid at least
ten, and usually thirty pesos for the burials of their kin. Ana Arcoma, according to her
testimony, paid eleven pesos for the burial of her tributario husband despite having to care
for and feed nine children. She stated, "I have been in hiding for nine days, on account of
the organist who is looking for me to take me prisoner, the reasons for which I have no
idea ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol 122.

124
Antonio de Vivero,24 parish priest in the 1680s of Ancoraymes, a predominantly
indigenous village situated on the northern banks of Lake Titicaca. According to several
witness testimonies, Don Antonio regularly expropriated parishioners' domesticated
animals to add to his own herd of sheep and cattle. Another secular priest, Br. Juan
Hidalgo Laso, testified that Don Antonio habitually overcharged for burial and baptismal
services, and in one instance, stole several cows from the widow of a recently deceased
alcalde mayor He claimed that,
soon after the funeral, the cura sent two young men {mozos) to the house
... of the deceased and they brought back with them twenty-four or
twenty-six head of cattle and calves which amounted to the widow's only
assets which the dead husband had left for her and his children, and they
brought the cows to this town and joined them with his own [the priest's]
herd25
As a statement of the priest's utter disrespect for his parishioners and their ultimate well¬
being, Br Hidalgo Laso reported with disgust that Don Antonio did not even provide a
decent burial for the dead man
The accused priests, for their part, almost always cited in their response to the
allegations that the deceased called for such endowments in their final wills. Ecclesiastical
officials were most concerned with priests who personally applied pressure to dying
24A full account of the contentious trial against Antonio de Vivero is included in
the last section of Chapter 6 of this dissertation.
25ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 316. Don Antonio allegedly possessed a herd of cows
and sheep that numbered in the hundreds, an asset specifically prohibited by royal laws. In
his summary of the charges, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier commented, for example,
"it is prohibited by royal decrees and rules of this bishopric that priests have in their
districts more cattle than is necessary for their sustenance In contravention of these royal
decrees . . . [Don Antonio] has... a large herd of Castilian sheep and many cows."
ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 352.

125
parishioners to change their wills to pay for extra funeral masses (missas y possas) and
yearly prayers and services (ofrendas y rezos del cabo del año) in his or her name, and to
allocate special funds for the local church. In most cases, however, parishioners accused
lay assistants of the priest for this type of coercion.
Licenciado Fadrique Sarmiento de Sotomayor, cura of San Juan de Ayata in the
1680s and 1690s, apparently got his rapacious organist, referred to only as “Juan el
Organista,”26 to do most of his dirty work for him. A female parishioner named Mencia
Orcoma of the ayllu Choque in Ayata, told officials in her affidavit that the abusive
musician repeatedly harassed her for the ten pesos her husband allegedly willed to the priest
upon his death: "he threatens me with whippings, telling me to not report [this conflict with
the priest] to Your Majesty."27 In another typical example, an Indio ladino parishioner
from Chucuito named Raphael Ynga Charala told Promotor Fiscal León in his testimony
against Manuel de Alcalá in 1683:
I have heard it said among some irritated Indians that the priest's sacristans
(sacristanes) visit the dying to record their final wills (memorias), and they
advise them to leave money to pay for funeral novenas and demand
payments just for recording the final will. I do not know if these individuals
do this on their own or at the behest (por institución) of the parish priest.28
Again, just like in the cases which involved priests not paying laborers and overcharging
parishioners for the administration of religious services, witnesses in the trials of the 1680s
26ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 113.
27Ibid
28ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fol. 23r.

126
and 1690s did not tolerate the manipulation of wills and repeatedly informed the visiting
officials of the financial burdens these exactions meant for their families.
Among Indian witnesses of higher social rank (specifically caciques and
gobernadores), however, the most despised and damaging form of graft perpetrated by
parish priests involved their forced appointment as alféreses, a position which required
them to assume financial and administrative responsibilities for Church festivals to be held
throughout the year.29 Indeed, it was not uncommon for caciques to classify the alferasgo
and the accompanying involuntary donation of gifts — called alternately the camarico and
ricuchicu in this part of the Andes — as the "most objectionable inconveniences"30 they had
to deal with as leaders of their communities.
In the town of Palca, for example, all five caciques questioned during the 1684
visita trial against Francisco de Carrión y Cáceres used slightly different words to express
the same general opinion that the alferasgo and the camarico were "injurious customs
(icostumbres perjudiciales) that caused grave harm to the general public."31 According to
29Because they were considered more reputable than ordinary tributarios and
forasteros and dealt more directly with the parish priest, village leaders (caciques and
governors) constituted a sizable percentage (58 percent) of the overall witness pool in the
1680s and 1690s, so the fact that these two traditions were continually denounced is not
surprising For Bourbon Mexico, Taylor only cites a few instances when parishioners
complained about the expenses and appointments associated with Church-sponsored
festivals. In fact, he reports that the central source of conflict stemmed not from excessive
charges or forced appointments, but rather on the tendency of some priests to introduce
unwanted fiestas to supplement their salaries.
30ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 14r.
31ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 55.

127
their testimonies, the Church sponsored three celebrations in Palca per year, and Don
Francisco demanded that each alférez
give [to the Church] twelve pesos for the mass on the day of the celebration.
And he charges them as part of the camarico one bottle of wine, two pesos
worth of bread, [various] cheeses, two sheep, a leg of beef, salt, and ají
peppers, and he strongly persuades and even obliges them to give him these
things. On occasion these festivals turn into drunken parties . . . all of
which has the Indians disgusted with the consequences and costs which
ensue.32
The practice of overcharging for burials and manipulating wills occurred in all parts
of the diocese, but parishioners in the corregimientos of Sicasica and Larecaja seemed most
affected by these particular types of abuse. In the jurisdiction of Sicasica during these
decades, just under half (eight of seventeen, or 47 percent) of the visita trials included
allegations of overcharging or taking advantage of the dying, and in Larecaja, parishioners
cited these specific violations more than any other in their testimonies.33 Moreover, every
priest who worked in the village of Yanacachi in the 1680s and 1690s had to defend
himself against charges of exceeding the arancel. In the normally tranquil parish of San
Pedro de Ayata the only complaint in each of the three visitas conducted during these
decades against the long-term priest, Tiburcio de la Rea, stemmed from his practice of
illegally charging tributarios four pesos for burials.
Allegations of priests appointing citizens as alféreses against their will and forcing
them to donate gifts to the church as camarico contributions occurred in twenty-three of
32ACCFLM, Tomo 8 fol. 54r-59r.
33Parishioners in eleven of the seventy-eight trials, or 14 percent of the total
number of cases, alleged some sort of priestly corruption involving overcharging or
manipulating wills.

128
the seventy-eight visitas (29 percent) that involved allegations of priestly misconduct.
Parishioners from each corregimiento in the diocese reported these customs as harmful to
their communities, and in Sicasica, caciques and gobernadores in nine of the seventeen
trials highlighted the particularly damaging effect the alferasgo had on attitudes about
service to the Church In Yanacachi and Zapaqui alone, ecclesiastical officials had to warn
priests no less than six times (indeed in every visita held during the 1680s and 1690s) to
discontinue this detrimental custom.
If parishioners were indeed not reluctant to expose priests who engaged in activities
which compromised their financial well-being, they were only slightly less likely to accuse
priests of physical and verbal abuse.34 In twenty-nine (37 percent) of the seventy-eight
episcopal visitas which involved allegations of priestly misconduct, witnesses appearing
before the promotor fiscal recounted usually emotional scenes that proved, at least in their
eyes, that some priests were simply too mean and violent for the profession.35
A sample of ten of these trials reveals that parishioners who accused priests of
physical and verbal mistreatment were from all ranks of society, both male and female, and
34Bishop Montenegro addressed the issue of whippings in Book Two, Treatise
Four, Section Five of his Itinerario para Párochos. He noted that a public whipping was
a permissible form of punishment for a variety of sins, particularly disrespecting the parish
priest and practicing idolatry While excessive brutality and verbal punishment, however,
was strictly forbidden, the Itinerario, according to Taylor, “regarded the whip as key to
Indian devotion, decency and good order.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 216.
35Corporal punishment is one of the central features of Taylor’s analysis of priest/
parishioner relations. He claims, as a rule, that “colonial magistrates accepted the whip as
a standard instrument of control.” Taylor points out as well that the frequency of
whipping as tool of sacerdotal discipline provided native elites with a convenient
mechanism to strengthen their position against a particular parish priest, since higher
Church officials of the late colonial period often were receptive to such complaints. Ibid.,
215.

129
young and old Generally, they seemed discouraged that the priest did not treat them with
the love and charity that his position called for, and attributed outbursts of anger and acts
of violence to his bad nature (mal natural) and his harsh disposition (recia condicción). In
other words, most priests, at least according to the parishioners, did not show contrition
for their contemptuous behavior, and it was not uncommon for witnesses to request — like
Francisco Tíntala did in Carabuco in 1690 — for the priest's transfer based on this criterion
alone.
Don Francisco, a cacique from Carabuco, and Juana Machu, identified as an Yndia
natural, both complained in their affidavits against the priest’s assistant, Marcos del Barco,
that he regularly terrified local citizens with his evil ways. The cacique pleaded with
religious authorities for a replacement: "I beg and request that if possible, for you to
appoint a different ayudante and if not — for the love of God — notify Don Marcos that in
the future not to do these things to us."36 In her account, Juana told Promotor Fiscal
Joseph Erasmo de la Torre:
I hereby lodge this complaint against Br Marcos del Vareo . . . because for
an instant his worker left the house, and his friend — a woman named
Masala whom he keeps inside his house — grabbed me and hit me with a
stick (me pegó una buelta). Afterwards I left to go look for the worker,
who is also my husband, and I bumped into the ayudante on my way out, so
he grabbed me by the hair and dragged me across the floor and delivered to
me so many kicks, blows, and punches that I have suffered much from that
beating Plus he has threatened often to whip me without any just cause.
This is not [testimony] out of malice, I swear to God . . And [my husband]
left his house because he never pays him any money for his work . . . and all
the workers flee this town because of his cruel mistreatment. . . . For the
love of God, remedy the situation.37
36ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 75r.
37ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 74

130
As seen in this example, just cause to punish someone physically was an important
issue. Indeed, priests could and often did whip parishioners who disrespected them or did
not comply with certain church requirements, like attending mass regularly or failing to
come to town for yearly confessions38 Taylor claims that in Bourbon Mexico, Indians, in
fact, “did not object to clerical whipping in principle. . . . They accepted moderate
whippings that related directly to spiritual obligations — for failing to attend mass,
memorize the catechism, confess, and take communion.”39 But in each of the allegations of
corporal abuse in the Diocese of La Paz in the 1680s and 1690s, witnesses hastened to
distinguish the particular priest's behavior as unwarranted and excessive.40
Such was the case of Licenciado Bernardo Meléndez, cura coadjutor of Zapaqui in
the 1690s A Spanish vecino and four Indians, including the self-titled Ylustrísimo Señor
Agustín Chábez, complained in depositions of the priest’s avarice and dishonor, and of his
tendency to mistreat his parishioners physically and verbally “without the authority of
justice ”41 Pedro Niñez Vela, a local hacendado, argued that Don Bernardo inappropriately
meddled in secular affairs by accompanying the corregidor on a visit to his hacienda to
38Taylor discusses the variety of priestly justifications for public whippings in pages
215-221 of Magistrates of the Sacred.
39Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 217.
40Commenting on parishioner complaints of unwarranted corporal punishment,
Taylor states: “What they did object to was excessive cruelty, unwarranted punishment, or
humiliation. . . . Cruelty had to do with the number of lashes, the force applied, and the
sounds inflicted. The sense of what was an appropriate number of lashes changed
dramatically with time Where in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, curas
normally ordered 50 lashes, such severity seemed excessive to curas, as well as Indians, in
the eighteenth century.” Ibid.
41ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 184.

131
discuss a land dispute he had with an Indian named María Sisa. The priest, according to
Don Pedro,
got belligerent with me and disgraced me (biturándome) with his hateful words
which he hurled at me in shouts of rage and contempt. He then shoved me and
punched me in the chest, all the while meddling in affairs outside his jurisdiction. All
this has caused me to have hatred and bad will [towards him].42
Don Bernardo’s lone defender among the witnesses was Balthasar Fernández, who
identified himself as the caretaker of the chapel (maestro de capilla) and therefore
presumably dependent on the priest. He argued that the priest’s surly disposition was, in
fact, warranted (es por cosas justas), and that “he never beats the Indians, rather he just
slaps them around sometimes.”43
Parishioners seemingly had less tolerance for whippings or beatings carried out by
relatives of the priest or by his retinue of personal assistants. An hilacata of the ayllu
Marcalocca in Moho named Francisco Aleho pointed out that sometimes the priest, Alvaro
López de Soria y Abréu, "punishes the Indians and treats them badly with his words."44
But he and subsequent witnesses were clearly more upset that his brother abused local
natives for no apparent reason Alonso de Aliaga, a sixty-five year old Spanish vecino of
Moho, testified that "the priest has a brother in [nearby] Conima, and I have heard it said
among many Indians that he regularly beats up Indians [of this town]."45
42ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 184r.
43ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 194r.
44ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 266r.
45ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 269r.

132
As the case against Br. Marcos del Barco reveals, relatives of priests were not the
only ones who were accused on malevolence and physical mistreatment. The woman
implicated in Don Marcos' trial was later identified as his mestiza cook with whom —
according to some witnesses — he not only conspired to punish any Indians who did not
comply with his wishes, but also had sexual relations.46 Francisco Chachasaca, an Yndio
principal of the Urinsaya district of Carabuco, claimed Masala "was harmful towards the
Indian women,"47 and Lorenzo Yana, the alcalde mayor, stated that she frequently
"mistreated all the Indians"48 of the village.
Cocineras of the parish priest, indeed, were often the objects of incriminating
testimony. According to every witness in the visita trial held in Laja in 1690, the female
cook of Licenciado Lorenzo Vásquez de Castilla coerced young women to stitch and
weave tapastries for the church, and constantly harassed them for not working efficiently
enough 49 'Kot to be outdone, a majority of witnesses in the case reported the two priests
under scrutiny in these trials were equally rapacious. In addition to dragging the
aforementioned Juana Machu across the floor and then beating and kicking her, Don
Marcos also allegedly tied up and whipped the wife of Manuel Tintapa just because she
46The vow of celibacy, of course, called for men of the faith to lead celibate lives
“for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven.” Mat. 19:12.
47ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 78r.
48ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 79r.
49The rules on young single women stitching and weaving articles for the Church
were ambiguous. It appears that in some instances it was permissible, so long as priests
were not overly taxing in their demands and the women were treated well. If the priest
ever required the women to make cloth for his own personal use, he was required to pay
them for their service

133
owed the priest one peso worth of wax and four reales worth of salt; indeed, "he tied her
up by the hands and whipped her."50 Don Lorenzo, similarly:
mistreated by word and action his parishioners, including Don Miguel Quino
and Don Pedro Vilca, by having demanded they pay one hundred pesos a
piece for the burial of their wives. Even as poor men . . [they managed to]
scrounge up fifty pesos, but they both fled this town to Guaqui in order to
avoid his [additional] demands, just as Salvador Paxsi did . . and also
Pedro Aneara, who fled to Potosí on account of the vicious treatment he
received from the priest simply because he did not bring him some
provisions that he had ordered.51
Don Lorenzo's cruel behavior, according to one witness, was so infamous in the altiplano
region around Laja that "Indians from all over would not come to mass for fear that he
would beat them."52
One final example of alleged priestly cruelty comes from the complicated case
against Br. Juan de Argote of Guancané, whose predatory behavior separated him from
even his most evil of peers. Apparently recognizing the best way to bring attention to their
plight, several parishioners presented signed affidavits to Visitor-General Eguares y
Pasquier in which they highlighted the damaging effect the priest's malicious behavior had
on their ability to satisfy the Spanish crown's tax requirements. In all, ten Indian caciques
denounced Don Juan's excessive demands and treatment, and called upon the bishop —
whom one craftily referred to as the "Father of the Poor"53 — to step in and relieve them of
their misery.
50ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 80.
5IACCFLM, Tomo 16, fol. 158.
52ACCFLM, Tomo 16, fol. 159.
53ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 188.

134
"There has never been one [a priest] equal to him," an Yndio natural named Diego
Apasa lamented in 1690.
On account of our fear of his whippings and other treatments which my
cura constantly gives, I have been unable up to this point to hand in any tax
payments, and so I ask with tears in my eyes for your Majesty to have him
return the pesos that he took from me ...for I am a poor man burdened with
five children, to whom I have nothing to provide for their survival.54
Other witnesses were similarly disheartened:
We have been forced out of town, leaving behind all of our poor relatives
and fields . Your Excellency will decide if it is just for tributary Indians
[like us] to be kicked out of town, and rendered unable to pay any royal
taxes. ... He worked two Indians nearly to death constructing the pila
(baptismal fountain) and with no fear of God, he refused to pay even one
real for all of this work 55
By the time the trial convened, Br. Argote had been accused of forcing nearly all
the tributary Indians to flee Guancané due to his threats and violence,56 confiscating Indian
54Ibid
55ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 190.
56Alonso Tipula stated in his affidavit: "I cannot enter into my own town. I will go
to the royal audiencia capital to ask the President [to be appointed to another] town so I
can [reassume] my life as a tributario with all of my children, because the town of
Guancané has been abandoned on account of the priest. All of the tributary Indians are in
other provinces." ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 192.

135
property after they had fled the town in fear,57 and depriving Indians the right to tend to
ailing relatives, and then overcharging them for the burials of their dead kin 58
Like those who informed the visiting officials of the priest’s avarice and rancor via
signed affidavits, witnesses before Promotor Fiscal Erasmo de la Torre testified in 1690
that the priest was simply too cruel for the priestly profession. One parishioner, Bartolomé
Machicao recounted an incident which occurred during the construction of the chapel, for
which he has been assigned as the foreman in charge.
I spent more than one hundred and fifty pesos on the job . . . and at the
entrance of the chapel, just because he despises me so, he ordered me out of
there because I was confused [about a detail of the work] and he whipped
me on my feet with thirty lashes until a Spaniard arrived and found me near
death.59
These types of accusations, involving different victims and witnesses, continued
throughout the visita trial against Don Juan. Unlike most cases, no parishioners came
forward to testify on the priest’s behalf, and considering that this was the second trial in
Guancané in which the priest had been accused of numerous physical and verbal assaults, it
appears from the testimony that parishioners simply had had enough. By the end of the
trial, over twenty witnesses, including four Spaniards, had corroborated the allegations of
57A group of Indian litigants led by Gerónimo Típula, a principal of Guancané,
claimed: "Don Juan de Argote has established our parcels of farmland as an investment
from whence we use to pay royal taxes to Your Majesty and satisfy the demands made on
our town. N)w the whole town has to sell guano to raise money." ACCFLM, Tomo 18,
fol. 190.
58Tipula later declared: "and my priest buried my mother for one hundred and ten
pesos, and stole all of my things from my house." ACCFLM, Tomo 18, 192.
59ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 202.

136
priestly cruelty, and sought definitive punishment — to include banishment from the
territory — for the maligned priest
Parishioners from the corregimiento of Pacajes, which was comprised of altiplano
towns west of La Paz, were generally satisfied with the priests working in their villages in
the 1680s and 1690s, yet those from the parish of San Andrés de Machaca complained in
successive visitas in 1683 and 1687 of physical and verbal abuse by two different priests.
Indeed, other than not paying Indians for the work they performed and overcharging for
burials, parishioners in Pacajes and the corregimiento of Omasuyos mentioned this type of
priestly mistreatment more often than any other complaint in their testimonies In the
corregimiento of Sicasica, furthermore, no less than nine trials involved allegations of
priestly cruelty, and Indian witnesses from the village of Zapaqui alone brought charges
against four men (three priests and an ayudante) in a span of seven years from 1684 to
1691. In other words, this type of allegation was not confined to any specific region or
towns Rather, parishioners from all parts of the diocese were seemingly convinced that the
methods of discipline employed by many priests were extreme and unwarranted
Less common, but surely no less dramatic and controversial were the cases that
challenged authorities to investigate and discipline priests who had allegedly broken their
sacred vow of chastity60 Statistical data indicate that the majority of priests working in the
diocese in the 1680s and 1690s managed to avoid such controversies, but parishioners
“Sexuality, including that of priests, has been a topic of much recent scholarship.
Two of the better sources are Ann Twinam, Public Lives, Private Secrets: Gender,
Honor, Sexuality, and Illegitimacy in Colonial Spanish America (Stanford: Stanford
University Press, 1999), and Asunción Lavrin, ed., Sexuality and Marriage in Colonial
Latin America {Lincoln: University of T^ebraska Press, 1989).

137
accused eleven priests (nearly 16 percent of the total number of priest who served during
these decades) of some sort of sexual misconduct61 In each of the eleven trials, religious
authorities tended to act diligently and thoroughly to recover specific details of the alleged
dalliances, so inquiries were generally more focused and witness testimonies longer and
more detailed than usual62
Despite obvious differences, trials involving priests accused of having sexual affairs
had some things in common. All the cases involved females (I found no cases which linked
priests to any homosexual activity) and parishioners uniformly noted that the priest’s
conduct had caused serious public scandal (escándalo público). A Spanish witness named
61 Scholars of the secular clergy in colonial Latin America have devoted much
attention (perhaps a disproportionate amount considering the infrequency of such
allegations compared with other forms of misconduct) to the topic of sexual misconduct
by parish priests. Schwaller chronicles several cases which reached the Inquisition,
including that of Fabián Jiménez, who frequently gave confessionals to women in their
bedrooms at night: “he would often lay his hands on the woman, not in a healing fashion
but rather in a caressing manner.” Schwaller, The Church and Clergy in Sixteenth Century
Mexico, 172 Brading discusses in Chapter Eight of Church and state in Bourbon Mexico
how royal authorities used allegations of priestly sexual activity as a tool to strengthen
their position against a particularly defiant priest. Taylor goes so far as to say that
“Despite the clerical vow of celibacy and exhortations to misogyny, heterosexual relations
were common among parish priests, especially monogamous unions involving long-time
vicarios and curas in remote second- and third-class parishes.” Taylor, Magistrates of the
Sacred, 185
62Unlike in Bourbon Mexico, ecclesiastical officials of the Diocese of La Paz took
these allegations seriously and never dismissed the claims out of hand or because of
indifference Taylor writes: “The most striking aspect of the documentation on clerical
incontinence is how little concern parishioners and the ecclesiastical courts were with
discreet violations of celibacy. Heterosexual activity and fathering children were not in
themselves regarded as particularly scandalous or worth prosecuting, and a priest known
to have broken his vow of celibacy did not necessarily weaken his position as spiritual
leader in the eyes of his parishioners.” Ibid. This last point about the ability of priests to
maintain good standing as the spiritual leaders of their communities despite apparent
incidents of priestly neglect or misconduct is however, and as I point out below, a
common characteristic of the visita y escrutinio trials of the 1680s and 1690s.

138
Diego de Villareal, for example, testified against the parish priest of Charasani, Pedro de
Cañizares e Ybarra, and in a fashion similar to the other cases, stated: "it is public
knowledge and notorious that the priest has set a poor example [for the community]
because of the illicit affairs he has had with different women."63 In addition, allegations of
sexual misconduct never stood alone in the testimony, that is, parishioners in all eleven
trials registered a variety of complaints against the parish priest, and although his illicit
affairs usually dominated the interrogations, witnesses seemed more upset by other priestly
violations, such as not paying Indians or overcharging for burials.
Most commonly, parishioners accused priests of preying on Indian women of the
congregation who served the priest in some capacity, as either cooks or pantrywomen
( where Pedro Pérez Patón served as parish priest in the late 1680s. In addition to managing
a repartimiento de mercancías, exploiting Indian labor for his own commercial projects,
almost beating a parishioner to death with a stick, and running a vast commercial network
that extended from Chulumani to La Paz and other altiplano settlements, Don Pedro
allegedly engaged in nefarious sexual activity.64 According to a cacique named Diego
Ypina, Licenciado Pérez Patón
lives in his house with his women friends with whom he has lewd relations.
About a month and a half ago when he was in La Paz he sent some
flannel cloth, ropes, woolens, blankets and wine to an Indian woman named
Josepha Cuti, with whom he is also having an illicit affair. . . . She sells
63ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 296.
64Bishop Montenegro discussed in his Itinerario para párochos the issue of priests
engaging in trade Book One, Treatise Three, Section Three is entitled “Las penas que
tienen los curas que tienen tratos y contratos.”

139
[these items] out of his house. . . He also has had two other women from
this town, an Indian named Malucha with whom he has a child, and another
named Joaneta, who is also an Indian with whom he has a baby boy. Both
have worked as cooks in his house. . . . These forbidden relationships have
caused much scandal.65
Indeed, in over half of the cases which involve allegations of sexual misconduct, the
priest on trial was accused of having relations with more than one woman, engendering
offspring, and allowing his mistress (or mistresses) to mistreat the local Indians. To cite a
few examples, parishioners claimed Catalina — the alleged concubine of Joseph de
Arellano (parish priest of Carabuco in the 1680s) — had several children by the priest, and
Esteban Prado de Zerguera, an ayudante in Zapaqui in the same decade, had three children
by two concubines that he regularly kept in his house. According to one witness in the trial
against Miguel Feliz de Agüero, cura of Hilabaya in the 1690s, the priest “has in his home a
woman [named Ynez] who serves as his cook and who treats Yndias mi tayas with cruelty
in both actions and words.”66 And the Spanish mistress of Br Juan de Argote “routinely
treats with contempt the Indian women who come to serve the priest.”67
As a result of the priests’ persistence, women parishioners in three of the eleven
cases claimed they were forced to leave town to avoid further harassment. Juan Canavi
and Bartolomé Choque, witnesses in the trial against the ayudante Esteban de Prado y
Raya also from Zapaqui, reported that “they had heard from their wives that he regularly
lures young women of reputable backgrounds {de buena cara) to his house in order to
65ACCFLM, Tomo 10, fols. 70-7 lr.
66ACCFLM, Tomo 24, fol. 235.
67ACCFLM, Tomo 24, fol. 236r.

140
sleep with him,”68 and so several had fled to other towns, leaving their families and homes
behind. Perhaps the best example of a priest chasing women away with his sexual advances
involved the embattled Pedro de Cañizares of Charasani. According to several witnesses,
Don Pedro committed a whole series of abuses against his parishioners, but Joan Silligui, a
principal of the ciyllu Hilcata, seemed most angered by the effect the priest’s insatiable lust
for sex had on the unity of his community. He stated in his testimony before Promotor
Fiscal Francisco de León in 1683:
He chases the Indias mitayos — both married and single — in hopes of engaging
them in lewd acts, just like he did with Maria Quispe and Maria Orcoma, and in
every one of the Aymara farms {estancias) he has courted and solicited women, and
so to void his terrible disposition {terrible condicción), they have fled and thus this
village has been deserted — by both men and women — who have gone to La Paz
and to other parts of the territory.”69
Over 80 percent of the cases which involved allegations of sexual impropriety by
priests occurred in the corregimientos of Sicasica, Omasuyos, and Larecaja. This is in part
due to the sheer number of visitas held in these regions in the 1680s and 1690s — indeed,
there were more trials held in villages in these territories than in any other areas of the
diocese during these decades. Nevertheless, in terms of the total number of visitas held in
the diocese in these two decades, allegations of sexual misconduct by the parish priest were
fairly common, especially in the corregimientos of Larecaja (9 percent) and Omasuyos (15
percent). In fact, in Omasuyos the only complaints which outnumbered incidents of sexual
malfeasance were overcharging parishioners for burials and physical and verbal abuse.
68ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol.377r.
69ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 310.

141
Crimes of passion and the other types of priestly behavior discussed so far in this
chapter have dealt mainly with issues of the material, physical world. Even if the resulting
social relations between priests and parishioners affected a cleric’s legitimacy as an agent of
the Catholic Church and, in fact, of God himself, the majority of parishioners tended to
regard even the most corrupt priests as competent in their religious functions. In other
words, though a majority of parishioners testifying in the 1680s and 1690s complained
bitterly of the earthly weaknesses and excesses of their particular parish priest, in general
they judged him fit to instruct and lead their communities spiritually.
In fact, in almost every visita y escrutinio held during these years — even in those
which were most controversial — parishioners usually began their testimony by stating that
the priest had fulfilled the duties of his ministerial charge and had been a good priest and
vicar (a sido buen cura y vicario). For example, Diego Guara, the first witness who
testified against Br Heredia of Challana, started his testimony by commending the priest’s
general performance of priestly duties. He even added “I know that Br. Juan de Eredia has
lived with complete honesty and has provided a proper example to the community.”70 By
the end of the interrogation, however, Don Diego had accused the priest of extortion,
70ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 12r

142
conducting an illegal and costly repartimiento de mercancías,71 chronic absenteeism,72 and
forcefully appointing alféreses against their will, among other things. This apparent
ambiguity is, indeed, a common trait of these particular visita records, and this example and
many others from the era indicates that parishioner assessments of priestly behavior
operated on a variety of different levels In other words, it was apparently possible — even
likely — for priests who worked in the diocese from 1680 to 1700 to be judged as
sacerdotally capable, yet corrupt in many of their non-religious duties. Taylor discusses
this phenomenon at length throughout Part Two oí Magistrates of the Sacred, and
generally attributes the ability of parishioners to separate the secular and religious behavior
of priests to the latter’s “special spiritual. . . powers” and the fact that “the magical power
of religious images was in his hands.”73 So, in other words, despite whatever worldly
activities priests may have been involved in, their sacerdotal powers were usually strong
enough to diminish any challenge to their religious authority.
The most common complaint parishioners made regarding the ecclesiastical
performance of parish priests had to do with their unwillingness or inability to administer
71Hundreds of cédulas reales and consultas del consejo de Indios address the issue
of priestly involvement in tratos y contratos. A royal decree issued from Buñol on 21st of
February, 1604, for example, expressly prohibited corregidores and ecclesiastics from
mingling in secular commercial businesses, a practice which allegedly caused "grandes
molestias" to the Indian population." Richard Konetzke, Colección de Documentos para
la Historia de la Formación Social de Hispanoamérica, 107.
72Bishop Montenegro devoted an entire treatise to the subject of negligent
absenteeism among priests. Book One, Treatise Two is entitled: "De la residencia que
deben tener los doctrineros."
73Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 221.

143
punctually confession and last rites to the dying.74 In a total of forty-one trials — or 26.6
percent of the total number of visitas conducted during these decades — parishioners cited
this form of priestly neglect as damaging to the general welfare of their communities.
Moreover, witnesses seemed to exhibit genuine concern for the eternal fate of their dying
friends and relatives, and they often provided the promotor fiscal with relevant names,
dates, and locations. It is possible, however, that parishioners recognized the seriousness
of this offense in the eyes of the Church and concocted at least some of their claims —
which they knew in advance disturbed ecclesiastical officials immensely — as a tool to
fortify their position against the parish priest.
Parishioners most commonly cited laziness as the source for this type of spiritual
neglect. According to witnesses in the trial against Francisco Sarmiento de Sotomayor, the
priest usually attended to the sick, but rarely arrived in time to administer the Sacred
74Throughout the archival record of the Diocese of la Paz, to administer the Sacred
Sacraments, including last rites to the dying, and to teach the catechism were considered
ulas primeras obligaciones” of each parish priest. Bishop Montenegro cited decrees from
the Council of Trent and the Second Lima Ecclesiastical Synod of 1565-67 in his lengthy
discussions of these responsibilities in the first two books of his Itinerario para Párochos.
Taylor and Schwaller cite similar incidents of Mexican parishioners who implicated priests
for neglecting their priestly obligations to administer the sacraments punctually and upon
request. Taylor, as usual, offers a litany of archival examples of priests who allegedly
failed to perform these duties, and found that the Church’s concern for these types of
violations understandable considering the contemporary belief that “the priest’s first public
duty was sacramental it was through him that the sacraments of the church were offered
and the promise of salvation was kept alive.” Ibid. 164. Again using the case against the
sixteenth-century priest Fabián Peña as an example, Schwaller states: “the complainants
claimed that Peña refused to use the new prayer book; that he often raised the host too
many times; that he said Mass without praying the canonical hours; that he refused to
administer extreme unction to dying Indians; that he refused to marry those who requested
it and forced others to marry against their will; that he allowed two Indian children to die
without baptism; and that he kept the sacred elements, such as chrism and other ritual
items, under his bed rather than safely locked away.” Schwaller, The Church and Clergy
in Sixteenth-Century Mexico, 177-178.

144
Sacraments and take final confession. Martin Pacoacagua, identified as an Indian of the
ayllu Platero, reported that “he goes out when he is called, but not punctually, and he never
goes out if it is approaching night time, so many people have died without receiving the
Sacred Sacraments.”75 Another witness claimed:
He does not go out to the farms [at the moment] when he is called to administer the
Sacred Sacraments . just like the three weeks ago, more or less, when they asked
him to give confession to Domingo Apasse’s wife who lived in the hamlet of Sinca.
He [Don Francisco] decided to go there several days later, and while he was en
route, they returned to notify him that she had already died.76
The problem was so severe in Ayata that Promotor Fiscal León compiled a comprehensive
list of people who had died without last rites, and included it in his report to Visitor-
General Eguares y Pasquier as proof of Don Francisco’s blatant disregard for his ministry
and for Church policy 77
Parishioners in Laja complained in 1688 that Lorenzo Vásquez de Castilla and his
ayudante, Agustín Gisbert, frequently ignored parishioners when they appealed for the
priests to attend to dying neighbors. According to one witness, Bartolomé Esquía,
members of the congregation living outside the town usually had to rely on the priest’s
assistant for the administration of religious services. In the case of Andrés Mamani, Don
75ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol 129r.
76ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol 133.
77According to this “Memoria de los Yndios muertos sin confesción”, the
following individuals perished without the benefits of extreme unction due to the neglect
of Don Francisco: “Juan Acencio, the Indian of Don Juan de Belasco; Joseph de Quiros, a
miner employed by Don Juan de Cabrera y Pabeco; Luis Barca, a potter employed by Don
Phelipe, Bárbara Choncoya, the wife of Pedro Choque; Ana Mejia, the wife of Juan
Quispe; the son of Pedro Poma; Maria Racocho, the widow of Martín Callisaya; Alonco
Cama; Pedro Mulline; Ysabel Ancama, the wife of Lorenzo Chambi; and Maria
Chuquima.” ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 101

145
Agustín waited a full two days before leaving town to visit and care for him. By the time
he arrived, Andrés was already dead, and his relatives inconsolable at the thought of his
purgatory. Another parishioner reported that Don Lorenzo occasionally worked alone, and
that this was especially troubling for rural parishioners because he invariably required them
to bring their sick friends and relatives to Laja instead of going out to them. This routine
resulted in a number of deaths unaccompanied by last rites, including those of “Maria,
Phelipe Quispe, and Miguel Oseo from the hamlet of Guallaquire, and Pedro Maldonado of
the ayllu Collataca, and Lorenzo Quispe from the hamlet of Pulato.”78 “They all died,”
lamented Don Bartolomé, “without confessing their sins.”79 To make matters worse for
those parishioners who lived outside Laja, whenever Don Lorenzo visited their settlements,
he demanded chickens, lambs, and other valuable goods in exchange for his services.
Some priests apparently based their decision to visit dying parishioners on the
probability of profit. Witnesses in several cases claimed that the parish priest on trial gave
preferential treatment to wealthier parishioners, while slighting poorer members of the
community because they would likely be unable to pay for his services. Charity for the
poor — if these parishioner testimonies are to be believed — was not a particularly
common trait of many priests who worked in the diocese at this time, including Antonio de
Agramonte y Zaldivar, parish priest of Yanacache in the 1680s.
78ACCFLM, Tomo 16, fol. 158r.
79Ibid

146
In his visita trial, witnesses uniformly testified that Don Antonio routinely required
the sick to travel to town, rather than go out to them to hear confession and administer last
rites. Andrés Camblega, a principal and Yndio tributario, testified:
he orders them to bring [the dying] to town, and this has resulted in many people
dying without the Sacred Sacraments. ... It is also common for the priest to go out
and service Indians he knows to be rich, but for those who are poor, he never
leaves town.80
Witnesses also claimed that many priests simply were unable to hear final
confessions and administer the Sacraments because they were frequently out of town
(usually witnesses accused priests of tending to personal business in La Paz) and thus
incapable of servicing the sick. Indeed, in nearly half of the forty-one cases involving
allegations of neglect of priestly duties, parishioners accused the priest of chronic
absenteeism 81
Martín Choque, a gobernador of the town of Songo in the 1680s, revealed in his
testimony that Licenciado Silvestre Alfonso Fernández often left town for fifteen to twenty
days at a time without arranging for a temporary replacement. As a result, the congregation
80ACCFLM, Tomo 7, fol. 77r.
81On the same problem encountered by parishioners in Bourbon Mexico, Taylor
writes: “Even though more priests were in parish service in the late eighteenth century,
complaints of absenteeism and inadequate spiritual care were common. The lapse was
understandable in parishes with large territories, steep mountain paths and rushing
streams, and small, widely scattered populations. It was impossible for a cura, even with
assistants, to be everywhere he was needed, and special trips to remote comers of the
parish were exhausting, dangerous, and often unrewarding, either spiritually or
financially.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 183.

147
not only failed to have mass on Sundays and festival days, but “in the cocales some people
died without giving final confession, although I cannot remember their names.”82
This type of allegation, indeed, was common in the visitas of the 1680s and 1690s,
and generally witnesses provided specific information to support their case. Carlos Gudina,
a ninety-year old Yndio natural from Songo reported that Bartolomé Machicado y Zárate
(parish priest in Songo before Don Antonio in the early 1680s) often left the village for up
to a month “On one occasion,” he stated,
an Indian woman named Catalina Taicho died without receiving the Sacred
Sacraments . . And another time when the Bachiller was absent, four young
children died, two before being anointed with chrism and oil, and the other two
without baptismal water.83
Moreover, Don Carlos grieved, Don Bartolomé coerced the distraught widower of Catalina
Taicho to pay for two funeral masses, and charged him thirty baskets of coca and four
jewels (tembladeras) for the burial. “And when the husband resisted, [the priest] threatened
him.”84
In every region of the diocese in the 1680s and 1690s, parishioners reported at least
on one occasion that the parish priest on trial had neglected some aspect of his religious
duty. But witnesses from the corregimientos of Larecaja and Sicasica stood out in terms of
their steady dissatisfaction with their parish priests’ ministerial capabilities. In sixteen of
the twenty interrogations held in Sicasica during the twenty year period under review,
parishioners complained that the particular priest on trial or his ayudante had failed to
82ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 92.
83ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 161r.
84ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 162

148
administer last rites to the dying at some point during their careers. In Larecaja, witnesses
cited this violation eleven times — more than any other complaint — and Indians from the
town of Songo protested in each of the three trials conducted in the 1680s and 1690s that
the presiding priests had routinely required relatives and friends to bring the dying to town.
Summary
The majority of visita witnesses who appeared before ecclesiastical officials in the
visitas y escrutinio trials of the final two decades of the seventeenth century implicated
their parish priests in some sort of misconduct or work-related negligence. Their
allegations, of course, were not confined to those already discussed in this chapter.
Indeed, parishioners also complained, for example, that some priests did not teach the
catechism every Sunday, Wednesday, and Friday, and that they sometimes failed to sing the
Salve — one of the prayers sung in praise of the Virgin Mary — on Saturday mornings as
stipulated by royal laws Parishioners accused a fair number of priests of operating illegal
businesses and treating them unfairly in the marketplace in violation of various
ecclesiastical statutes prohibiting such behavior. And in several instances witnesses
informed the promotor fiscal that their parish priest — usually because of his laziness —
consented to relationships which were unsanctified by the rite of marriage, and thus,
condoned behavior deemed immoral in the eyes of the Spanish Crown and the Catholic
Church 85 In sum, most of the parishioners who testified in visita courts during the 1680s
and 1690s spoke of their parish priests as if they were ordinary, common men who were
possessed by many of the same secular (social, economic, and political) concerns and
85In his Itinerario para párochos, Bishop Montenegro devoted an entire section
(Book Three, Treatise Nne) to the Sacramento del Matrimonio.

149
desires as their lay friends and neighbors. Even if priests openly stood up against
corruption, they — if the bulk of the parishioners’ testimonies are to be believed — like
other colonial agents of control, abused their positions of authority for personal gain or
political advantage.
But as we will see in the next chapter, those priests implicated in committing
serious crimes against their communities turned the table on their detractors, and depicted
themselves as the victims of false testimony. In every instance, they defended their actions
as just and proper, especially considering what they claimed to be the uncivilized and
disobedient nature of most of the members of their congregations. In their responses to the
charges, most priests singled out the duplicity and treachery of rival village leaders,
specifically particular caciques, principales and governadores who, according to the
priests, blackmailed or threatened other citizens to testify against them before visita
officials. In their final rulings, as we will also see in Chapter 6, the presiding ecclesiastical
authorities had to weigh the evidence for and against the priests, and more often than not,
sided with their colleagues, even if they occasionally reprimanded accused priests for
disrupting communal harmony and the religious mission of the Church by their actions.

CHAPTER 6
REACTIONS AND RULINGS, 1680-1700
We have seen thus far that even with the “weight of habitual deference behind
them,” as William Taylor puts it, a majority of parish priests from villages throughout the
Diocese of La Paz during the final two decades of the seventeenth century engaged in
public disputes with their parishioners over both material and religious issues.1 I have
argued that Indian witnesses, through their testimonies, helped define boundaries of
acceptable behavior and exploitation, and — with a seemingly clear understanding of
colonial legal procedures — used the episcopal visita y escrutinio as an instrument in their
collective bargaining for relief, respect, financial gain, and political advantage As we will
see in this chapter, however, priests did not stand idly by to allow their reputations and
professional records to be sullied by what they referred to as “false allegations” and
“sinister plots” against their characters.2 Indeed, with energy and equanimous focus, they
defended their actions and morality, and challenged visita authorities to see through the
lies and deceit which, they alleged, characterized the testimonies against them.
Priests on Defense
When priests were accused of committing serious violations against their
communities, ecclesiastical officials required them to defend themselves against the
'Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 236
2ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 22.
150

151
charges.3 In addition to addressing the contentious issues at hand, most priests who filed
rebuttals commented on other aspects of village life, to include any political or social
problems which may have contributed to their predicament. In addition, they nearly
always confirmed their deeply religious convictions and devotion to the Church, and they
often spoke of personal goals and ambitions, and of the pressures they faced as agents of
the Spanish crown living in remote, predominantly indigenous communities.
Just as witness testimonies help to elucidate what parishioners expected from their
parish priests and how priestly involvement in secular matters complicated their standing
before ecclesiastical officials, priests’ reactions to the charges against them depict a
cohesive and orderly understanding of their role within colonial society and the liberties
they felt entitled to as the spiritual and moral leaders of their parishes. More specifically,
these depositions reveal prevailing attitudes as to what, and what did not, constitute
3Schwaller and Taylor discuss at various intervals in their studies of parish priests
in colonial Mexico the protocol of court cases involving priests. Unfortunately, Schwaller
dedicates most of his attention to cases before the Holy Office of the Inquisition, which
according to his description, varied considerably from the types of procedures used in the
visita trials in the Diocese of La Paz. For example, priests testifying before authorities of
the Holy Office were not officially informed of the charges against them at the beginning
of the trial It was hoped they would implicate themselves in the course of the
questioning. Priests accused of wrongdoing in the Diocese of La Paz, on the other hand,
either were given a list of the charges at the beginning of the interrogation, or had to
respond in writing to each of the capítulos raised during the interrogation of witnesses.
Also, Schwaller describes torture as an alternative inquisitors could use to extract a
confession; nothing similar appears anywhere in the archival record for the Diocese of La
Paz Taylor also does not specifically address variances of trial protocol. But throughout
Part Two and Three of Magistrates of the Sacred, he discusses various ways priests dealt
with the charges levied against them by parishioners and district magistrates. From the
numerous examples, it appears that Church authorities in Bourbon Mexico handled
controversial cases in a fashion (i.e. calling witnesses, confronting the maligned priest with
the charges, hearing his rebuttal, determining a proper final sentence, etc.) similar to the
way trials were conducted in the Diocese of La Paz.

152
acceptable priestly conduct as priests themselves saw it. As I illustrate in Chapter 7, a few
priests paid a considerable price for their convictions, but they always defended their
actions, however controversial they may have been, as legitimate and just.
As a matter of policy, priests were confined to their quarters during the
interrogation of witnesses. This requirement ostensibly protected parishioners from being
influenced by the presence of the man against whom they were testifying. Certainly, the
goal of visita authorities was to keep the identities of witnesses secret, although it is
obvious from subsequent reports filed by priests that they were often aware of which
villagers would be called to appear before the chief prosecutor. In other words, priests
were usually mindful that old enmities might surface during the course of the visita trial.
The parish priest did not appear again before the bishop or visitor-general until
after all the witnesses had completed their testimonies. In all but twenty-seven of the one
hundred and fifty-four trials held in the 1680s and 1690s, the presiding Church official
informed the priest of his final sentence and collected any fees associated with the stay,
before departing for La Paz or the next village on the visita tour. Thus, 82.5 percent of
the episcopal inspections concluded without any written statements by the parish priest
under review. All priests who received favorable final sentences, and even some who
received unfavorable reviews, were not obliged to contribute directly to the documentary
record in any way. Notwithstanding their relaciones de méritos y servicios (see Chapters 3
and 4), the persuasions, sentiments, and opinions of the vast majority of parish priests who
worked in the diocese at this time remains, therefore, regrettably unknown.

153
Nevertheless, those twenty-seven priests who did have to respond to allegations of
serious pastoral misconduct, as intimated earlier, often gave lengthy and graphic accounts
of their activities. Priests either submitted written rebuttals which addressed specific
accusations of improper behavior, or testified directly before the promotor fiscal. In the
event that they were required to compose written responses, they were generally given
between two to four hours to submit their answers.
The following analysis of the attitudes and visions of the parish priests who
worked and lived in the Diocese of la Paz in the 1680s and 1690s is based, then, on some
of the most contentious episcopal visitas of the era. All of the cases involved multiple
witnesses who testified that the parish priest in question committed a variety of violations
which directly threatened the parishioners’ well-being, communal accord, and the religious
mission of the Church in that particular parish. As a result, the range of offenses under
consideration was broad, and usually meant that the indicted priest had to address a
variety of controversial issues in his response.
In most cases, priests dealt with the charges point by point; their defensive posture
and attention to detail signified the severity of the situation as they saw it, although it was
not uncommon for priests to elaborate fully on issues which they felt able to prove as
unfounded, while only furtively answering questions which they may have wanted to
avoid Accused priests, for example, tended to respond succinctly and vaguely to inquiries
which questioned their fidelity to the vow of celibacy. The priest’s assistant Marcos del
Barco’s only remark concerning the accusation that he had numerous affairs was, for
example: “it is a spurious accusation and against all truth. ... I was sick, and I got her to

154
nurse me back to health, and after having completed her work she left for her home in
Coate.”4
Priests from each of the region’s seven corregimientos are represented among the
group of men who filed appeals. Visitor-General Eguares y Paquier required written
responses from priests working in the corregimiento of Sicasica a record nine times, the
most of any territory in the diocese for this period (1680-1700). Priests from the Indian
village of Yanacache alone had to defend themselves against serious accusations no less
than four times, indeed in each of the visitas held there in the period under review. Parish
priests from the corregimiento of Omasuyos are the least represented. Don Marcos, in
fact, was the only priest from that region who had to respond to charges of misconduct, all
of which, in typical fashion, he flatly denied.5
In each of the twenty-seven rebuttals, priests defended themselves either by
pointing out that the accusations against them were categorically false, or true, but
justified according to Church laws or local customs. Not once in the over one hundred
pages of testimony did a priest admit to having consciously broken a rule or regulation, or
behaving in a way that was not completely warranted considering the allegedly uncivilized
and disrespectful nature of his congregation. Indeed, most of the implicated priests
4ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 86.
5ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol. 90. Don Marcos claimed he had been a responsible and
diligent assistant to Christóbal Salto y Frias, who incidentally, testified on his own behalf
that he had no knowledge of Don Marcos’ sexual affair “ because of the fact that I do not
walk from house to house scrutinizing the personal lives of my parishioners. ... I just
make sure that they all live in fear of, and in service to, God.” ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol.
90

155
offered images of their Christian communities which deviated sharply from the idealistic
visions the Catholic Church and the Spanish crown espoused in colonial policies.
Priests active in the 1680s and 1690s made all sorts of excuses to justify their
actions, but none was more common than portraying their parishioners as stupid, ignorant,
and barbaric people who had little knowledge of the Christian faith or civilized decorum of
any kind 6 By this admission, many priests unwittingly cast themselves as failures in terms
of their attempts to indoctrinate Indians and lead them to a life of virtue. In addition, they
often contradicted themselves in their rebuttals by indicating that their parishioners,
despite their torpidity, were crafty in the art of deception and wily in the ways of legal
procedure. Taylor captures the essence of this dichotomy in his discussion of the often
conflicting views priests had of their Indian parishioners. He points out that the
vocabulary priests of Bourbon Mexico used to describe members of their congregations
“clustered around two inconsistent notions: Indians as simple, timid, obedient, perhaps
stupid, innocents, and Indians as deceitful, malicious, and cunningly disobedient subjects
— Children of the Seven Deadly Sins.”7 Priests, in any event, never took direct
responsibility for any ministerial failures, and they apparently saw no inherent incongruity
in their descriptions of Indian parishioners. In general, then, priests accused of misconduct
6Colonial officials and commentators frequently made mention of the mendacity
and duplicity of their Native American subjects. In Book Five, Treatise Two, Section Five
(entitled “De la prudencia que debe tener el Visitador en averiguar los capítulos que ponen
los Indios a los Curas”) of his Itinerario para párochos, Bishop Montenegro stated “it is
an irrefutable fact, proven with countless examples, that the Indians are collectively a
bunch of liars, and with the upmost vulgarity, they have the proclivity to falsely accuse.”
Montenegro, Itinerario para párochos, 647.
7Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 173.

156
frequently depicted their parishioners as incorrigible children,8 brutish animals, and “people
so irrational”9 {gente tan irracional) that their grievances should be ignored.
Br. Juan de Argote — one of three priests working in the Diocese of La Paz in the
1680s and 1690s who had to defend himself before visita officials more than once —
denied the numerous charges made against him and considered his parishioners to be
nothing more than “evil Christian rebels, [who are] insubordinate”10 to any form of
authority He admitted that he often got angry with many of the local Indians because
“they only want to live like savages,”11 and that he occasionally had to whip a butcher
named Juan Condori in the main plaza to set an example for others.
I blame the disparaging assessments of my character on the fact that I have
to punish him In spite of these haughty and false accusations, I try to
change their [the parishioners’] delinquent ways with the help of God —
this truth does not escape Our Lord Jesus Christ.12
'Taylor makes much of the priestly obligation — especially during the Hapsburg
era — to be the “spiritual father ’ “committed to the spiritual directions of his children.”
He bases this analysis on the central influence of Bishop Montenegro’s Itinerario, which,
he says, instructed priests to “lead by example, edifying his parishioners with good works
and high standards of personal conduct. . . and see that the Indians obeyed his teachings.”
Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 152-153.
9ACCFLM, Tomo 13, fol. 228. Don Pedro de Bustamante, a priest active in the
diocese for over thirty years (he spent most of his time working in Laja and San Sebastián
de las Piezas in La Paz) offered this appraisal of his Indian parishioners in a written
statement filed in his trial in 1688.
10ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol. 344r.
nIbid
12Ibid.

157
Marcos del Barco, likewise, blamed any negative comments directed at him on the
necessary toughness he had to use to fulfill his religious duties. He reasoned:
They say that I treat them cruelly because they need to be forced to
congregate to learn the catechism, the Sacred Gospels, and their prayers,
and to confess on time, and to civilize themselves — to all these things they
are viciously opposed and uninterested. Each day they lose respect for us,
and are adamant enemies of hearing mass, giving confession, and the Word
of God. . [Because] I attempt to get them to do these things, they say I
am ill-tempered and heartless.13
Nearly all of the twenty-seven priests who claimed innocence before charges of
misconduct cited Indian character flaws as the main source of their unwarranted
discontent Silvestre Alfonso Fernández, cura of Songo in the 1680s, accused Indians of
orchestrating a conspiracy “filled with deceit.”14 Responding to a litany of charges which
included failing to hold Sunday mass, charging tributarios up to one hundred pesos a
piece for burials, and forcing Indians to work a plot of land he owned near town, Antonio
de Agramonte Zaldivar stated that “any and all declarations are malicious,”15 and
considered them unfair “given the good reputation I have always had in the service of
God ”16 Francisco de Carrión y Cáceres of Palca blamed any deaths of his parishioners
13ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fol 86.
14ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol 97.
15ACCFLM, Tomo 7, fol. 124. “Malicious” was the most common adjective used
by priests to describe Indians who testified negatively against them. This was also the
case, apparently, in Bourbon Mexico. Taylor states that “malice essentially meant ill-will,
but it could be used in various senses: to designate ill-will toward Spanish authorities or
toward other Indians, to describe particular acts of ill-will or to draw a deeper conclusion
about psychological motivation.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 173.
I6ACCFLM, Tomo 7, fol 124.

158
unaccompanied by last rites on their own “neglect and carelessness (omisión y
fioxedad).”17 And Bernardo de Meléndez, cura of Sapaqui in the 1690s, defended himself
by arguing that most of the time he could not understand his parishioners. This lack of
communication did not result, so he testified, from any language deficiencies on his part,
but rather because local Indians frequently had so much coca in their mouths that anything
they said was unintelligible. On the charge that he failed to attend to a dying man in a
nearby farm, Don Bernardo stated:
an Indio Pongo and Doña Francisca Pacheco called on me to give
confession to him, but I could not understand them because their mouths
were full of coca, I ordered them in no uncertain terms to spit it out. . . .
Later I went out to the house and as I entered I tripped over the body of
the dead man, who they said had died that morning. That night I went back
to the house to ask why they had not called me out earlier, and Doña
Francisca said that it was on account that I hated her. . . . Upon hearing
this, I was much distressed.18
In addition to the Indians’ personal defects and irrationality, parish priests also
highlighted personal conflicts with different parishioners — usually village leaders — as
common causes for witness dissatisfaction.19 Political controversy, indeed, was a common
theme in the visita records from this era, and implied a certain rivalry for the top position
17ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 147.
18ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 210.
19Robert Haskett examines facets of village factionalism in colonial Mexico in his
book entitled Indigenous Riders: An Ethnohistory of Town Government in Colonial
Cuernavaca (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1991). He states, like
Taylor, that partisan elections was one of the principal manifestations of factional strife
between Indians. The main cause for village political dissent appears to be, according to
Haskett, rivalry between the traditional hereditary elite and the newly powerful, i.e. those
who had climbed the social and political ranks due to financial success

159
within Indian villages It some cases, however, it is difficult to tell how involved parish
priests were in village politics. In some of the more contentious cases, for example,
priests claimed that political pressures and village factionalism were the key ingredients of
the existing dispute (rather than his behavior), and that he had little to do with the issues at
hand. In these more ambiguous cases, it certainly appears possible that allegations of
priestly abuse or neglect were the result of political posturing on the part of angry and
opportunistic native elites, who may or may not have had honest grounds for their
accusations against the priest on trial. In these instances, these caciques and
governadores may have considered the visita y escrutinio as an open arena for voicing
their particular cause against a rival group or individual, and if they had to implicate their
parish priest of malfeasance to get their message across, they did it. The parish priest, in
other words and in some cases, appears to have been caught in the middle of what Taylor
refers to as “contests for pueblo leadership,”20 many of which he argues, were incidental to
the priest implicated of wrongdoing.21
As discussed in Chapter 5, when priests openly acknowledged their involvement in
personal feuds, dissension usually had to do not so much with their sacerdotal
performance, but rather with how priests figured into the social, economic, and political
20Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 373.
21Chapter Fifteen of Magistrates of the Sacred deals extensively with the theme of
village politics and political sources of dissension between priests, parishioners, and
district governors. In the end, Taylor finds, like I do for the Diocese of La Paz, that late
colonial priests in Mexico often considered the suits against them to be frivolous attempts
by “factions of ambitious or vengeful men who seized the initiative in the name of the
community and occasionally gained wide support.” Ibid., 376.

160
fabric of the communities they served In other words, squabbles with village leaders and
caciques over usually non-religious matters often evolved into political struggles for
power, the technicalities and spirit of which were uncovered during some of the visita
trials of the era.
In the parish of San Juan de Acora, for example, Fadrique Sarmiento de
Sotomayor greeted Visitor-General Eguares Pasquier on the morning of September 4,
1687, at the entrance of town, and handed over a letter advising him of the “calumnies and
planned objections of the Catacoras,”22 a local family of Indian nobility. In this statement,
he refuted in advance several of the allegations he suspected would arise during the visita
interrogations, including the claims that he did not speak Aymara well enough to teach the
catechism and say mass, and that he frequently left town without appointing a qualified
priest to serve during his absence. He also disputed that he had ever harassed Carlos
Catacora He argued that he often had to defend local Indians from the family’s excessive
demands for tribute He pointed out that he had endured threats by members of the
Catacora clan during the thirty or so years he had worked in the region And finally, he
claimed that this family had contrived to undermine his authority and incited others to
testify against him In his words, the Catacoras planned to use the episcopal visita as a
tool “to victimize me . . . with their offenses ”23
True to his suspicions, all but one of the parishioner testimonies and affidavits
(which, incidentally, did not include any direct testimony from anyone with the surname
22ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 96.
23ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 97r.

161
Catacora) recounted stories of spiritual neglect, physical and emotional abuse, and
violations of priestly authority. In his response to the charges, Don Fadrique stressed that
all accusations were “false [and] utter lies.”24 Citing his earlier claims that personal
quarrels with various members of the Catacora family had evolved into a larger conflict, he
acknowledged “I have had many disputes with the Catacoras because I have defended the
Indians of this town from their mistreatment. . . facts which can be supported by
documents already submitted to the Royal Government and the Viceroy.”25
In San Andrés de Machaca, Bernardo de Balboa denied in his appeal that he
overcharged tributarios for burials, manipulated wills to favor himself and the local
church, and failed to teach his Indian parishioners the catechism. He told Visitor-General
Eguares y Pasquier
I am not overly demanding of Indians when it comes to political issues
because I do not meddle in such things, just like they do not involve
themselves in the instruction of the catechism, or in issues of Our Sacred
Faith and Reason {La Razón). I have to answer to these charges simply
because I am exacting in my demands that they learn the catechism, attend
mass and [listen to] the liturgy. . . . The cacique is the one who avoids mass
the most. I have not seen him since the celebration of Corpus Christi
until now . Once I told him he was just a drunk, and I tried to correct
his vices.26
Don Bernardo later blamed any negative comments on his character on the “bad will”27 of
the unnamed cacique, and attributed the general attitude of disrespect among the Indians
24ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 154r.
25Ibid.
26ACCFLM, Tomo 21, fol. 152.
27ACCFLM, Tomo 21, fol. 152r.

162
(whom he referred to as “ignorantes”28 at one point in his rebuttal) to the “bad seed [i.e.
the cacique] who inspires those who have stayed here.”29
As Don Bernardo alluded to in the previous example, priests often claimed that
parishioners aired false grievances against them just because they assiduously performed
the duties which their jobs as spiritual leaders required. Indeed, priests frequently claimed
that any harsh words or physical punishments they handed out were necessary for the
Indians to become good, God-fearing Catholics. Put differently, priests categorized what
some parishioners believed to be unfair or cruel treatment as justifiable, and even essential
for the cultivation of Christian virtues and civilized behavior. This was certainly the spirit
espoused in Bishop Montenegro’s influential Itinerario, which, according to Taylor, “held
that the priest as judge could punish his parishioners in order to protect their souls and
control sin.”30
Antonio de Agramonte y Zaldivar admitted in his deposition that he did not show
lenience to any parishioners who chose not to notify him promptly to come to administer
last rites to dying neighbors. He adamantly denied any wrongdoing in this regard, and
emphasized:
I have publicly announced that people should not hesitate to call me when
there is a sick person. ... [In the past] I have had to punish Indians with
whippings and Spaniards with monetary fines. . . . This [accusation] is
especially upsetting to me considering how many instances in which I have
28Ibid.
29Ibid.
30Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 156.

163
risked my life on these treacherous roads, and as sick as I have been at
times.31
Similarly, and without any tone of apology, Lorenzo Vasquez de Castilla of Laja conceded
that twice he imprisoned a cacique named Martin for being — somewhat ambiguously —
“bad and insolent,”32 and it was true that he “wounded the sacristanes and members of the
choir (Ies e erido)”33 for not completing some work he had assigned.
Br. Juan Diez de Fuenmaior y Olasaval of Calacoto confirmed also that he
punished without remorse an alcalde ordinario named Juan Mamani for failing to provide
him with a mule he had commissioned to rent from the man for a trip to La Paz.
According to the priest’s version of the story, Don Juan rented the mule in order to travel
to the city to purchase some ornaments he planned to display in time for the current visita.
Despite his obligation, it took him several days to bring the mule to me
This malicious neglect caused me some troubles. . . . [Because of] his
disobedience I had to shove him around, and I punished his cacique too
on account of the little respect that he has for me, [a quality] I have seen in
other Indians as well They are also arrogant and haughty (altibosy
soberbios), despite the suffering, patience and reason I exhibit in all [my
dealings with them].34
The fascinating case of Alvaro López de Soria y Abréu perhaps represents the best
example of priestly beliefs in just cause for punishment of recalcitrant Indians. Among
other things, witnesses in Yanacachi accused Don Alvaro of chronic absenteeism,
3IACCFLM, Tomo 7, fol. 124.
32ACCFLM, Tomo 16, fol. 169.
33Ibid.
34ACCFLM, Tomo 21, fol. 79.

164
overcharging for burials — some of which he did not even perform — not holding mass
on Sundays, and allowing his nephew and his black slave, Esteban, to torment the town’s
Indian citizens.35 In his rebuttal, Don Alvaro expended a great deal of effort in defending
the behavior of his companions, whose actions, so he believed, were perfectly justified
given the truculence of some of the Indian parishioners. The priest began his defense by
pointing out that “I am not God, I cannot be in all places at once.”36 He then doubted that
either his nephew or Esteban had unjustly mistreated anyone, but even if they did, the
Indians pursued a solution to the problem in an inappropriate way. He claimed:
The accusation that my black slave treats the Indian men and women with
contempt is false and sinister, and nothing more than an example of their
imaginative minds . . . even if [his actions were unwarranted], they should
have come to me so that I could remedy the situation. [At the very least]
when they went to La Paz they should have executed an official complaint
so that Your Excellence could report it to the [Captain] General, Don Juan
de Mesa.37
In addition to these excuses, priests argued repeatedly that their ability to complete
their many duties was often hampered by sprawling jurisdictions, scattered (and floating)
populations, and treacherous roads and other natural obstacles which impeded travel.38 As
350nly a few scholars have studied slavery in colonial Alto Perú. A few of the
better, albeit outdated, monographs include Alberto Crespo Rodas, Esclavos Negros en
Bolivia (La Paz: Academia Nacional de Ciencias de Bolivia, 1977), and Max Portugal
Ortiz, La Esclavitud Negra en las épocas coloniales y nacionales de Bolivia (La Paz:
Instituto Boliviano de Cultura, 1977).
36ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 29.
37Ibid.
38Most scholars who have written about the secular clergy in colonial Latin
America have pointed out that parish priests often complained of the hardships they
endured in the course of their work. Brading cites several cases of priests bemoaning the

165
seen in Chapter 4, some priests complained bitterly about the hardships they endured in
the sometimes inhospitable environments of the southern Andes. In fact, over a third of
parish priests accused of misconduct in the 1680s and 1690s denied any conscious neglect
on their part by highlighting the challenges that the natural landscapes, high altitudes, and
weather presented
Francisco de Carrion y Cáceres responded to charges of priestly neglect in visita
trials held in 1684 and 1691 by pointing out that his numerous efforts to hire an assistant
to work the rugged tierra adentro (interior lands) had failed. In his defense against
allegations that hundreds of people had died in his district without the benefit of extreme
unction, Don Francisco reported in 1684:
A creole bom in the hamlet of Santiago in the tierra adentro named
Licenciado Francisco de Manzaneda came to work there [after his
ordination], but because of the roughness and difficulty [of the land], and
poverty of the Indians, he could not persist. ... So consequently I hired
Licenciado Thomás de Carbajal, but he too could not survive on account of
the poverty of even the most wealthy of men there. Then Provisor Doctor
Don Bartolomé de Zifiientes. . appointed Don Matheo [illegible] . . . who
also could not survive . . . Later the President of the Real Audiencia
rural isolation and tropical climate of some of the districts of Michoacan in the late
eighteenth century Jose Vicente de Ochoa, parish priest of Irimbo, for example, hoped for
a transfer in 1792 since he “suffered terrible solitude where bitterness has been my bread
both day and night, all to suffer and feel, accepting it all with patience and offering until
His Majesty wills better times ” Brading, Church and state in Bourbon Mexico, 115.
Taylor dedicates an entire subsection of Chapter Eight of Magistrates of the Sacred to the
theme of priestly hardships. The complaints made by priests from the Diocese of
Guadalajara and the Archdiocese of Mexico were similar in many respects to those made
by priests in the Diocese of La Paz. Taylor writes that “When parish priest described their
work, they usually mentioned travel, often involving great distances, foul weather, terrible
roads, and physical deprivations.” But, as he rightly points out, “Perhaps not so many
souls passed away in the dead of night; nor was there always bad weather to brave. The
burden of the work was partly in the eye of the beholder and varied according to
individual circumstances and conscience.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 196-197.

166
ordered me to submit a report to find out if the benefice [of Palca] was too
vast, and I stated [in that report] that indeed it was necessary to have an
assistant there. . . So I hired Licenciado Joan de Lossa, who managed to
hold out for only thirty days during Lent because he said he had no
provisions and nothing to live on, so now I have hired Fray Joan de Vera of
the order of San Agustín to work there.39
Seven years later, Don Francisco had apparently still not solved the problem.
Responding to charges of chronic absenteeism, not keeping proper records of confessions,
and failing to hire extra ayudantes to serve the dispersed settlements of the region, the
priest repeated the claim that no one could “persist”40 (persistir) in the interior lands, and
that he could afford to hire only two other assistants to satisfy the demands of his many
other parishioners. Moreover, he stated, “the tierra adentro is virtually uninhabited now
. save a few Spaniards who are served by some Augustinians ”41
Juan Diez de Fuenmaior expressed similar frustration when questioned about
allegations that he forced Indians of Calacoto to lend him (without compensation) mules
for trips he routinely made to outlying communities of his jurisdiction. His district was so
large, he claimed, that walking was simply not an option, and he contended that
parishioners freely gave him their mules and horses on that account. In his statement, he
argued:
39ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 147r. Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier concluded that
this arrangement was unsatisfactory, and ordered Don Francisco to appoint a secular
priest to serve Santiago because, technically, Fray Juan was not licenced to administer the
Sacred Sacraments in the Diocese of La Paz.
40ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 132.
41ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fols. 132-132r.

167
I use mules so that I can cover — with pastoral enthusiasm — the twenty-
five leagues of my territory and not be endangered or risk the loss of souls.
Many times I have offered them money ... but the owners will not
take any from me because they consider this [my job] as sacred and pious.
. . In the rainy season I have risked my life several times crossing the
shallows of two rivers by night with only candles [to guide me] .42
Second to accusing Indian parishioners of being, by nature, dishonest and
deceitful, the most common excuse priests used in their respective self-defenses had to do
with their adherence to local customs 43 Indeed, parish priests from all parts of the diocese
throughout the 1680s and 1690s regularly cited their simple obedience to tradition as the
basis for their actions and decisions. Not surprisingly, and as intimated in Chapter 5,
parishioners also complained about priests who failed to honor old, customary
arrangements. When taken as a whole, these statements represent, I contend, some of the
terms of the evolving, yet essentially consistent view of social norms and obligations which
governed and shaped social relations between villagers and priests in the Diocese of La
Paz at this time.44 In Chapter 5,1 discussed several sources of conflict between
42 ACCFLM, Tomo SI, fol. 80.
43In effect, the monographs by Brading, Farris, and Taylor on late colonial Mexico
deal precisely with this issue of adherence to customs (albeit in a different context) and of
how parish priests responded to the Bourbon reforms which threatened their authority.
Each of these authors — with the exception of Taylor who examines all these relationships
in detail — is more interested in relations between the state and the members of the
Mexican Church, rather than the dialogue and negotiating for advantages which took place
between priests and their parishioners. Essentially, however, these scholars discuss the
issue of resistance and reaction to change, just as parishioners and priests from the
Diocese of La Paz bargained for their own prosperity and well-being as changes took
place on the local level
44 As I discuss in the Introduction, E.P. Thompson’s idea of “moral economy of the
poor” is, I think, germane to colonial Andean society since individuals and certain classes
of people (i.e priests and parishioners) seemed to have operated within, and behaved

168
parishioners and parish priests, and argued that the visita y escrutinio was an
institutionalized mechanism native elites used in the 1680s and 1690s to define the terms
and conditions of their participation in colonial society. If that is true, the episcopal visita
gave equal opportunity for priests to define the boundaries of their involvement in the
moral economy of village life since they were similarly interested in protecting their
privileges and positions of power and authority.
To cite a few examples, Antonio de Agramonte y Zaldivar admitted that he
required local forasteros to pay him for religious services in pesos ensayados, a practice
specifically prohibited throughout the diocese due to the value of the coins compared with
other types of currency.45 Don Antonio responded:
I say that this has been a custom from time immemorial (a sido costumbre
inmemorial) in this district. ... All of the priests who preceded me
required the same for the administration of the Sacred Sacraments, and to
marry, bury, and baptize the Indians.46
Don Antonio had used this excuse before. In 1684 when parishioners accused him of
committing a whole series of violations, he claimed with notable irritation:
To prove my good works, my predecessors charged up to a thousand
pesos for burials, and you accuse me of acting tyrannically for charging
according to, a social and moral order which regulated, however informally, social,
economic and political attitudes and expectations between different colonial groups.
Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century,” 79.
43See footnote 60, Chapter 2, for a discussion of the difference between assayed
coins and other forms of currency.
46ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 162.

169
thirty or forty pesos . . . Looking at what they [former priests who
worked in Yanacache] did, I should not be punished, but commended.47
He argued further that he did not force camarico contributions from wealthy Indians,
rather “it is customary here for them to give these amounts to the priest.”48 The practice
of paying in pesos ensayados was also an “ancient custom” {antigua costumbre).49
Fadrique de Sarmiento y Sotomayor pointed out in his deposition before Promotor
Fiscal León that urging parishioners to give periodic offerings to the church was
customary, as was persuading dying Indians to allocate money for yearly masses to be said
in their names Similarly, Bernardo de Balboa of San Andrés de Machaca argued that any
camarico contributions made by Indian parishioners were voluntary (“I only receive what
they give me voluntarily”50), and that upon arrival in this town, he simply allowed the
practice (established by his “antecedentes”*1) to continue because of “their desire to
display their wealth {ostentación)”.*1
The best example of a priest using this justification as a tool of defense involved
Francisco de Carrión y Cáceres of Palca. During his direct interrogation, Don Francisco
vehemently reacted to the charges of misconduct by citing specific royal cédulas and
47ACCFLM, Tomo 7, fol. 124r.
48ACCFLM, Tomo 7, fol. 125.
49Ibid
50ACCFLM, Tomo 21, fol. 152r.
51Ibid
52Ibid

170
manuals of conduct,53 which he argued, contained rules which condoned his behavior. He
apparently acted according to different principles at different times, however, because
usually in the same breath he turned to local traditions — many of which were officially
forbidden by the Church — to account for his actions. On the allegation that he allowed
his sacristans, singers, and treasurers to bury people in his absence, for example, Don
Francisco retorted: “I have always perceived that this is traditional and customary (es uso
y costumbre) in this Kingdom.”54 On the issue of forcing offerings at the end of the
calendar year, he argued:
I have found that in this benefice it is a custom that they make end-of-the-
year donations I was told this by the Governador Don Miguel Fernández
de Borja and the other caciques that it was an expression of their devotion
to give silver, and other products [to the Church], . . Services for the
redemption of souls from purgatory were, likewise, customary . . . not
forced 55
Finally, Don Francisco pointed out that he had nothing to do with the appointments of
various citizens as officers (alféreses) or as managers (mayordomos) of the cofradías and
that any contributions they made to the Church were in accordance with local customs.
This is the way it is in this bishopric. We have three hundred candles in the
sacristy of the Church . . . which must be purchased by the mayordomos.
I always give them a receipt for these . . . and having taken control of
530ne of the references Don Francisco made in his appeal was to Bishop
Montenegro’s Itinerario para párachos. In his statement, the priest said “I was just
following the advice of the Doctors, and principally that of The Most Illustrious Lord the
Bishop of Quito [who discusses these issues] in his summary guide for this Kingdom.”
ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 150.
54ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 150r.
55ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 151.

171
this they have furthered the divine cult (culto divinó) which is well-
established in this Sacred Church.56
Final Judgements
As discussed in Chapter 2, the bishop or the visitor-general completed each visita
with a final sentence, in which he essentially graded the priest and recorded any other
observations which he felt might improve his job performance and sense of religious duty.
These documents sometimes contained data on particular successes or failures, but more
often were formulaic, and thus provided few direct details of priestly values or conduct.
Nevertheless, the tone, style and conclusions of these documents are important to any
study of priests’ behavior in the Diocese of La Paz since they reveal the attitudes of the
high clergy, and more generally, the expectations of the Catholic Church in this particular
part of the colonial Andes In addition, these final sentences illustrate the way bishops
handled potentially explosive situations, and thus represent a sample of the actions and
attitudes of a colonial bureaucracy that tended to favor rhetorical admonitions and minor
fines rather than drastic penalties for crimes of authority.57
56ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 152.
57The theme of bureaucratic lenience, as it pertained to the punishment of royal
officials found guilty of crimes of authority, has been the topic of considerable attention by
historians of colonial Latin America. Some of the better explanations for how the
Hapsburgs in particular promoted the nonobservance of Spanish colonial law can be found
in John Leddy Phelan’s monograph entitled, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth
Century: Bureaucratic Politics in the Spanish Empire. In terms of Church history, Taylor
acknowledges at various points in Parts Two and Three oí Magistrates of the Sacred that
priests generally benefited from the administrative laxity that characterized the early
eighteenth century, and responded negatively to later Bourbon initiatives which sought to
curtail their spirit of independence and local authority.

172
During the 1680s and 1690s, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier wrote nearly all
of the final sentences, so the method, language, and format of the documents remained
consistent through the end of the century. In fact, judging from the similarity of style of
later examples, it is likely that the standard set by Eguares y Pasquier influenced the
bishops and visitors-general from the 1700s, 1710s, and 1720s. In any case, these
documents provide a useful measure to gauge how priests were regarded professionally,
and in the end, what factors defined the limits — as far as the bishop’s office was
concerned — of acceptable and unacceptable priestly behavior.
All but four of the one hundred and fifty-four visitas conducted during the 1680s
and 1690s were complete, in the sense that they contained the bishop’s edict announcing
the goals of the visita, the list of the chief prosecutor’s questions, a record of the physical
inspection of the premises, witness testimonies, the chief prosecutor’s report, and the final
sentence which officially closed the investigation. The four visitas which are incomplete
lack only the final judgement, and it appears that they were either lost, misplaced or
inadvertently destroyed since the cases they would have complimented were indistinct in
every way.58
One hundred and twenty-eight of the final sentences were favorable; that is, the
bishop or the visitor-general determined that the priest on trial performed his job either
satisfactorily, or acceptably contingent on his improvement in one or more areas of his
58In other words, I do not feel that the final sentences for these cases were
postponed or passed on to another agency, like the Sacred Office of the Inquisition for
example, since the cases were generally normal and did not involve priests engaged in any
egregious activity.

173
work. For instance, it was fairly common for the presiding ecclesiastical official to issue a
commendatory final sentence, with the provision that, for example, the priest keep better
books or start Sunday mass in the afternoon so people from outlying farms would have
time to make it to town For the purposes of this study, I consider all such final sentences
to be favorable and distinguish them from unfavorable judgements which either resulted in
fines, suspensions, or expulsions.
Seventeen of the one hundred and fifty final sentences from the 1680s and 1690s
were somewhat favorable, but also included sharp words of rebuke and a financial penalty
for various violations 59 In other words, while the bishop or visitor-general may have
approved of some aspects of the priest’s work, in other areas he deemed him as overly
abusive or negligent and thus deserving of a monetary fine. These final sentences were of
two types. Less common were those which were highly critical of the priest’s job,
threatened serious penalties for continued abuse or mistreatment, and imposed fines of
several hundred pesos. It was more likely for the bishop or visitor-general to punish priests
with a minor fine and warn them to abstain from whatever behavior or activity had been
reported These cases usually involved fines of fifty pesos or less.
59Because most scholars of parish priests in colonial Latin America have not
focused explicitly on the episcopal visita, no comprehensive study of how priests fared in
these trials has been written. Taylor, of course, has included as part of Magistrates of the
Sacred an abundance of contextual examples from different cases and forms of punishment
priests received as a result of being found guilty of inappropriate or neglectful conduct. In
general, he argues that despite provisions spelled out in the Recopilación de leyes de los
reinos de las Indias that “Indians shall be favored and protected by the ecclesiastical and
secular courts,” ecclesiastical judges tended to favor their colleagues when they had
disputes with Indians over religious and non-religious matters. Taylor, Magistrates of the
Sacred, 396.

174
Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier suspended three priests during the twenty year
period under review. His final sentences in these cases implied that the levels of hostility
between the priests and parishioners endangered social peace, and that the priest was thus
incapable of being an effective agent of the Church and state at that particular time60 In
these three instances, he ordered the suspended priest to travel to La Paz to serve a period
of penance under the supervision of the bishop’s office.
The last category of final sentences involved two priests from the same village
who were both fined and suspended from active service for an unspecified amount of time.
Neither priest reappeared in the documentary record of any parish in the diocese after their
respective trials, so it is fair to assume that their careers in the priesthood ended with their
suspensions and fines in 1688. The final section of this chapter includes a narrative of the
crimes these men committed and the punishments they received at the hands of Visitor-
General Eguares y Pasquier and Bishop Queipo de Llano y Valdés.
Easily the most common type of final sentences featured priests who had received
favorable testimonies from their parishioners, took proper care of church premises, and
kept orderly parochial books. For example, after being described by witnesses as “a
“There were no examples from the Diocese of La Paz (1680 to 1730) of conflicts
between priests and parishioners which led to violent resistance. Taylor, on the other
hand, writes about twenty-three such cases that occurred between 1743 and 1809 in the
Diocese of Guadalajara and the Archdiocese of Mexico. He reports that when physical
confrontations between priests and parishioners ensued, “it was always in response to a
provocative act by the priest.” Ibid., 367.

175
learned, God-fearing man”61 who “knows all parishioners by name,”62 and “shields the
Indians as if they were his children from the burdens and oppressions that the corregidores
impose on them,”63 Gerónimo de Cañizares, while serving as parish priest of Hilabaya,
received a favorable final judgement from Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier in 1683. It
read, in part:
We find that Licenciado Don Gerónimo de Cañizares e Ybarra has been
good, diligent, punctual and careful in his responsibilities as priest and
vicar, having his parishioners very well indoctrinated and instructed in the
mysteries of Our Sacred Faith . . . having preached the Sacred Gospel to all
of his parishioners with extreme care, and having lived with the decency
and virtue that his position requires. . . . For all this we declare him to be an
exemplary priest and vicar . . [and] thus worthy of Your Majesty’s, the
King's, recognition and promotion to a dignitary position in one of the
Cathedrals of this Kingdom.64
Don Francisco de Fur of San Andrés de Machaca, likewise, benefitted from
parishioner testimonies that depicted him as an especially devoted priest who took care of
the sick, charged less for burials than stipulated by the arancel, and was the dedicated
architect and benefactor of the local church. In his final sentence, Visitor-General Eguares
y Pasquier noted that Don Francisco had, among other things, “lived virtuously and
61ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fol. 273.
62ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fol. 27 lr.
63ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fol. 274r.
64ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fols. 285-286. For Taylor’s perspective on model priests,
see his section entitled “The Late Colonial Model of the Parish Priest,” in Chapter Seven
of Magistrates of the Sacred He rightly points out that reciprocity between priests and
parishioners had much to do with how well these two groups of people got along. He
states: “From a number of lawsuits between parishioners and curas, it is clear Indians
believed their priests were bound by a reciprocal set of duties.” Taylor, Magistrates of the
Sacred, 169.

176
honestly . . . [and] fulfilled the obligation to administer the Sacred Sacraments to the
healthy and the sick.”65 In addition,
in his job as steward of church construction, he has applied himself with
great zeal And for the improvement of the Divine Cult, he has built
this church from its first foundations up to the point that it is now finished
. . . This sumptuous [building] ... is adorned with hanging pictures and
ornaments for the sacristy, he having spent eight hundred and ninety-eight
pesos of his own money for them. . . . And the total amount he has spent
on construction is five thousand, nine hundred and seventy-four pesos 66
As mentioned above, favorable final sentences sometimes contained
recommendations or provisions which the bishop or the visitor-general ordered to be
carried out While Bernardino de Hemani Bonifaz, for example, had performed his job
well, it became clear during the interrogations that the sheer size of the district of
Combaya — along with the yearly advent of seasonal rains — diminished his ability to
service some parishioners who lived in remote areas. Eguares y Pasquier noted that Don
Bernardino and his four ayudantes had, in fact, “been good priests and lived according to
the obligations of their positions,” but also ordered the priest to
follow through on the mandate to have one of his assistants in residence [in
the outlying region] during the months of December and January every
year since these are the months of heavy rains so that he can administer the
Sacred Sacraments ... to the many people of that district.67
65ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fol. 123.
66ACCFLM, Tomo 4, 123r. Taylor refers to priests who sought to distinguish
themselves through their prowess and initiatives in Church construction as “colonial
builder priests.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 103.
67ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fol. 135-135r.

177
While favorable testimonies always led to favorable sentences, fifty-one priests
who were accused of some wrongdoing also found themselves on the receiving end of
positive final rulings So, of the seventy-eight priests against whom parishioners filed
complaints during the 1680s and 1690s, 65.4 percent were exonerated of their alleged
crimes through the bishop's or visitor-general’s final sentence. It is true that some of
these final judgements decisively cautioned the priest against further illegal or immoral
behavior, but, in the end the vast majority of the these priests survived the episcopal visita
with their jobs, if not their reputations, intact.
Alvaro López de Soria y Abréu, for example, stood accused of serious violations
in both of the visitas held in Moho in 1683 and 1691, only to be congratulated for his
exemplary duty in each of the Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier’s final sentences. In the
1683 trial, parishioners accused Don Alvaro of forcing camarico contributions,
overcharging for burials, mistreating parishioners, obliging the dying to donate money to
the Church in their wills, and not keeping proper books of confession. In his final
sentence, however, Eguares y Paquier concluded that Don Alvaro had been a good priest
who treated his parishioners “charitably” (charitativamente).68 Further, he had “served as
a good example [to the community] with his life and customs . . and fulfilled all the
duties of his charge.”69
Eight years later, parishioners from Yanacachi complained bitterly about Don
Alvaro’s excessive charges for burials, forced camarico contributions, chronic
68ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 273r.
69Ibid

178
absenteeism, and his habit of not saying mass every Sunday In other words — if the
parishioner testimonies from Moho and Yanacachi were to be believed — Don Alvaro’s
behavior changed little despite his change in residence. In the final sentence, Bishop
Queipo de Llano Valdés first acknowledged that Don Alvaro had been a good priest and
could continue serving in the parish, but “on account of his advanced age and failing
vision,” he was ordered to relinquish control of most parish duties in favor a cura
coadjutor to whom he would have to pay a reasonable salary.70
Indian and Spanish witnesses in Calacoto and San Andrés de Machaca in 1688,
similarly, grieved that their respective parish priests, Juan Diez de Fuenmaior and
Bernardo de Balboa, engaged in various forms of misconduct, including verbally abusing
parishioners, failing to administer the Sacred Sacraments to dying Indians, absenteeism,
forcing women to stitch and weave tapestries for the church, and overcharging for burials.
Yet in his final sentences, Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés reported that Don Juan “had
been very punctual in the administration of the Sacred Sacraments . . . and treated
parishioners well with his actions and words.”71 Don Bernardo, likewise, was commended
for his diligence and “works of charity,” and for “being a role model with his life and
customs.”72 The bishop went on to state that Don Bernardo’s Indians were well instructed
in the catechism: “I have found them well versed in it and not only the young men, but
70ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 69.
71ACCFLM, Tomo 21, fol. 85.
72ACCFLM, Tomo 21, fol. 158.

179
also the young women and the older people as well.”73 In both of these cases, the final
sentences made absolutely no mention of the numerous charges that parishioners had
made in their testimonies. On the contrary, the bishop specifically noted that each priest
had fulfilled all the obligations of his charge, even the duties which all the witnesses who
testified agreed they had neglected to perform
Usually, however, the bishop or visitor-general included as part of these otherwise
favorable sentences warnings which addressed particular problems that had surfaced either
during the witness testimonies or in the priest’s own response to the allegations. Visitor-
General Eguares y Pasquier informed Licenciado Mattheos de Torres of Ytalaque, for
example, that while he had been a good priest who “had fulfilled the obligations of his
position,”74 he had also failed to preach regularly the Sacred Gospel and teach the
catechism In addition, he had “continued the insidious custom of the camarico,” but, so
ruled the visitor-general: “due to the poverty and the benevolence [of the Church] we will
not fine him in any way. We order, however, that in the future he act according to the
rules stipulated by the Sacred Councils and synods of this bishopric.”75
It is evident that in some cases, the bishop clearly sided with the priest and
considered the accusations against him to be false or unproven. Visitor-General Eguares y
Pasquier, for example, apparently determined that the much maligned Juan de Argote from
73 Ibid.
74ACCFLM, Tomo 6, fol. 194.
75ACCFLM, Tomo 6, fol. 194r.

180
Guancané was merely a victim of political wrangling.76 Villagers affiliated with the
Condori family, in this instance, used the opportunities that the episcopal visita afforded
them to damn the priest and any of his colleagues (i.e. their town rivals) as abusive,
exploitive, and hateful individuals who had run most of the tributarios out of town.
Among other things, Don Juan had to answer to charges that he was overly “cruel and
harsh,”77 required excessive contributions from alféreses he forced into office, regularly
beat Indians who did not do what he demanded, and refused to pay fair prices for any
goods the Indians brought to him. Apparently believing the testimonies of a handful of
witnesses who defended the priest and Don Juan’s lengthy response to the charges,
Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier agreed with the chief prosecutor that he was “a
supremely capable man of singular talent,”78 and that the only reason witnesses complained
was because he was relentless in his demands for them to become good Christians.
Eguares y Pasquier recorded in his final sentence that Br. Argote had
lived honestly and virtuously according to the obligations of his position.
We declare as well that he has been a good steward of Church
construction And he is deserving of a promotion to a prebendary in
one of the Churches of this Kingdom ... or at least to better positions.79
760ther scholars who have written about village factionalism in Indian towns
during the colonial period include Woodrow Borah Justice by Insurance. The General
Indian Court of Colonial Mexico and the Legal Aides of the Half-Real (Berkeley:
University of California Press, 1983), and Nicolás Sánchez-Albornoz Indios y Tributo en
el Alto Peru (Lima: Instituto de Estudios Peruanos, 1978).
77ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol 331.
78ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol. 339r.
79ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol. 352.

181
As mentioned above, seventeen priests incurred fines as a result of their activities
and behavior as parish priests in the Diocese of La Paz in the 1680s and 1690s. Witness
testimonies from these trials most often denounced the priest for a variety of offenses, but
some priests were fined minor amounts for only one or two transgressions. These priests
seemed relatively unconcerned by the penalties compared to those who were fined
significant sums of money. Indeed, priests who were fined two hundred pesos or more
nearly always appealed the rulings, yet no archival records indicate that the bishop or the
visitor-general ever reduced any of the original fines handed down in the final sentences.
In either case, whether the fine was major or minor, the presiding ecclesiastical
official stated in his final sentence that the priest had been found guilty of the charges
made against him, and that the penalty fitted the crime or crimes committed. In general,
priests of the first category were notified by the bishop or visitor-general that they “had
not fulfilled the duties of [their] ministerial charge,”80 “had not been. . .good priest[s],”81 or
“had been remiss in [their] obligations”82 before specifying the particular faults. In June of
1683, for example, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier noted first that Licenciado Juan de
Heredia had done a poor job as priest. He then declared:
for that reason, we determine that we should punish and condemn him —
and using the mercy [of the Church] — first for the continued absences, the
result of which has meant death without confession for several
parishioners . . [For this] we fine him one hundred pesos [de a ocho]. For
80ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 26.
81ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 156.
82ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 134.

182
his business dealings and contracts which he has had in contravention to the
Sacred Council’s regulations, we fine him one hundred pesos [de a ocho] *3
In the end, the Visitor-General ordered Don Juan to pay four hundred pesos in fines for
these and other offenses. He mandated, in typical fashion, that the fine be split into thirds,
with equal parts going to the Order of the Sacred Cross, to ongoing construction projects
of the local church, and to whatever the bishop wished: “and the other third to the wishes
{voluntad) of the Majestic Lord Bishop Juan Queipo de Llano Valdés.”84 In his appeal,
Licenciado Heredia admitted to some personal “shortcomings,” but argued “any faults . . .
were not caused by my neglect, rather the impossibilities that exist of being able to service
this vast jurisdiction . . whose impassable roads . . . stretch for more than thirty
leagues.”85
Br. Joseph de Peñalosa, similarly, was ordered to pay a major fine for a variety of
violations, most of which had to do with his failure to perform religious duties. According
to Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier’s final sentence of September 10th, 1688, the
majority of Don Joseph’s problems stemmed from his incompetence in the local language,
Aymara This, of course, hindered his ability to teach the Sacred Gospel, explain the
mysteries of the Sacred Faith, and hear confessions, among other things. In addition,
Eguares y Pasquier directed Don Joseph to get rid of his cook, “an old Indian woman
named Josepha,” who, according to the allegations, repeatedly harassed and whipped
83ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 26.
84ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 26r.
85ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 28.

183
parishioners for no good reason 86 In the end, Don Joseph was given six months to learn
Aymara or be replaced by another priest, and in the meantime — due mainly to the many
deaths unaccompanied by last rites — he was fined five hundred pesos to be paid within
eight months of the ruling.
If judged by financial penalties, the most delinquent priest to serve in the Diocese
of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 was Francisco de Carrión y Cáceres of Palca. In his trial in
1683, the proven charges against him included, among other things, failure to perform the
Sacred Sacraments (referred to in Promotor Fiscal Leon’s report as “/a omisión tan
notoria”*7), chronic absenteeism, not saying mass regularly, not teaching the catechism,
overcharging for burials, failing to bury Indians with proper respect, manipulating wills,
and requiring Indians to work his fields for little or no pay. At the end of his report,
Promotor Fiscal León advised Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier that Don Francisco
“should be punished severely for having neglected all matters relevant to his priestly
duties,” and reported that as a result of his laziness and indifference, “this congregation
has diminished considerably in number.”88 In his final sentence, Eguares y Pasquier cited
the leniency of the Church before handing down a three hundred pesos fine. He also
threatened Don Francisco with a two year suspension if he did not comply with the order
to assign an assistant to the neglected tierra adentro region of the district.
86ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 249.
87ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 143.
88ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fols. 144r

184
Eight years later, in 1691, Bishop Queipo de Llano y Valdés led the visiting party
to Palca, and discovered that many of the problems specified in the 1683 final sentence
had yet to be resolved. In his report to the bishop, Promotor Fiscal Erasmo de la Torre
stated that many infants in the district were dying without last rites, Don Francisco had
still not hired an assistant to service various areas of the territory, the priest had kept
sloppy books, and had, among other things, left Palca without approval from the bishop’s
office on numerous occasions. The bishop’s final judgement read, in part:
we declare that Br. Francisco de Carrion y Cáceres has not fulfilled the
obligations of his position as priest by not being punctual in the
administration of the Sacred Sacraments. . . . The result of which many
people have died without confession. ... He has also not complied with the
mandate to hire an assistant to serve the interior lands. ... He also does
not keep proper records which has meant that many of his parishioners
have not confessed [in years], . . . We thus punish him for his many and
very serious crimes . . five hundred pesos for not hiring an assistant. . .
and another two hundred pesos for all the other violations. . . . This is our
final and definitive sentence.89
The final sentences of priests who received minor fines were considerably less
threatening than those which called for more severe penalties Bartolomé Machicao
Zárate, cura coadjutor of Songo in 1683, for example, had to defend himself against
several charges of neglect and abuse of authority but was fined only ten pesos for having
left the village twice without getting approval to do so from the bishop. In other words,
the other issues were either dealt with privately, ignored, or dismissed, and in the end,
89ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fols. 134-134r.

185
Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier reported that Don Bartolomé “had been a good priest
who had fulfilled the responsibilities of his post.”90
Other priests who received minor fines stood guilty as charged, but were pardoned
due to their extreme poverty and the benign mercy of the Church. Bishop Carrasco
Saavedra noted in his final sentence for Licenciado Pedro Pérez Patón of Laja that the
priest had indeed engaged in scandalous behavior. “We condemn him,” the bishop
declared, “for his many and very serious offenses, but showing our mercy, we fine him
only fifty pesos which will be used for the construction of this church.”91
In his final sentence for Licenciado Bernardo Meléndez Valdés, Bishop Queipo de
Llano Valdés congratulated the priest for performing his religious duties with diligence
and care, but reprimanded him for the cruelty which he sometimes exhibited towards his
parishioners. “It has been proven,” the judgement read, “that you have injured some
members of the congregation with your harsh words and dissonant, angry, and furious
tones of voice ”92 Further, the bishop stated, “I order you to contain your rage, and in no
instance are you to disrespect your Indians.” The financial penalty, so it turned out, had
nothing to do with the claims of mental cruelty, but rather because Don Bernardo
allegedly beat Doña Francisca Pacheco with a stick and dragged her across the floor by
90ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 171.
91ACCFLM, Tomo 23, fol. 175.
92ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 219r.

186
the hair “Because she is a Spaniard,” the final sentence noted, “we fine you thirty pesos
[de a ocho] ”9i
Other than Antonio de Vivero, whose case is chronicled in detail in the next
section, Lorenzo Vásquez de Castilla was the only priest in the 1680s and 1690s to be
suspended for the many crimes he allegedly committed against his community. The trial
was contentious and complicated, but essentially Promotor Fiscal León decided after
examining all the evidence that Don Lorenzo was guilty of six major violations which
ranged from mistreating Indians by word and action — which resulted in over half the
population fleeing the district to avoid contact with the priest — routinely jailing alféreses
and other local officials who did not comply with his many demands, forcing camarico
contributions, and being so lazy and remiss in his religious duties that many people had not
been baptized and had died without confession and last rites.94 Don Lorenzo categorically
denied all allegations against him, stating at one point that “if I had done the things I am
accused of, I would be a bad Christian, a bad and tyrannical priest.”95 In his surprisingly
brief final sentence, however, Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés seemed certain of Don
93ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fol. 220.
94Taylor considers, with adequate contextual support, that flight, and even the
threat of flight, was “a negotiating tool” Indians used to resist colonial policies which they
deemed unfair or overly exploitive. He states: “Since colonial order as the Spanish
conceived it depended on Indians residing in a settled community under the supervision of
royal magistrates and taking the sacraments in their home parish, the many actual
desertions gave bite to such threats and could serve as a strategy for subsequent
negotiation, as well as gesture of protest and as an escape from punishment or further
abuse.” Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 364-365.
95ACCFLM, Tomo 16, fol. 169r.

187
Lorenzo’s guilt. After accounting for his many abuses and his generally “surly
disposition,” the bishop suspended him “for his entire life from serving in this benefice. . .or
in any other of this bishopric.”96
Three Case Studies
In this final section, 1 review the cases of three men whose trials were among the
most controversial in the Diocese of La Paz in the 1680s and 1690s. In the previous and
current chapters, I have tried to avoid citing examples from these visitas, so most of the
information detailed below has not been used in other parts of the dissertation. These case
studies offer a more contextualized view of the visita proceedings as they progressed from
start to finish In addition, they reveal the nuances of ecclesiastical protocol and
procedure. The fact that these three priests received three of the harshest final sentences
for the twenty year period under review complements the preceding section on final
judgements.
Antonio de Vivero: Parish Priest of Ancoravmes
The first morning of the visita y escrutinio trial against Antonio de Vivero began
innocently enough. Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier complimented the priest on his
upkeep of the church and a recent construction project which improved the altar. In
addition, Don Antonio gave no indication of concern in his initial report which informed
officials that there were no cofradías or other secular priests residing in the district of
Ancoraymes, and that the two viceparroquias (outlying chapels) of San Martin and Santa
Lucia were well kept
96ACCFLM, Tomo 16, fol. 173.

188
Don Juan Hidalgo Laso, a fellow priest, appeared as the first witness before
Promotor Fiscal León His testimony set off a string of events which culminated in
universal condemnation of the priest’s behavior. The priest began his testimony by
pointing out what he believed to be the most egregious of Don Antonio's violations:
Don Antonio de Vivero has had inside his house for the past seven years a
woman named Cecilia who carries herself like a Spaniard, causing notable
harm and scandal to his parishioners. . . . And although the aforementioned
Cecilia is not in his house presently, the priest has her sheltered in his
hacienda of Coromata, providing a bad example and lacking the decency
and honesty that his position [as priest] requires.97
Don Juan went on to report that this illicit relationship had started while Don Antonio was
working in Laja in the early 1670s, and that he had been ordered by the presiding bishop at
that time, Don Gabriel Guilléstegui, to transfer and stay away from the woman.
An allegation of sexual impropriety was usually not enough to stimulate a full-scale
investigation into specific abuses of power. But in this case, nearly every inquiry
generated a scathing review of Don Antonio's personal behavior and job performance, so
Promotor Fiscal León called in more witnesses than usual and asked leading questions
which tended to focus the testimony on specific details of previously reported misconduct.
One of the most serious allegations had to do with the cura's primary duties as
parish priest — to administer the Sacred Sacraments to his flock and to teach his
parishioners the catechism. A witness informed the promotor fiscal, "by neglect and
laziness, many have died without the benefit of the Sacred Sacraments . . and he does not
97ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 313r-314.

189
teach the Christian doctrine to the Indians . . . rather he entrusts [this task] to an Yndio
Biejo named Ticona "9S Moreover, according to Br Hidalgo Laso,
he does not keep an annual record {padrones anuales) of those who have
confessed only confessing those who come voluntarily. . . . And I have
born witness and heard it said among the Indians of this district that
because of the fear they have of the cura, and the mistreatment and
punishments he routinely inflicts, they [the Indians] have stopped coming to
this town to fulfill their duties to this church, and that many have fled this
99
region.
Crimes of religious nature were many and elaborately detailed by each of the seven
witnesses who came before the ecclesiastical board. Among other things, Don Antonio
prayed and held Bible study with his parishioners only on Sundays, and not Wednesdays
and Fridays as required by law; he left Ancoraymes for weeks at a time without a qualified
priest serving in his place to say mass and administer other religious ministrations; and he
routinely required relatives of the dying to come to town instead of going out to them,
resulting in many deaths unaccompanied by the rite of confession and extreme unction,
thus imperiling the soul and condemning it to a likely stint in purgatory.
If the ecclesiastical officials were presumably more concerned with reports like
these which involved Don Antonio's spiritual neglect, Indian caciques denounced
vehemently the priest's earthly abuses Of course it is impossible to measure with any
accuracy the sincere religious beliefs of any of Don Antonio's parishioners, Indian or
Spanish. But it is probable, if not likely, that Indian leaders were more concerned about
98ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 314.
"ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 314r.

190
the physical abuses and financial burdens which Don Antonio imposed on their people
compared to, for example, the purification of venial sins.
Joan Luqui, governor and cacique of the ayllu Guancasco of Ancoraymes, gave
perhaps the most damaging testimony of Don Antonio's unscrupulous conduct towards
members of his church No allegation seemed to irritate Promotor Fiscal León more than
the cacique's claim that many Indians had fled because of the cura's mistreatment:
and due to the abuses, two Indians from my ayllu, Lorenzo Choque and
Martin Chamaque, and many others from different ayllus, have fled. . .
And furthermore, I know that because of the absence of these Indians, the
royal taxes (reales tasas) have diminished and I have thus been obligated to
make up for them at my own cost, using profit from my own hacienda [for
that purpose] and to rebuild the local jail.100
In this same jail, Luqui lamented, several of his Indians had unjustly served time for
either reporting late for the priest's work detail, or for not being able to pay punctually the
exorbitant fees Don Antonio charged for the performance of various religious services.
The cacique took particular offense to Don Antonio's unfair and excessive demands on a
class of Indians he called aguatines, an Aymara term used for workers who either ran
errands for the priest in other villages, or supervised the priest's cattle or sheep.
According to the cacique, the replacement cost for any animals who might have died or
were lost came at the expense of these poorest of the Indians.101 If they could not make
the payment, Don Antonio threw them in jail. An aguatin by the name of Baltasar
100ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 333r-334.
101Book Two, Treatise Two, Section Seven of the Itinerario para párochos
specifically mentions that Indian shepherds are not obligated to repay (or replace) (no
están obligados a restituir) Spanish landowners for any lost sheep, cows or mules under
their supervision. Montenegro, Itinerario para párochos, 212.

191
Quellca, who worked on the priest's hacienda of Coromata (the same estate which
allegedly housed the cura's mistress, Cecilia), so claimed Don Joan, "fled . . . on account
of the fear he had of the severity {rigor) of the priest."102
Don Antonio's sizable herd of cattle and sheep, according to all the witnesses
appearing before the ecclesiastical board, comprised part of the priest's far-flung
commercial enterprise, which also placed him at odds with crown and Church policy. The
priest employed Indians from Ancoraymes, a troop of forty mules, and a mestizo
supervisor named Andrés de Cañizares to carry and sell wine from Arequipa to cities and
villages around Lake Titicaca The eastern extension of the network (the fertile Yungas
valley) concentrated on the lucrative coca industry Don Antonio allegedly used goods
produced on his hacienda near Guarina as items of exchange:
[the Indians] carry a quantity of wine each from Arequipa and sell it in La
Paz and the surrounding area. . . . And from his estancia called Coromata
he ships out beef, and jerked and dried meat to the Yungas where he
exchanges these products for coca, part of which is sold to the Indians of
this district.103
In addition to these abuses, both Indian and Spanish witnesses pointed to the
burdensome tradition of the alferasgo as generally harmful to the welfare of the
community Not only was the forced appointment of citizens to these positions against
church and crown policy, the alferasgo in addition placed onerous financial burdens on
Indians which they struggled — sometimes to the point of desertion — to fulfill.
According to Br Hidalgo Laso, Don Antonio charged each alférez one hundred and six
102ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 334r.
103ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 317.

192
pesos a year to pay for the celebratory mass, and another forced donation of gifts
\camahco) which would be used to feed and provide beverages for the revelers. The
standard camarico for Ancoraymes in the early 1680s consisted of an annual per-person
contribution of one bottle of wine, one calf, twelve lambs, twenty-four chickens, eggs,
butter, pork bacon, fruit, and a "load of flour."104 These violations aside, each Spanish
witness highlighted that the church-sponsored festivals invariably led to inappropriate
behavior on the part of the town's less refined citizens, most notably of course, the
Indians. Joan Ortiz de Monasterios, a vecino and hacendado in the region, claimed that
"from these [parties] originate drunken festivities \borracheras) and the Indians tend to
get together and have illicit [sexual] relations in grave offense to My Lord God."105
If Spaniards were, on the one hand, concerned with the general conduct of Indian
citizens and the socio-religious consequences of their drunkenness, they were also
troubled by the effect these parties had on Indian work habits — habits which of course
directly affected hacienda profit and the ability of Indians to pay taxes and thus maintain
good standing with local Spanish officials. For all these reasons, the four Spanish
witnesses testifying against Don Antonio united in their appeal for change and carried
themselves off as defenders of the Indian parishioners, whom they depicted as benighted
victims of the priest's exploitive conduct.
104ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 317.
105ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 317r. In Section Five of Book Two, Treatise Seven,
Bishop Montengero addressed the issue of Indian drunkenness and the steps priests must
take to avoid the "pecado de gula" which plagued the natives. He states: "Drunkenness is
a vice so common among the Indians that it is rare to find one without wine or beer in his
hand.” Montenegro, Itinerario para párochos, 255.

193
A few hours after the interrogation of witnesses, Promotor Fiscal León submitted
to Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier his summary of the charges, using language which
he clearly felt befitted the crimes. Among other things, Don Francisco called for the priest
"to be punished severely"106 for his numerous abuses; wrote of his "negligence and
tyrannies"107 against his people, declared "the cura should be condemned to grave
penalties"108 for failing to obey his primary duties as priest; argued that the priest should be
suspended for "reprehensible" sexual conduct.109
The next day, Vistor-General Eguares y Pasquier filed an official report which
repeated many of Promotor Fiscal Leon's indictments and called on the priest to answer to
all of the allegations within four hours. In particular, he voiced his disapproval of Don
Antonio's physical mistreatment of Indian men and women. As a result, "people have left,
men have separated from their wives, which causes tremendous corporal and spiritual
hardships for the Indians and the royal coffers."110 On the matter of the old Indian named
Ticona teaching the Christian doctrine in the priest's stead, Visitor-General Eguares y
Pasquier conveyed the Church's apprehension of Indians as competent lay ministers when
106ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 347.
107ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 346.
108ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 347.
109ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 346r.
110ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 349.

194
he condemned the priest for "entrusting material of such importance to the incapacity of
an Indian."111
Typical of priests who were charged with serious crimes against their parishioners,
Don Antonio pledged in his response that the entire case was nothing more than a
diabolical plot to oust him from his parish. "I say that all the allegations are spurious
because I have behaved with total diligence and execution of my office."112 He warned the
officials that an Indian named Sebastián Cayssa had induced all the witnesses to deceive
the promotor fiscal on account of a personal schism which resulted from the priest just
trying to do his job He stated: “My asperity stems from the fact that I have to compel my
parishioners to attend mass and learn the catechism, and to dissuade them from becoming
drunks, and due to this, I have had to deal with their truculence.”113
Don Antonio, in fact, offered a compelling case for his innocence. He pointed out,
first of all, that the tributary Indians of this district had left over fifty years ago and never
returned, thus Ancoraymes was inhabited only by
forasteros who are so gypsy-like (son tan jitanos) that they do not have
homes, unless they want to hang around for long enough to get drunk and
fornicate, and as soon as I ask them to confess their sins and get together
as Christians they flee.114
U1ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 349r.
112ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 353r.
113ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 354.
114Ibid

195
On the issue of the alferasgo appointments and the drunkenness which
accompanied the festivals, Don Antonio claimed the caciques organized all activities and
duties — "they have refused any assistance and as a result I do not meddle in their affairs,"
and "I have always pled with them not to get drunk"115 but to no avail. The least
convincing rebuttal of allegations concerned the priest's account of his business affairs. In
short, he argued that he purchased wine from Andrés de Cañizares and Juan Pinto Mosos,
his clerical assistants, and they were the ones who made all the trips and conducted all
transactions. "And if I have sent some beef to Coroico [Yungas] it has been for provisions
to stock a hacienda that I have there. From this hacienda, they [Cañizares and Mosos]
may bring me fruit for my own use and for this reason I do own some mules."116 Don
Antonio flatly denied he had a herd of six hundred sheep, admitting only that he possessed
barely enough to "give me sustenance."117 He stated he had no more than thirty cows.
Finally, he opposed all claims that he was having an illicit relationship with a woman
named Cecilia, although he was conspicuously brief in his explanation of the affair. The
priest asserted "concerning the friendship with the woman, it is false on account of the fact
that my [old] age and illnesses do not allow the [type of] behavior I am charged with."118
U5ACCFLM, Tomo 5. fol 354r.
116ACCFLM, Tomo 5. fol. 354.
117ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 355r.
118Ibid.

196
The unconciliatory cura ended his declaration of innocence by stating: "Your Majesty
should absolve and free me of all charges."119
Upon review of Don Antonio de Vivero's responses, Visitor-General Eguares y
Pasquier concluded that because of its severity, the case deserved the direct attention of
Bishop Quiepo de Llano Valdés.120 The trial, the report announced, would be moved to
La Paz to be held at a later date. The visitor-general promptly issued a report to the
bishop which set the guidelines for further proceedings and ordered Don Antonio to leave
his benefice and report to the city within four days. On arrival, he should consider a block
in the seminary as his jail, and if he left La Paz for any reason, he would be fined one
thousand pesos.
In addition, the visitor-general enjoined the corregidor of Omasuyos, Don Joan
Baptista de Oquendo, to send out a search party to find "a woman named Cecilia that
resides in the hacienda of Coromata."121 On the 4th of August approximately three weeks
after the initial interrogation in Ancoraymes, a pair of ecclesiastical officials including Don
Antonio's own brother, Br. Luís de Vivero (cura of nearby Achacache), arrived in
Coromata and interrogated several Indians on the whereabouts of Cecilia. They uniformly
responded that it had been several weeks since she had been seen there, and that they had
no idea where she now resided.
119Ibid.
120ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 356.
121ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 356.

197
Papers for the case do not resume until March 1684, when Visitor-General
Eguares y Pasquier sent a letter to Don Antonio, now confined to a home his family
owned in La Paz, stating that he must present himself every morning and afternoon to the
choir of the Cathedral to pray, and that he report to the Secretary at 10 a m. and again at 3
p.m. to find out if any new decisions have been reached in the case. No new
correspondence was filed until the 10th of May that same year, when Don Antonio wrote
to Bishop Quiepo de Llano Valdés telling him he had heard that the cura coadjutor, Don
Juan Diez de Fuenmaior, did not speak Aymara and thus he was incapable of providing the
spiritual sustenance that his parishioners deserved. In ironic fashion, the jailed priest
contended:
he has not preached nor has he taught the catechism as is his obligation.
Neglecting to do these things is a significant matter, and as proprietary
priest of that district, I am compelled to inform Your Illustrious Majesty of
this, and it would serve you to appoint either a new coadjutor or return me
to my beneficed post on account of having been punished adequately in
accordance with my many errors.122
In mid July 1684, the case against Don Antonio de Vivero concluded. The only
financial penalty was recompensatory; Bishop Quiepo de Llano Valdés ordered the priest
to return forty sheep that he had confiscated from an Indian named Diego Ticona and to
pay him and his wife for the four months they had supervised his flock of sheep. In
addition, the bishop announced that Don Antonio had been forced to sell his herd of cattle
to a vecino from Cochabamba, Don Joan Barela de Ulloa. There is no indication that any
monies generated by that transaction were used to pay episcopal fines. Finally, Bishop
122ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 387.

198
Quiepo de Llano Valdés ordered that contingent to his restoration as parish priest of
Ancoraymes he must find Cecilia Montalbo and send her to La Paz to undergo her own
trial before the ecclesiastical court. On the 27th of July, from his home in Ancoraymes
Don Antonio reported that he had done just that — "I told her to leave my district and to
travel to La Paz to be judged before the Bishop of La Paz."123
In the end, Don Antonio de Vivero returned to Ancoraymes and worked there as
parish priest until his death in 1688. A visita held a year earlier concluded that he "has
fulfilled the obligations of his position and office, treating all his parishioners well."124
Indeed, all witnesses claimed that Don Antonio had led an exemplary life since his return;
even the Indian cacique Juan Luqui attested "he has lived honestly and virtuously, setting a
positive standard for the community."125 Perhaps Don Antonio somehow experienced a
change of spirit as a result of his brief suspension and made amends for his past
wrongdoings; or maybe his detractors in 1683, true to the priest's accusations, conspired
against him and after things cooled down, he was able to continue his work as the
community's spiritual leader In all likelihood, however, Don Antonio and diocesan
officials came to an accommodation with both sides agreeing to a new unwritten contract
of sorts which placed greater restrictions on the priest’s future secular activities. Or
perhaps Don Antonio and local Indian leaders reached a convivencia which both sides
pledged to obey. In any case, the suspension he served and the slight financial restitution
123ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 391.
124ACCFLM, Tomo 5. fol. 295r.
125ACCFLM, Tomo 5 fol. 302.

199
Don Antonio was forced to pay apparently were sufficient punishment to create communal
accord between priest and parishioners in Ancoraymes a few years after his contentious
trial of 1683.
Curas of Sapaqui: Bernardo de Pacheco v Zereuera and Esteban de Prado v Rava
The case against Licenciado Bernardo de Pacheco y Zerguera, cura of Sapaqui in
the late 1680s, began with a series of private letters submitted by a few parishioners who
supported the priest and several others who condemned his behavior as harmful to the
overall well-being of the community.
The first affidavit was filed on behalf of Juan Chábes, Pedro Guanea, Lorenzo
Achocalla, and Agustín Pascual, Indian principales from the remote hamlet of Chanca
where members of the ayllu Huchinca resided In spite of their wishes to be good
Catholics, the authors claimed, Don Bernardo neglected his duties to such an extent that
they continued to live as bestias fibeasts) without the advantages of the Christian faith —
"We go on this way like animals, without knowing any better because there is no one
around to teach us, and in this wide barren upland páramo) there are many like us."126
Promotor Fiscal León was clearly troubled by the testimony that the inhabitants, especially
the elderly, had not confessed in years, had not attended mass even once a year for some
time,127 and that all recently deceased Indians from this estancia had died without the
126ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 352.
127The group testified: "we spend all our years — as old women and men — unable
to walk very far to hear mass, even once a year. " Ibid. The requirement to confess at
least once a year, preferably during Easter, was outlined in the prologue of Book Four,
Treatise Three, of Montenegro's Itinerario para párochos.

200
sacraments, ("they all die without confession like beasts"128). To make matters worse,
Don Bernardo forced them to pay for burials unattended by any sanctioned Church
official, and required them to work without compensation on construction projects for the
Church and as field hands on one of the cura's wheat and corn fields nearby
In a separate appeal, Sebastián Sigarra wrote that the parish priest had a daughter
in La Paz, and that he frequently sent ten to twelve Indians to Chuquiabo (La Paz)
with all of our pitchers, pots and ingredients to work (hacer mita) and tend
to his daughter. . there in La Paz. She makes us. . . knead bread and then
orders us to sell it, and if one does not sell or somehow losses it, he forces
us to pay him back.129
The priest, according to Sebastián, never paid Indians for this service, and did not even
provide any food during the course of their trip. He lamented to Promotor Fiscal León:
"only God sustains us."130 Sebastián summed up his complaint by highlighting the priest's
abuse of power, his neglect of the spiritual duties of his office, and his general disregard
for the village — "as a powerful man {poderoso) of this town, he neglects his obligations
and inflicts such harm and abuse that the entire community suffers."131
128Ibid To give credibility to their claim, the authors provided the names of
several men and women who had died without confession, including, among others. Diego
Yucra, Pedro Chama, Maria "the widow of Pedro Chaqueca," Pedro Ysidro, Pedro
Guanea, Pedro Chacacha, Maria Sumpi, and Maria Ypuama "mother of Juan Chábes.”
ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 353.
129ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 364.
I30Ibid
131Ibid

201
In the case against Don Bernardo, Doña Luisa Pati Alvarado, an alleged member
of the local Indian nobility, was one of the priest's harshest critics .132 In addition to the
physical and verbal mistreatment village Indians received from the priest,133 according to
Doña Luisa, Don Bernardo also violated his vows of chastity, which brought shame to the
town and to the priestly profession as a whole.
Showing little fear of God or of the people here, he provides a poor
example [to the community] with his scandalous life. ... He has had
women inside his house since the moment he came to this village, with no
respect for his position as priest and as a father of souls, duties he is
charged to uphold He and his children molest the poor defenseless
Indians taking [even] their poverty away from them.134
As noted, not all of Sapaqui's citizens lined up in opposition to the priest. A group
of seventeen Indian leaders filed three separate affidavits which called the allegations
against Don Bernardo sinister and spurious. Pablo Rengifo, Felipe Churata, Juan Mamani,
Pascual Cuallo, and Agustín Coro were among those who declared the case a hoax
orchestrated by a faction of truculent outsiders bent on discrediting the priest with false
claims They identified themselves as "children of Don Bernardo Pacheco," and referred to
the dissidents as "Yndiosforasteros ..who have made fraudulent allegations . . [against]
our father"135
132She identified herself as a cacique, which may mean she was either a leader of
the community or from one of the leading families.
133"I hereby state that I complain civilly and criminally against my priest. . .and that I
have suffered considerably [because of him]. He has harassed and offended me and my
children with his abusive ways." ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 418.
I34Ibid.
135ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 361.

202
The priest's supporters selectively attacked some of the troublemakers' claims.
They argued that the reason people had perished without the benefit of the Sacred
Sacraments was because they had not called the priest out to the estancia Aporque no
abisan al cura"), and despite the pleas of Don Bernardo for them to attend Sunday mass,
they never came — "because of their brutishness they do not want what is good."136
Moreover, the parish priest paid them promptly one peso a day for any services rendered
or trips made to La Paz on his behalf.137 The written testimonials do not include any
reference to Don Bernardo's alleged daughter in Chuquiabo.
To support the priest's claims of innocence, these Indians characterized Don
Bernardo as a loving and dutiful man whose assiduous nature had led to the spiritual
growth of the community. In stark contrast to the priest's detractors who were "sinister,"
"malicious" and "deserved to be punished,"138 Don Bernardo possessed all the qualities a
man of the cloth should have. Among other things, he: "provides relief to the town by
discouraging [the commitment of] sins;"139 was "such a Christian and pious man that we
feel guilt and deserve punishment each time we do not comply with his wishes,"140
"proceeds like a saint. . and never leaves his house except when he needs to administer
136Ibid.
137"We have not received any bad treatment or endured other sufferings. We have
the obligation and the service to serve our priest, and he pays us personally in coins."
ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 355.
138ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 361.
139Ibid.
140Ibid.

203
the Sacraments,"141 and finally "is so charitable and favorable (faborecedor) to his poor
parishioners that as a result of his presence here, we are a stable village because of his
goodness and piety 1,142
By the time the trial started, the ecclesiastical visitors were clearly embroiled in a
full-scale standoff between rival Indian factions, with the parish priest on one side and the
center of controversy. A total of twelve witnesses — two Spaniards and ten Indians —
appeared before Promotor Fiscal León. All but one witness, Pascual López Guerra, spoke
out against the priest and his assistant of ten years, Esteban de Prado y Raya.
Most of the direct testimony, in fact, focused not on the abuses and transgressions
of Don Bernardo, bit rather the behavior of Don Esteban, who, as it turned out, was
primarily responsible for priestly ministrations in the hamlet of Chanca. The two
Spaniards, Capitán Francisco Barroeta y Guilléstegui143 and Maestro Pedro Gómez de la
Varquera (parish priest of the San Marcos de Mollebamba in the valley or Caracato
located in the southern part of the diocese) both highlighted the priest’s lack of diligence in
correcting violations committed by his assistant. According to the captain, this was Don
Bernardo's only crime; otherwise, he "proceeds with the decency and persistence his
position requires."144
141ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 363.
142ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 355.
143The captain is probably a relative of Gabriel Barroeta y Guilléstegui, who served
as parish priest of Guaqui, Tiahuanaco, Sapaqui, and the Cathedral chapter from the 1680s
to the 1710s
144ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol 365r.

204
Maestro Pedro also disapproved of Don Bernardo's careless supervision, but added
that the priest had committed a few offenses of his own: "In the outlying chapels there is
much disorder and the priest does nothing to remedy the situation"145 because of his
frequent absences. Furthermore, he left the spiritual care of the parishioners to the
irresponsible Don Esteban "who does not go out to the estancias when he is called . . .
and I have heard from the theniente [de corregidor] that eight or nine people have died"
without confession 146
The testimonies of the two Spaniards and all the Indians who followed —
including the lone defender of Don Bernardo, Pascual López Guerra — criticized fervently
the behavior of Don Esteban, whom they depicted as abusive, exploitive, and sexually
depraved. Among the many complaints were that the ayudante physically and verbally
abused the Indians; routinely overcharged for priestly services; only administered the
Sacred Sacraments to those who lived in Sapaqui; forced Indians to assume the costly
civic duties of the alferasgo and camarico, and did not pay Indians for personal service.
Don Esteban's most serious violation, however, involved an illicit relationship (which had
produced at least three children) with a woman whom parishioners referred to as his wife.
All twelve witnesses cited the ayudante's scandalous affair as harmful to the spiritual
145ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 368.
146ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 367.

205
growth of the Christian community.147 Balthasar Mamani, cacique and governor of
Sapaqui, stated:
I know that he has had in his house a Spanish woman148 with whom he has
two grown children, and an infant still nursing (uno del pecho) and that I
do not know her name and she fled the town a month ago. This illicit
relationship of Don Esteban de Prado y Raya's is well known (es voz
pública) by all in the district.149
According to a number of testimonies, Don Esteban's behavior served as a bad
example which many parishioners in the town followed. Capitán Barroeta y Guilléstegui
complained that as a result of the licentious atmosphere created by the priest's assistant,
four married local caciques frequently had concubines living inside their homes. Several of
the subsequent witnesses gave specific names of men and women involved in affairs
outside of marriage, one woman, identified as Theresa, allegedly was Don Esteban's
grown daughter and, according to Don Balthasar, was having an affair with Joseph de
Uriarte, a married man from another village. The cacique claimed:
I have heard it said that the daughter, named Theresa, of the
aforementioned assistant, has an improper relationship with Joseph de
Uriarte a married man. ... He comes often to this town without having
147Witness López Guerra stated: "I know that Don Esteban de Prado y Raya has
had here a Spanish woman and that at times she has lived with him in his house."
ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol 374r..
148The woman is described by another witness as "a petite Spanish woman. . .
This woman lives in the highlands of San Francisco of the city of La Paz and she comes
to and goes from this town [frequently]. . . and when she is here, she stays in the house of
. . . Don Esteban " ACCFLM, Tomo 14. fol. 372-373.
149ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 369r.

206
any other business being here, and that in the house of the priest where
Theresa lives, they stay there together.150
A few of the Indian witnesses, most notably Juan Canavi and Juan Ajata,
substantiated Doña Luisa Pati Alvarado's claim that Don Bernardo also engaged in illicit
relations with local women, namely two Indian sisters, Antonia and Maria Orcoma.
According to Don Juan, the priest had numerous affairs "I have heard it said that the
priest often brings [into his house] women of good standing (de buena cara) to sleep with
him. setting off bad rumors which rumble through town."151
In the end, Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier and Promotor Fiscal León faced a
potentially hostile situation as they sifted through the detailed and sometimes conflicting
evidence. Ultimately, they brought in Don Bernardo and Don Esteban for direct
questioning, an uncommon procedure since accused priests usually had to file only written
responses to complaints, but which was apparently deemed necessary in this case due to
the complexity of the testimonies. In the end, the ecclesiastical visitors charged each cura
with seven counts of priestly neglect Those not previously cited included: not keeping
proper parochial records; failing to teach the Gospels every Sunday; and perhaps most
seriously, not fully investigating idolatries committed by two elderly Indian women
Promotor Fiscal León referred to as brujas (witches)152
I50Ibid.
151ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 377r.
152This final accusation of witchcraft does not appear in the documentary record
until Promotor Fiscal León mentioned it in his summary report to Visitor-General Eguares
y Pasquier Thus, the news of possible idolatrous activities must have reached the visitors
from a source outside the visita process. The Church's preoccupation with and responses

207
Don Bernardo and Don Esteban, with equal energy, denied all the accusations
levied against them Written transcriptions of their testimonies maintained that the
conspiracy theory was true; a small group of recalcitrant Indians, led by the forastero
caciques of Chanca, hated the priest and his assistant for their diligence and thus
influenced others to testify against them.153 In response to the allegation that people had
died without confession, Don Bernardo defended Don Esteban and stated flatly that every
time they received notification of someone dying in Chanca or anywhere else for that
matter, they left town promptly to administer the Sacred Sacraments. The parish priest
partly admitted to overcharging for priestly services: "it is true that tributary parishioners
pay four reales and forasteros six for baptisms but all dividends go to provide candles for
the chapel."154 Moreover, Don Bernardo claimed he did not, in effect, charge the
to perceived Indian idolatries has been the subject of much recent scholarship. See Diana
Luz Ceballos Gómez, Hechicería, Brujería, e Inquisición en el Nuevo Reino de Granada:
Un duelo de imaginarios (Bogotá, Colombia: Editorial Universidad Nacional, 1994) for a
recent discussion of Indian witchcraft and punishment in northern South America. An
invaluable colonial source is Pablo José de Arriaga's famous La extirpación de la idolatría
en el Perú, first published in 1621, but available in English as The Extirpation of Idolatry
in Peru, trans. and ed by L. Clark Keating (Lexington, Kentucky: University of Kentucky
Press, 1968) Bishop Montenegro, for his part, devoted an entire section (Book One,
Treatise Four) of his Itinerario para Párochos to idolatry and witchcraft.
153"The Indians that have said these things have been induced by the current
cacique and his predecessor. . . [I know this] because they kicked me out of a meeting
they arranged in the village of Chanca before, and on the day of, the celebration of Corpus
Christi" ACCFLM, Tomo 14. fol. 391.
154ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 394.

208
parishioners for this service, rather the Indians paid voluntarily as was customary ("ser
costumbre") in this region of the diocese.155
When questioned about forcing Indians to work without pay on his wheat and com
fields, Don Bernardo reminded the visitors that Doctor Don Antonio de Castro (Bishop of
La Paz in the 1640s and 1650s) — on account of the abject poverty of the Indians of
Sapaqui — had granted the parish priest of the village permission to cultivate these fields
(chacras) and assigned the forasteros of Chanca to work it. Don Bernardo explained:
during the course of his visit here, the tributary Indians of this village,
because of the meager stipend they could provide, asked that a chacra be
donated to the Church and that the Indians of the estancia of Chanca
be required to cultivate its harvest. ... So from that time forward, parish
priests of this village have had this privilege.156
Not as well argued was Don Bernardo's explanation of his and Don Esteban's sexual
behavior. He alleged he did not even know an Indian named Maria Orcoma, but did admit
that Antonia Orcoma was a washerwoman (lavandera) brought to Sapaqui by the priest's
mother After hearing rumors around town of possible sexual improprieties, Don
Bernardo testified he removed the woman from his house, but that she still worked for him
tending to his chickens. The priest denied any knowledge of illicit affairs by his ayudante
or any other members of the community, stating unequivocally "that if I had known, I
would have punished [the adulterers] severely as I have done in the past."157
155ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 394r.
156ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 395-395r.
157ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 393r.

209
Finally, in response to Promotor Fiscal Leon's inflammatory allegations of
permitting idolatries in the district, Don Bernardo offered a sensible explanation.
On the assertion that it was public knowledge that in this district, there are
male and female witches, superstitions and idolatries . . and that as vicar
[I] should have brought them up on charges and punished them as
numerous laws dictate. ... I say that I deny not having executed the
orders. I have always inquired into the specifics and people involved in
these [types of] crimes. . . And on two occasions I have brought to town
two old ladies, one alive and the other already deceased, along with their
armadillo shells (quirquichos)15’. . . in which they hide their talismans. . .
which I burned, and afterward, because the Indians were so old I punished
them with only six or eight lashes [with the whip].159
For his part, Don Esteban was less specific about the details of his innocence,
except regarding allegations of sexual misconduct. The alleged mistress, so the ayudante
claimed, was an old mestiza named Mariana who came there with his niece, Doña Juana
Críales Unconvinced by his testimony, Promotor Fiscal León repeatedly implored Don
Esteban to admit his guilt and to account for the living proof of this illicit affair — the
three children. The assistant continued to deny all charges and stated that parishioners
must have taken his nieces and nephew to be his own children.
Promotor Fiscal Leon's summary of charges betrayed his complete lack of
sympathy for either man, he reiterated in detail all the allegations and beseeched Visitor
General Eguares y Pasquier to “proceed against the accused with supreme severity and
158According to the Diccionario de la Lengua Española published by the Real
Academia Española, the word quirquincho is a derivative of the Quechua term
qquirquinchu meaning "some type of armadillo." In all likelihood, this reference was to
the shell of an armadillo which was used as some sort of vessel or container. Diccionario
de la Lengua Española, 5th ed., s.v. "quirquincho".
159ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 392-392r.

210
impose the most serious penalties . . . to make them pay for the crimes of neglect and
scandal they have committed and for which they have been convicted.”160
Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier obliged, and not only suspended Don
Bernardo indefinitely (but at least for a year) on account of his careless attention to the
priestly duties of confession and care for the dying, but also fined him two hundred pesos
for other violations To punish the priest for allowing witches to practice their idolatries
in his .jurisdiction, the visitor-general ordered the demolition of the chapels where they
practiced their witchcraft and closed up ("with a stone dry wall"161) all the local
viseparroquias until further notice. Finally, he directed Don Bernardo to repay all Indians
for any previous personal service and to seek authorization from the bishop's office for all
future labor assignments involving the Indians of the hamlet of Chanca.
Don Esteban received a harsher penalty. As a result of the crimes committed
against the people of Sapaqui and the poor example he set by violating his vows of
celibacy, Visitor-General Eguares y Paquier fined the assistant fifty pesos and permanently
suspended him from serving in any of the diocesan parishes outside La Paz. He concluded
the trial:
because of your guilt we suspend you for all the days of your life and you
can never work again as an ayudante in any of the parishes of this diocese.
. . We also suspend your license to confess for a period to be decided by
[the bishop] We find you only capable of serving within the confines of
160ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 405. It is possible, if not likely, that bishops and
visitors-general consulted Montenegro's Itinerario para párochos before handing out
sentences. Book Five, Treatise Two, outlines extensively the obligations and rights of the
ecclesiastical visitors, as well as the appropriate fines and other .judgements of guilt.
I61ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 412r.

211
La Paz in one of the parishes of that city, so we give you licence to work
only there.162
Summary
Priests clearly regarded allegations that they were corrupt or neglectful as serious
threats to their good standing within their communities and to their careers in the
priesthood in general Just as the majority of witnesses who appeared before ecclesiastical
officials in the visita trials of the 1680s and 1690s were impassioned in their claims of
priestly malfeasance, with equal energy parish priests tried to convince the bishop or the
visitor-general that the charges against them were either categorically false, or partly true,
but certainly justified given the unscrupulousness of their parishioners or the difficult
demands of their jobs.
Many times, priests claimed, they were simply on one side of a local political
controversy, and pledged that any and all allegations made against their reputations were
logical consequences of favoring one village faction over another. In this regard, I find
their reasoning, on the whole, believable, since priests were generally more specific and
consistent in their testimonies compared to their opponents. On the other hand, they had
much more to loose than their detractors, and that their rebuttals were ardent, focused,
and certifiably defensive should not be surprising.
The final sentences issued by the presiding visita official constituted the legal end
of the proceedings and, in many ways, represented the bishops’ efforts to maintain priestly
morale and social peace in what were sometimes turbulent situations. They had the
I62ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 414r.

212
difficult task of determining which group was telling the truth, and of defining the limits of
what was, and what was not, acceptable priestly behavior. As I point out in the next
chapter, the bishop or the visitor-general generally dealt with these potentially explosive
cases with patience and prudence. They were, after all, colonial bureaucrats working in an
imperfect socio-legal system which required flexibility, accommodation, and compromise.
They clearly sought, on the one hand, to maintain order and limit the degrees of
exploitation priests engaged in, but they also seemed to recognize the need to keep the
more powerful and influential sectors of colonial society (certainly to include parish
priests) satisfied, and in firm control of subject groups.

CHAPTER 7
PRIESTS, PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISITA, 1680-1730
As the preceding chapters indicate, religious and social life in the southern Andes
during the colonial period circulated in many ways around the parish priest and the local
church. Especially in the more remote settings, the church was one of the main places
where social and personal transactions took place, where friends and neighbors met to
discuss local events, where news and gossip was passed from one person to the next; and
where people ostensibly practiced the Catholic faith and established an everlasting
relationship with God The parish priest, whether he enjoyed his job or not, stood at the
focal point of this colonial institution, and thus frequently found himself at the heart of
many of the social and political conflicts which plagued colonial Spanish American society.
Commenting on the “points of union and conflict among colonial priests and parishioners,”
William Taylor states:
An array of mutual obligations, expectations, and changing associations
made American Indian parishioners active participants in this history of
consent and struggle Points of friction were inevitable. Most parishioners
lived directly from the land; the priests did not. Priests found their
parishioners too concerned with propitiation, the profane, and miraculous
images that spilled beyond clerical control, and too little interested in sin
and confession. As a rule, priests were educated outsiders who promoted
their understanding of orthodoxy and were expected to maintain a distance
from parishioners, a distance that could widen when they attempted
intimacy or collected fees.1
'Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 6.
213

214
In Chapters 5 and 6,1 provided an abundance of contextual examples to prove that
friction and bad faith were hallmark qualities of village life in the Diocese of La Paz during
the final two decades of the seventeenth century. Indeed, taken at face value, the majority
of parishioner testimonies, and all of the priests’ rebuttals from the 1680s and 1690s,
depict a colonial setting rife with conflict, controversy, and internal dissension. Many
parishioners represented themselves as victims of the priests’ avarice and ungodly
customs. Implicated priests defended their actions as ethical and just, and proclaimed that
their predicament was due either to the unscrupulousness and mendacity of their
detractors, or to factors beyond their control For their part, the bishops and visitors-
general conveyed a more settled, less turbulent image of parishioner/priest relations in
their final sentences They had the benefit, however, of being outsiders, and were thus
probably more objective, or at the very least, less emotionally involved in the problematic
issues at hand.
Certainly in many instances parishioners were, in fact, victims. But some were
surely conspirators who constructed schemes to get their parish priest in trouble with
visita authorities. Some priests, the documentary record strongly suggests, were greedy
opportunists whose thirst for money and power exceeded their dedication to the Church.
But many others were surely diligent in their ministerial duties and had to defend
themselves against claims of abuse just for doing their jobs, or because they were aligned
politically with one group of villagers and not others. The majority of final sentences, in
all likelihood, were carefully composed and judicious in their conclusions. But some — so
stated a fair number of fined or suspended priests — were biased and failed to reflect the

215
preponderance of the evidence The facts, therefore, of who lied and who told the truth,
and whether or not a final sentence was just or unjust, are largely matters of conjecture.
Since it is true, however, that a majority of the 1680 and 1690 pastoral visitas
exposed a high level of hostility and rivalry between priests and their parishioners, an
effort must be made to explain why these groups acted the way they did at this particular
moment in the region’s history. In this chapter, I first examine some of the general
characteristics of the one hundred and fifty-four visitas conducted during these decades in
order to understand the motives, methods and consequences of popular action taken
against parish priests I also attempt to account for the social and legal standards under
which priests and visita authorities operated, and I explore how the visita system itself may
have contributed to the high rate of dissension between priests and their parishioners
during these two decades The second half of this chapter looks at the episcopal visitas
conducted from 1700 to 1730, and offers some possible explanations for the ostensible
decline of village controversy after 1697. I compare in particular the litigious decade of
the 1680s to the visita records from the 1720s, when parishioner complaints and
unfavorable final sentences were virtually non-existent.
Bargaining bv Complaint and Self-Defense. 1680-1700
Witness complaints during the 1680s and 1690s were not random, arbitrary
reactions to the pressures people individually experienced as parishioners of the local
priest or as subjects of the Spanish crown. I argue, to the contrary, that in the course of
their testimonies, parishioners identified themselves with a standard of social and moral
conduct which, when violated or exceeded, resulted in serious indictments of the priests’

216
character and behavior. This does not mean, of course, that all parishioners had exactly
the same expectations of priestly performance, or that Indians and Spaniards, for example,
had the same principles and equal appreciation for what priests ought to do and what they
actually did Certainly, individuals appearing before ecclesiastical officials possessed
distinct beliefs as to what was, and what was not, ethical behavior. But the popular
consensus — by this I mean the collective voice of the majority of witnesses who testified
in the visita trials of the 1680s and 1690s — expressed concern over their diminishing
demographic and economic resources, and consequently used the visita as a tool to
legitimize their customary view of social norms and obligations. In sum, I argue that
through their testimonies, Indian parishioners in particular sought to defend their
“traditional rights and customs,”2 even when that meant they had to accuse — wrongly or
not — their parish priest of malfeasance.
To begin, I turn to the decade of the 1680s to review some of the basic details of
the visita y escrutinio records from that period By this time, the tradition of the pastoral
visita was a well-established point of interaction between parishioners and higher members
of the secular clergy While there is no documentary evidence that earlier visitas assumed
the comprehensive format which characterized the trials of the 1680s and 1690s, several
sources — including an important summation of the history of the diocese compiled in
1651 by Bishop Antonio de Castro y Castillo — alluded to the episcopal visita as a
trademark institution which dated back to the first bishop of the diocese, Domingo
2Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth
Century,” 78

217
Valderrama 3 As further proof, the Archive of the Indies in Seville contains several
examples of pre-1680 pastoral visitas, including a fairly complete series from the 1630s
written by the diocese’s third bishop, Feliciano de la Vega.4 In any case, by the 1680s,
parishioners from most social ranks and economic classes participated as witnesses in the
visita y escrutinio trials
As noted in Chapter 5, monolingual Indians comprised the clear majority (76.4
percent) of visita witnesses during the first two decades of this study. When Indios
'adinos are added to the equation, the total percentage of indigenous parishioners
appearing before visita chief prosecutors was nearly 85 percent of the total witness pool.
When assessing the nature of antagonism which existed between the majority of
3Bishop Castro y Castillo, describing Bishop Valderrama’s first inspection of the
territory in 1610, reported an amazing incident which occurred in San Andrés de
Machaca According to the Bishop’s account, Don Domingo and his retinue of
ecclesiastical visitors entered the town and were greeted by “two young men (muchachos)
dressed in scarlet-colored hoods.” Fascinated by the sophistication and bright color of the
textiles, Bishop Valderrama then asked the men where they had procured the hoods. They
responded that they came from their ancestors. Unable to get further information, the
bishop threatened to send them to the Viceroy in Lima if they did not divulge more details.
Valderrama then, according to Bishop Castro y Castillo, guessed that “such rare and
antique vestments must be of Jewish or English origin.” The men eventually told the
bishop the names of two ay'ius in San Andrés — achacanalevita and choquelevita.
Valderrama reasoned that these names sounded conspicuously Jewish, and when he
learned that the surname of a cacique in the village was Machera, he responded: “that too
is a Jewish name ” Bishop Castro y Castillo then goes on to recount how this incident
became the source of much controversy as to whether or not the residents of San Andrés
de Machaca were descendants of the Lost Tribe of Isreal AGI, Charcas 138, 3 March,
1651.
4I located four visita accounts from Bishop Vega’s tenure as the Bishop of La Paz,
which lasted from 1634 until his promotion to the Archbishopric of Mexico in 1639. Pre-
1680 pastoral visitas from the Diocese of La Paz can be found in the following AGI files:
Charcas 138, Charcas 141, Charcas 147, Charcas 149, and Charcas 150.

218
parishioners and their parish priests, these statistics are significant for a number of reasons,
not the least of which had to do with this group’s declining socio-economic position in
colonial society. In my opinion, willingness on the part of Indians to testify was one of the
essential qualities of these particular visitas. In all but five of the one hundred and fifty-
four trials (96.8 percent) conducted during this twenty-year period, at least one Indian was
represented among the witnesses.5 In most cases, Indians were the only parishioners who
testified; Santa Barbara de Hilabi, San Pedro de Acora, Viacha, Guaqui, Cohoni, Camata,
Zongo, Hayo Hayo, and Italaque were a few of the villages whose witness pools were
entirely composed of indigenous parishioners.
During the twenty-year period under review, it was customary for the chief
prosecutor to call between five and seven witnesses per trial. The average number of
Indian witnesses in the first decade was 6.2; for the 1690s, the average dropped, but not
significantly, to 5 4 In some cases, upwards of twenty Indian citizens participated in the
visita process either by testifying directly before ecclesiastical officials, or through the
submission of affidavits To cite a few examples, in the trial against Juan de Argote of
Guancané, twenty-three Indian parishioners provided testimony of some kind in the course
of the three-day trial Thirteen parishioners denounced the priest as malicious and cruel
and called for his removal, while ten people claimed the accusations were part of a hoax
5Three of these visitas were held in San Antonio de Esquilache, a mining town
west of La Paz which was populated by Spanish entrepreneurs and free wage laborers of
mixed ethnicities. One Spanish miner referred to San Antonio as nothing more than a
collection of private mines with a church, “There are no alferasgos here . . . [nor] does the
priest receive any services from the Indians,” he recalled, “since this is not an Indian
town.” ACCFLM, Tomo 4, fol. 15.

219
orchestrated by a crooked cacique whom the priest had punished for various acts of
disrespect Twenty Indians from Yanacache and the surrounding area gathered at the
main church to testify against Alvaro López de Soria y Abréu and his ayudante Bernardo
de Chábez in July of 1691 In the end, seventeen accused the priest of some sort of
misconduct; only three parishioners — all of whom traveled from the “frontier zone of
Yanacache” — “spoke favorably of the priest.”6
Not only did Indians testify in large numbers, many were visita veterans who
participated every time ecclesiastical officials came to town. Indeed, the same village
leaders appeared repeatedly throughout this period as witnesses. To cite just a few
examples, in Laja — the town most visited by ecclesiastical officials in the 1680s and
1690s — three Indian witnesses, Martín Fernández, Miguel Quino and Baltasar Ticuna,
testified against Doctor Pedro de Bustamante in 1683. All but Baltasar Ticuna appeared
again at least twice before Promotor Fiscal León to testify against the newly appointed
parish priest, Lorenzo Vásquez de Castilla, starting in 1687 An Indian cacique named
Bartolomé Yzquia first testified in 1687, then appeared in every visita held in Laja after
this date expect for the one conducted in 1697, when he would have been sixty-four years
old and well beyond the average life expectancy for indigenous men living in the southern
Andes at that time
It is also reasonable to assume that even if the same people did not testify more
than once or twice, any new witnesses were knowledgeable to some extent of the process
though either association, kinship, or simply because episcopal visitas were so regular that
6ACCFLM, Tomo 20, fols. 19r-20.

220
most eligible men were acquainted with its objectives and procedures. In Combaya, which
was visited by ecclesiastical officials five times during these years, the same ten witnesses
appeared in both trials held in 1683. In the subsequent visitas, Pedro Ninaja and Pedro
Chimasti served as witnesses three times each from 1687 to 1694, and Juan Tamuna
testified a record four times starting with his testimony against Bernardino Hernani
Bonifaz in 1683. In terms of association or kinship (Active or not), Combaya parishioners
with the surnames Mendoza (José and Ysidro), Tamuna (Juan and Francisco), Sosa (Juan
Martin and Miguel), and Quispe (Sebastián and Juan) appeared at least twice in the visita
trials from these decades.
If parishioners from the 1680s and 1690s were, in fact, visita veterans, or at least
knowledgeable of the purpose and methods of the process, they also seemed eager to tell
their stories to visiting Church officials. Judging by the number of visita participants,
Indians in particular took advantage of the opportunity to voice their concerns or
grievances before men whom they thought capable of making changes to improve their
lives Indeed, rather than dread the arrival of Church superiors who — in addition to
observing the priest’s record of conduct — would surely judge their own progress as new
Christians, a majority of Indians who testified before the promotor fiscal or who
submitted signed affidavits seemed genuinely impassioned about the polemics at hand, and
hopeful that dividing issues might be resolved. This hope was certainly not offset by the
very real chance that they might benefit or gain advantage, financially or otherwise, by
incriminating their parish priest. But the expectations parishioners had of priestly
behavior, it seems reasonable to assume, also motivated their decision to vent publicly

221
their frustrations, as did their expressed belief that justice — that stalwart theme so
conventional in Spanish legal rhetoric — would indeed be served.7
In terms of the language and style she used, a grievance filed by an Indian from
Charasani named Maria Lotaca was typical of the numerous affidavits submitted by
parishioners throughout the 1680s and 1690s. It read, in part:
I, Maria Lotaca, a native of this town of Charasane, appear before Your
Most Excellent Lord . like I have done in the past to complain about
Licenciado Don Pedro de Cañizares . . . who beat me up in his own house.
Because I resisted his passions, he treated me with contempt just because I
did not let him have his way with me. ... He also threw me out of the
church once All that I say is public knowledge, and I can provide
witnesses if you like. . . Please do not allow him to return to this town
since the priest we [currently] have is a saint. And so, I beg and plead
with Your Excellency to recognize these truths . . and by doing that, I will
achieve justice in this case. ... I declare that this complaint is not borne
out of malice, rather in the name of justice, I swear before God.8
An Indian cacique from Acora named Carlos Pérez de San Juan expressed similar
expectations in his appeal from 1688. He wrote in his letter to Visitor-General Eguares y
Pasquier:
Sir, according to my obligation as Protector in this province I am obligated
to give Your Excellency notice that in the hamlets and mines of Ypauco
and Cacachara and the adjacent valleys and mineral mills . . . many
parishioners are dying without confession and last rites. ... I can assure
7A few notable sources on the Spanish colonial legal system are Victor Tau
Anzoátegui, La Ley en América Hispana del descubrimiento a la emancipación, and
Mario Gongora’s two classic works, El estado en el derecho indiano, época de
Fundación (Santiago: Universidad de Chile, 1951), and Studies in the Colonial History of
Spanish America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1975). A lucid, albeit
outdated, narrative summary of Spanish notions of justice and legal bureaucracy can be
found in Clarence H. Haring, The Spanish Empire in America (New York: Oxford
University Press, 1947).
ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 322.

222
Your Excellency with all truth and as a Christian, that Don Fadrique de
Sarmiento y Sotomayor. . does not adequately attend to this parish or to
his ministerial duties .1 ask for justice in this case . . . and appear here at
the feet of Your Most Excellent Lord in the name of justice.9
Indians actively participated in the episcopal visitas of the 1680s and 1690s in large
numbers, appeared multiple times before visiting officials, and made their appeals for
justice because, in some instances, they felt their parish priest was corrupt and
manipulative In other cases, and often concurrently, their participation was motivated by
the prospect that their actions might grant some personal or group advantage, or perhaps
relief from the many burdens their people endured as overworked and overtaxed subjects
of the Spanish Crown. In terms of mitigating their social and economic decline, many
witnesses testifying in the 1680s and 1690s expressed their hopes that visita authorities
would indeed provide some relief from their distress. It was especially common for
Indian parishioners who submitted affidavits to conclude their statements with the appeal
“please, we ask you to relieve our suffering,” as the cacique of Charasani, Martin Serena,
did in his 1683 indictment of Pedro de Cañizares.10
Frequently witnesses highlighted their poverty and dire straits, and women in
particular told visita officials of the many difficulties they faced trying to provide for their
families and, at the same time, to satisfy the priest’s many demands Maria Yllagama, for
example, wrote in her appeal of 1688 that Fadrique Sarmiento y Sotomayor had unjustly
jailed her husband, and “Now I am dying of starvation, and so are my four children whom
9ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 165.
10ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 299.

223
I have to support I ask for relief (from these burdens).”11 Sometimes in the course of
these petitions, parishioners revealed their cognizance of legal procedure and protocol.
Eight principales from the Típula family, for instance, appealed to Bishop Queipo de
Llano y Valdés to intervene, employ justice, and reduce their many hardships:
We are currently outside our town of Guancané on account of our priest,
Don Juan de Argote. ... He frequently enters our homes {patria)
threatening us with whippings . . . and so we have been forced us to go in
search of judges, and thus we have left our poor ones behind, as well as our
farms I ask Your Excellency to look at this situation and tell us if it is just
that tributarios like us have to leave their villages and fail in our tax
obligations to the King, Our Lord. . . [Don Juan has done these things]
without any fear of God or Royal Justice. . . We ask for justice and for
you to order him not to threaten us so often. ... If he does not stop [this
behavior] we will go to the Royal Audiencia to make our appeal before the
President Please relieve us from our many burdens.12
In some cases, it seems that parishioners were so eager to testify not necessarily to
accuse the parish priest of misconduct, rather to articulate their position vis-a-vis local
rivals. On these occasions, the parish priests frequently found themselves in the middle of
petty squabbles, and whether willingly or not, became aligned with one group versus
another. Sometimes the parish priest on trial was the de facto center of the controversy,
but in these instances, the testimonies revealed pre-existing antagonisms between different
members of the community
In Chapter 6,1 reviewed the contentious trial involving Bernardo de Zerguera, the
parish priest of Sapaqui in the late 1680s. In this case, the number of witnesses totaled
thirty four and consisted of two Spaniards and thirty-two Indians of different social and
nACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 120.
12ACCFLM, Tomo 18, fols. 190-190r

224
political ranks. Two women parishioners filed affidavits, but did not actually appear
before Promotor Fiscal León to give their depositions Witnesses in this trial were equally
divided Seventeen came out in support of Don Bernardo. They depicted him as a gentle
and kind priest whose charitable deeds enlivened the Christian spirit of the village and
fostered attitudes of fellowship within the congregation. Seventeen testified that he and
his assistant, Esteban de Prado y Raya, were contemptible men who behaved and treated
them in ways completely unbefitting men of the religious vocation. They argued,
furthermore, that he was an evil and wicked man who rarely attended to his sacerdotal
responsibilities
Almost all of the testimonies and affidavits filed by Don Bernardo’s supporters
dealt little with his performance as parish priest. Rather, they focused on the decadent and
debauched nature of his adversaries. Referring at one point in their appeal that the priest’s
enemies were “brutish . . Yndios forasteros,” a group of caciques wrote:
We Pascal Cuallo, Joseph Joáres, Agustín Coro, Pedro Chuqui, Diego
Pati, and Pedro Colla in the name of our Indians ... are aware that some
forasteros and tributarios have presented false claims against the honor of
our priest These people are so disgraceful, and this is why they do not
come to church. . This entire case [against Don Bernardo] is fraudulent
and malicious. . . And to think they go around criticizing such a good and
pious Christian.13
More often, however, parishioners were more subtle in their criticisms of their
neighbors, and often used the controversy surrounding the parish priest to get their
message across. In the protracted case against Pedro de Cañizares of Charasani, for
example, the priest was clearly at the center of the conflict, but tensions between different
13ACCFLM, Tomo 14, fol. 361.

225
Indian factions were equally evident. In 1683, an ethnically mixed group of fifteen
witnesses denounced Don Pedro as neglectful in his duties and hateful towards all his
parishioners. Martin Serena reported a long list of criminal and civil abuses, including
allegations that the priest ran a costly repartimiento de mercancías in the district, forced
alféreses to donate fourteen large sacks of wool to pay for each village festival, and
“assaults and disrespects everyone, including caciques and alcaldes. ... He has no respect
at all for the royal staff (la real barra)”1* Similar to the charges made by supporters of
Don Bernardo in Sapaqui, the four men who came to the defense of the priest declared
that he was innocent, and that a contingent of village leaders had banded together to
tarnish his name and enjoy the benefits of any restitutions or restrictions Visitor-General
Eguares y Pasquier might place on his secular activities. The priest’s supporters came
from the ayllu Cata, two of whom served as fiscales mayores in town. Juan Cata claimed
that “I do not believe that any of these allegations is true, rather they are the result of
some caciques who have ill will towards to priest because he once made an Indian pray in
public.”15 “They just hate him” claimed the next witness, a cacique named Garcia Coareti,
“he is a good man who behaves according to his duties as parish priest and vicar.”16
In Guancané, it appears again that the parish priest, in this case Br. Juan de
Argote, stood at the center of a village controversy between rival groups. Ten supporters
of Don Juan testified before Promotor Fiscal León that all eleven witnesses who had
14ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 298.
15ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fols. 386r-387.
16ACCFLM, Tomo 3, fol. 288.

226
denounced the priest were allied with a dissident faction led by a cacique named Juan
Condori, and a local encomendero, Pedro de Erasmo. These men — so they claimed —
coordinated a plan to deceive Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier just because Juan
Condori had been publicly punished by the priest, and because Br. Argote had apparently
admonished the encomendero for overworking Indians and for not allowing them time off
to attend church. Onoffe Ynga Larico, a ladino cacique from the village, reasoned that
“what has happened is that because they and others do not comply with their obligations
as Christians, and because they live in such sin . . . the priest punishes them with ardor.”17
In particular, he later noted, Br. Argote had singled out Juan Condori on a number of
occasions since he did not abide by the priest’s orders to bring to him single men and
women who had been accused of fornicating. An affidavit signed by a group of
principales including Don Onoffe, Pedro Inga Luqui, Juan Chipana, Sebastián Mamani,
and Alonso Típula, alleged, furthermore, that the encomendero “attempted to persuade us
to complain to Your Excellency against our priest. . . . [He wanted us to say] that he was
of loathsome character and that Indians fled from this town on account of him.”18 All the
Indians who had testified against the priest, the affidavit claimed, were lowly “Yndios
ordinarios”19 who should not be trusted. In addition, these witnesses had either been
bought off by Erasmo or threatened by Condori to testify against the priest In the end, Br.
17ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol 33lr.
18ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol 342.
19Ibid

227
Argote’s supporters claimed they could not indict such a “charitable”20 man, and that they
would not allow this group of malcontents — whom they charged had caused much
disturbance in the region for years — to disparage the good priest’s name any longer.
Usually in cases involving rival village factions, roughly an equal number of
witnesses testified either in support of the parish priest or against him. In the trial of the
embattled Fadrique Sarmiento y Sotomayor of San Juan de Acora, however, only one man
defended the priest’s behavior and basically accused all the prominent members
(specifically the caciques of the Anansaya district of Acora) of the town of being malicious
conspirators. In what must have been an especially intimidating, dangerous environment,
the cacique and governor of the parcialidad Urinsaya, Damián Churaticona, claimed that
all the accusations were a result of the Anansaya leadership’s efforts to usurp the priest’s
authority. Claiming that his statement represented the “voice of the common people of
this town,”21 his fascinating, albeit disjointed testimony read in part:
Don Fadrique Sarmiento y Sotomayor has been so good for our souls and
our bodies . Please do not take him away from us as the Catacoros
suggest. They have circulated the rumor that we will all be taken as
prisoners to La Paz and if we participate in this visita. They will surely kill
us as they have in the past. Our only relief is our priest. Look upon this
town with the eyes of a father, because for so many years in this land we
worked without any respite, and now we can work and eat, and we have
been like this for about a year — ever since Your Excellency stripped them
[the Catacoros] of their casicasgo. Before we worked only for them
without any pay. The Catacoros walk through the flatland — their
relatives, sons-in-law, and mestizos — talking to the Indians, threatening
them, and giving them wine so that they will testify against our priest. . .
and inform Your Most Excellent Lord of his offenses. . . . Those you have
20ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol. 342r.
21ACCFLM, Tomo 12, fol. 112.

228
here [as witnesses] are not his friends. . . They [the Catacoros] have them
closed up in their homes, filling them up with wine, and deceiving them to
think that they are going to be taken to La Paz as prisoners. . . . They have
even rounded up people from other towns to come here as witnesses. We
do not even know them, and neither do the Catacoros. ... I, Don Damián
Churaticona, ask — for the love of God and in his name, as well as in the
name of our priest — that you recognize the evil of all this. . . . The
Catacoros are enemies of our priest who cause us much suffering and who
take away our lands so that we have no place to farm.22
Thus far in this chapter, I have highlighted a few factors which led some
parishioners to complain to ecclesiastical authorities about the behavior and dispositions of
their parish priests First of all, caciques and regional governors (who constituted, by the
way, 58 percent of the total witness pool for this period) in the 1680s and 1690s knew
they could count on the episcopal visita as an outlet to voice their criticisms. Many were
also experienced witnesses who understood Spanish legal procedures and recognized the
most effective means to gain advantage and legitimacy, and to ameliorate living conditions
for themselves and for the people they represented. Parishioners, in a perceptible way,
appreciated the notions of justice and natural liberties, and called upon visiting officials to
exercise prudence and fairness in their final rulings. Finally, witnesses saw the visita as a
medium to bring outside help for their side in village politics — a dangerous game for sure
— and one which frequently involved the parish priest due to his central role in the
community. Parishioner reactions against their parish priests were, in sum, logical, well-
organized, self-conscious, and disciplined efforts either designed to preserve the common
weal, expose corrupt priests or bargain with them, defend traditional rights and customs,
or to speak out against rival groups.
22Ibid

229
The remarkable qualities of these protests were not violence and chaos, rather
restraint and order Not once in the seventy-eight trials which included allegations of
religious neglect or priestly mistreatment did an accused priest state that his life was in
danger as a result of his confrontations with parishioners. This restraint and order, I
argue, served a legitimizing function, in the sense that the majority of witnesses who
testified before ecclesiastical officials during these two decades acted not spasmodically
because they were abused, rather they were either attempting to preserve social and
economic privileges, or determined that complaining via the visita system was the best
avenue to undermine political opponents, and thus gain personal or group advantage.23 In
any case, through the visita y escrutinio process, witnesses were able to establish their
identity, legitimize their place (however unstable it may have been) in colonial Andean
society, offer testimony which may have helped to improve their immediate conditions,
and define, they hoped, limits of future exploitation. Parishioner testimonies were thus
calculated and coherent, and, I contend, either represented a sectional consensus as to
23 Much has been written about the Andean social order and the system of
reciprocal obligations and duties. That Indian parishioners who lived in the Diocese of La
Paz from 1680 to 1700 shared at least partly in these traditions is without question. But
my focus here is not specifically on the kinship systems and patterns of mutual respect and
deference characteristic of traditional Andean societies. These attributes are certainly
important, however, and relate directly to how parishioners perceived their rights and
obligations vis-á-vis their parish priest. My favorite source on Andean morality comes
from Catherine Allen, The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identity in an Andean
Community. A few Spanish sources on Aymara social systems are two books by Xaviér
Albo, La paradoja aymara: solidaridad y faccionalismo (La Paz: Centro de Investigación
y Promoción del Campesinado, 1977), and Raíces de América: el mundo del Aymara
(Madrid: Alianza Editorial Sociedad Quinto Centenario, 1988), and the excellent recent
survey published by Roberto Choque Canqui entitled Sociedad y Economía Colonial en
el Sur Andino (La Paz HISBOL, 1993).

230
which individual or group should enjoy privileges and power, or embodied a broader
consensus which sought to define what was, and what was not, acceptable priestly
behavior
An equally important factor to consider when assessing witness complaints from
this period has to do with the very nature of the episcopal visita as it was practiced in this
particular region I posit that even if a priest’s behavior was, in fact, acceptable in terms
of his fulfilment of religious duties, if other extenuating circumstances existed which
threatened the parishioners’ or the community’s well-being — like being overtaxed and
overworked — witnesses objectively viewed the situation, then decided to act against the
parish priest simply because it was convenient to do so. The episcopal visita, after all,
raised issues which were immediately pertinent to ordinary people’s lives away from the
Church, and if social, economic, or political conditions were dire enough, they used the
most logical resource available to gain advantage or lessen their suffering, i.e the attention
of a bishop or visitor-general who was capable of imposing fines, reducing their financial
obligations to the church, and enacting other restrictions on priestly demands. This
possibility certainly lends credence to every priests’ claim that he was the victim of
circumstance, and that all the charges against him were false and maliciously contrived. In
addition, and as I illustrate in Chapter 5, many parishioners who spoke out against a
particular priest reported at the beginning of the interrogation that in fact he had been a
“good priest and vicar who behaves accordingly,” before incriminating him for various
crimes which were intimated by visita authorities during the investigation.

231
In other words, since neither the accused priest nor any parishioner who alleged
priestly malfeasance ever admitted guilt or to providing false testimony, the actual truth of
what happened in these seventy-eight cases is, by and large, irrelevant. Friction, in any
case, existed, and so either the priest indeed did violate traditional customs as identified by
parishioners, or was an incidental victim. Either way, a majority of witnesses directed
their popular action against the parish priest on trial, and regarded the pastoral visita as a
type of concession which, at times, should simply be exploited to advantage
The notion of traditional rights and customs is a complex issue. It is certainly
possible to scrutinize, as I have done in previous chapters, the most frequent sources of
conflict between priests and parishioners who lived in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to
1700. In summary, the most common complaints (in order of frequency) centered around
the priest not paying Indians for personal service, overcharging for burials and
manipulating wills, being negligent in the administration of the Sacred Sacraments (in
particular final confession and last rites), forcing members of the community to assume
costly civic duties, physical and verbal abuse, chronic absenteeism, and engaging in sexual
relations with women The Catholic Church regarded all these transgressions as violations
of the law, so the official position of the bishop or the visitor-general was, in most
instances, clearly articulated, if not always observed But for parishioners, and Indians in
particular, these concerns — especially those dealing with finances — struck at the very
heart of their survival as communities and their livelihoods as individuals.
The parish priests, for their part, participated with equal energy in the visitas of
the 1680s and 1690s, but their role was obviously different since they were the subjects of

232
pastoral inquines and were only required to contribute to the written record when their
alleged abuses were extreme. As I point out in Chapter 6, priests uniformly defended their
actions as just and warranted, and never conceded — at least in the initial hearings — that
their behavior was anything short of ideal. They did acknowledge, however, that tensions
existed in their communities, and that their multiple functions as spiritual guides, village
authorities, and agents of the Spanish crown often led to strained relations with some
factions within the village
It can be argued that priests behaved the way they did, and defended themselves
with such intensity before charges of neglect, because they too sought to preserve
privileges and entitlements they felt they deserved. This would help explain, at the very
least, why so many priests cited their simple obedience to local practices and traditions as
justification for their actions. Indeed, the subtle message behind many of the priest’s
rebuttals was, as Francisco de Carrion y Cáceres put it in his letter to the bishop, “This is
the way it is done in this bishopric.”24
Controversy and having to account for one’s behavior, in addition, were not
uncommon occurrences for priests who lived and worked in the diocese in the 1680s and
1690s Even if they did not actually thrive on conflict, this generation of priests was
certainly skilled in the strategies of self-defense and did little, by their own admission, to
assuage village dissent. In their depositions and affidavits they depicted themselves, on
the contrary, as active supervisors of ethics and morality, as diligent adherents to the
religious vocation, and as privileged members of local society whose many responsibilities
24ACCFLM, Tomo 8, fol. 152.

233
included disciplining their adherents and promoting the progress of the Christian
community at any cost. To be sure, parish priests were also cognizant of the power they
possessed, and of the many opportunities their positions of authority granted — political,
religious, financial, and otherwise. Just as surely, as a majority of the witnesses claimed,
some took advantage of these benefits.
In the end, just as parishioners fought for their rights and privileges, so did parish
priests. Unlike their rivals, however, statistical data from these two decades indicate that
they may have fared better in the long run since 68 percent of all priests who stood
accused of improper activity were eventually exonerated. This is perhaps due to their
professional standing in colonial society, as well as their race, reputations, and the
consensus opinion among Spanish authorities — to include religious officials — that
Indians in general were untrustworthy and disingenuous by nature. It is also probable, on
account of their cultural and familial ties, that priests were more informed about the
nuances of Spanish government which, as I discuss at length below, tended to overlook,
or at least diminish the importance of, abuses committed by its royal subjects. In any case,
if parishioners viewed the visita as a concession to be taken advantage of, perhaps priests
recognized that their concessions came in the form of favorable final rulings. It certainly
seems that as a group, parish priests understood their rights and prerogatives in colonial
society, and they based many of their decisions on whether or not the risks of serious
punishment outweighed the potential for profit, increased political power, and social
mobility. Indeed, it appears that diocesan priests from these two decades, like their
village rivals, constantly jostled and bargained for advantages and privileges, and if that

234
meant that they had to defend themselves and their behavior in ecclesiastical courts, they
were confident in their abilities to do so.
Firm and passionate accusations of malfeasance, however, likely did not come
without a price regardless of which percentage of priests received favorable final
sentences It is probable that many accused priests sought accommodation with their
accusers to avoid further troubles, and thus made out less well than the statistics from the
final judgements suggest The case against Antonio de Vivero highlighted in Chapter 6
seems to be a good example of a priest who may have had to settle for less power,
privilege and profit, in order to keep his job and maintain peace with his parishioners.
Somehow — to recall a few of the details of the case — less than four years after one of
the most contentious trials of the era that involved allegations of excessive cruelty, blatant
sexual misconduct, and rampant sacerdotal neglect, he and his parishioners found a way to
iron out their many differences and get along. In all likelihood, village leaders and Don
Antonio reached some informal agreement or unwritten social contract that outlined
boundaries of exploitation and misbehavior. In this way, just as Eric Hobsbawn has talked
of “bargaining by riot,” parishioners from the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1700 may
have negotiated for advantage and relief by accusation, or even the threat of accusation.25
Crimes. Final Sentences, and the Colonial Bureaucracy
The documentary record clearly shows that visita authorities exercised restraint
and patience when it came to handing out punishments in controversial cases. During the
25See Eric Hobsbawm, Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social
Movement in the J9,h and 20th Centuries (New York: Norton Press, 1965).

235
course of the visita trials, they worked diligently to uncover facts, interviewed as many
witnesses as they deemed necessary, and managed to maintain order and professional
decorum in even the most hostile of situations. Statistical data comparing the numbers of
visitas held, and the verdicts handed down by presiding visita officials are, on the surface,
self-evident. As already indicated, one hundred and twenty-nine of the one hundred and
fifty-four final rulings issued at the conclusion of the 1680 and 1690 visitas were
favorable So nearly 84 percent of priests active in the diocese at this time were
congratulated for doing their jobs well, having their parishioners well-instructed in the
catechism and the mysteries of the Catholic faith, and conducting themselves according to
the obligations and requirements of their vocation. In other words, while parishioners
implicated over 50 percent of parish priests of some sort of misconduct or spiritual
neglect, the bishop or the visitor-general punished only twenty-five of them. Of this
twenty-five, moreover, eleven men received fines of less than one hundred pesos Of the
six priests who served suspensions, four eventually returned to their parish or were
assigned to other posts in the diocese.
If judged by the final sentences alone, then, the record of priestly impropriety for
the Diocese of La Paz during these years would seem average, if not unimpressive. It
seems clear that visita officials, in many instances, either did not believe the allegations
made by parishioners, or determined that enough reasonable doubt existed in the case
against the priest, and so no overt punishments were handed down. It is likely that at least
some of the fifty-three priests who were initially indicted and eventually exonerated
received informal warnings to do a better job, treat parishioners with more patience and

236
charity, or correct whichever aspect of their ministry parishioners had complained of. Any
side agreements or informal warnings were, unfortunately, not a part of the documentary
record, and thus unverifiable for these decades But in their final sentences, bishops and
visitors-general of the diocese in the 1700s, 1710s, and 1720s commonly employed this
approach when dealing with accused priests under their supervision, so it is not
unreasonable to assume that ecclesiastical officials did the same in preceding decades.26
In any case, it is my opinion that the bishops and the visitors-general practiced
tolerance and employed flexibility when it came to applying the written law to the many
controversial visita trials of the 1680s and 1690s. If so, what historical precedents or
legacies empowered them to do so? I argue, like John Leddy Phelan did in his seminal
work, The Kingdom of Quito, that some of Max Weber's concepts of modem bureaucracy
are relevant to colonial Spanish America, and in particular to the system of lax government
which tended to supervise loosely its lower royal officials. Parish priests were, after all,
employees of the Spanish crown, and although held to different standards of conduct than
corregidores and alcaldes mayores (two groups of men who have received considerable
26The best example of the technique practiced in the 1720s that cautioned priests
against committing further abuses comes from the trial against Bernardo Carrasco del Sar,
parish priest of Santiago de Machaca In this case, parishioners accused Don Bernardo of
a variety of offenses, including overcharging for burials, forcing alféreses to pay
exorbitant sums of money for village festivals, manipulating wills, and requiring relatives
of the dying to bring them to town, which resulted in many deaths unaccompanied by last
rites. The final sentence in this case was complimentary, and mentioned none of the
alleged transgressions. Instead, in the margins of the transcriptions of various witnesses’
testimonies, the secretary wrote next to the allegation the words: “se rremedió" This
pattern continued throughout the trials of the 1720s, and no priest who served during this
decades received an unfavorable final sentence. ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol. 152.

237
attention from historians as colonial agents of social control and economic exploitation),
were likewise members of the colonial bureaucracy.27
Weber defined three principal models of bureaucratic development that have
occurred over historical time: charismatic, traditional; and legal.28 The Spanish colonial
government, including the hierarchy of the Catholic church in America, exhibited
characteristics of political and social control in a bewildering amalgam of these three
conceptual paradigms Charismatic domination, Weber posited, initially arose in moments
of crisis and involved a leader who legitimized his authority through personal appeal and
the successful recruitment of loyal followers. Subsequent generations of leaders dominated
less because of any individualized charisma than by an institutionalized and depersonalized
form of control which was handed down through aristocratic families. Such is the case
with the Hapsburgs and later, the Bourbons in colonial Spanish America. Phelan contends
that the "mystique of the monarchy . . . served to buttress the loyalty that the magic symbol
of the crown evoked in the Indies, [and] along with the monarch, the Spanish Catholic
27For a discussion of the intermediary roles corregidores and alcaldes mayores
played in colonial society, see Karen Spalding, Huarochiri: An Andean Society under Inca
and Spanish Rule ("Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1984), and John Chance, Race
and Class in Colonial Oaxaca (Stanford: Stanford University Press), 1978.
28Weber discussed the particularities of these concepts of bureaucratic
development in many of his books and essay. See his extensive analysis of these themes in
his books entitled The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, trans and ed. AM.
Henderson and Talcot Parsons (New York: The Free Press, 1947), and From Max Weber:
Essays m Sociology, trans. and ed. by H.H Gerth and C. Wright Mills (New York:
Oxford University Press, 1946).

238
Church was the other institution that was primarily responsible for preserving stability in
that society where disruptive forces were not lacking."29
From all indications, the preservation of stability, at least in the case of the Diocese
of La Paz, depended on a lax enforcement of the rules. Policy and practice in the Spanish
colonial world, and certainly within the Church, were obviously at odds; to work through
the chaos and constant turmoil generated by a corrupt society, colonial rulers and subjects
gained strength through close identification with a monarchy and a Church they viewed as
“magical” “supernatural” and “inspirational.”30 Indeed, that the colonial Church had such
a difficult time compelling its priests to behave while maintaining control, by and large, of
community politics for almost three hundred years, underscores the significance of the
charismatic strength — and of the pragmatic flexibility — emanating from Madrid and
Rome
If institutionalized charisma gave the monarchy and the Church an innate and
divine source of legitimacy, Weber's concept of traditional domination fortified the
Spanish bureaucratic style of lax government with its insistence on the ruler's arbitrary
nature of power, limited always by “the sanctity of immemorial traditions."31 The
29John Leddy Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century, 322 For
an excellent biography of Weber, see Reinhard Bendix, Max Weber: An Intellectual
Portrait (Garden City, NJ.: Doubleday and Company, Inc. 1960).
30Weber, From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, 296. Weber discusses the
instability of charismatic authority, i.e. monarchical governments, in his chapter entitled
“The Sociology of Charismatic Authority,” of this same book.
31 Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, 328. Bendix claims
that Weber identified sacred traditions to be "certain built-in safeguards of its [a society's]
own identity, which result from the beliefs in the legitimacy of the relation between ruler

239
seemingly random correlation in the Diocese of La Paz between crime committed and
punishment served was thus a distinctive characteristic of Weber's patrimonial state (a
subset of the traditional model). All seventy-eight priests who held the top position in
their churches from 1680 to 1700 knew the rules of the game (sacred traditions), and most
successfully walked the fine line to be regarded as acceptable priests rather than ones who
pushed their personal agenda of exploitation too far and were significantly fined,
suspended or expelled. Parish priests in the Diocese of La Paz, using this logic, used their
positions of authority to their ultimate advantage, whether that meant being lazy or remiss
in the administration of the Sacred Sacraments, amassing wealth at the expense of
parishioners, or parlaying their power to favor one village faction over another. While the
bishops of La Paz constantly sought to improve priestly performance through legislation
and a regular series of visitas, the archival record reveals a secular clergy seemingly
content, in the end, with minor fines and rhetorical admonitions.
Phelan points out that Spanish styles of government were constantly evolving
during the colonial period, alternating between older charismatic and patrimonial forms of
rule and newer legal forms of administration that emerged throughout Europe at the end
of the Middle Ages.32 The key characteristics of Weber's legal model of bureaucratic
and ruled " Bendix, Max Weber, 299-300. On the issue of arbitrary power, Phelan notes:
"The administration of law is on an ad hoc basis from case to case. Justice becomes a
series of individual decisions, not necessarily as interpretations of'law' but as gifts of grace
from the ruler that do not create binding precedents." Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito, 325.
32Ibid., 328 Perhaps Weber’s most acclaimed and long lasting sociological
theories deal precisely with the power of bureaucracy and the transition to legal forms of
authority and power. He examines this topic extensively in Chapter Eight of From Max
Weber: Essay’s in Sociology, and Part Three of The Theory of Social and Economic

240
development were the implementation of written laws and the high degree of flexibility
ruler's enjoyed in the enforcement of them. The patrimonial tradition of arbitrary rule
combined with a new spirit of legalism to create in colonial Spanish America a more
efficient administrative body complete with hierarchies of authority and rights of appeal.
Bookkeeping, as well as promotions, royal decrees, and other appointments, were handled
by literate administrators who recorded all transactions in written form. The final product
was a government and Church replete with paperwork; and this, coupled with the unclear
jurisdictions between political entities inherent in the older patrimonial model, resulted in a
sluggish bureaucracy which tended to tolerate (or at least act slowly to remedy)
corruption. Ironically then, limited rule kept the colonial system running, and certainly
blurred the distinction between how parish priests in the Diocese of La Paz should have
behaved and how they actually did.
The Decline of the Pastoral Visita after 1700: Some Ramifications and Explanations
The bottom line of priest/parishioner relations during the last two decades of the
seventeenth century was that parishioners accused over 50 percent of parish priests who
worked in the diocese of some sort of priestly neglect or misconduct. As we have seen,
less than a third of these priests were punished by visita officials, and only nine men
suffered what might be considered major penalties (fines of two hundred and fifty pesos or
more, suspension, or expulsion) for their crimes. In the preceding section, I discussed
various explanations for these results, and argued that during these two decades, a social
pattern developed whereby more visita witnesses complained than did not, parish priests
Organization

241
defended themselves when they had to, and ecclesiastical officials handed down final
judgements which — with notable exceptions — generally favored their ordained
colleagues In other words, as active contributors to and actors in the moral economy of
village life in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1700, most visita witnesses bargained
for advantage by complaint, accused priests negotiated for redemption by defending
themselves against the charges or by seeking accommodation with their accusers, and
visita authorities sought to avoid further hostilities and excessive exploitation by
admonishing maligned priests and perhaps, by imposing a negligible fine or temporary
suspension.
On the documentary surface, this socioreligious paradigm, and the visita system
itself, underwent significant changes after 1697 when Bishop Bernardo Carrasco de
Saavedra died suddenly while supervising a visita trial in Guaicho in August of that year.33
A statistical analysis of the primary data reveals that after this date, priests were (I
emphasize here that this is taking place on a superficial level) increasingly less the centers
of village controversy, and concomitantly more respected and admired by their Indian and
Spanish parishioners. These findings are tempered considerably by the very real chance
that village elites found other ways (through the corregidor, perhaps) to negotiate
boundaries of acceptable conduct and relations with village priests.
Nevertheless, starting with the first decades of the eighteenth century, the
percentage of allegations of priestly misconduct in relation to the total number of pastoral
visits decreased significantly. During the 1700s, only thirteen visitas were held (all in
33López Menéndez, Historia de ría Diócesis de Nuestra Señora de La Paz, 11.

242
1701), and parishioners complained about the behavior of three priests, so the rate of
alleged malfeasance was 23.1 percent, compared to 51.1 and 50 percent for the 1680s and
1690s respectively. Episcopal visitas picked up again in the 1710s, as fifty-three priests
were subject to review The percentage of protestations per visit dropped again, to 20.8
percent (11 of 53). The 1720s, in terms of the number of visita trials, surpassed the busy
decade of the 1680s, but the percentage of allegedly delinquent priests plummeted to 5.6
percent (5 of 89).
The reasons for this precipitous decline in the number and degree of claims against
parish priests are obviously important to any analysis of the role these individuals played in
village life during this particular period in this location. First of all, the visitas themselves
were not conducted at regular intervals after 1697. Bishop Juan Queipo de Llano Valdés
set a high standard by sponsoring regional tours that encompassed every village in the
territory during his twelve year tenure starting in 1682. Indeed, either he or his visitor-
general, Juan Antonio de Eguares y Pasquier, visited every parish in the diocese in their
regional tours of 1683-84, 1687-88, and 1690-91. Queipo de Llano Valdés’ successor,
Bishop Bernardo Carrasco Saavedra, personally participated in the only pastoral visita
(1697) of his administration; he managed to visit sixteen parishes before his untimely
demise in Guaicho as he made his way back to La Paz from the northern sector of the
diocese
The next regular series of visitas occurred in 1701, but the provisor in charge of
the bishopric during the sede vacante, Gerónimo Cañizares Ibarra, conducted only thirteen
trials, four of which took place in La Paz. No village in the diocese was visited again until

243
1710, when Bishop Diego Morcillo Rubio y Auñón (1707-1712) supervised a fairly
extensive visita tour which covered forty-two parishes. Mateo Villafañe Pandaño served
as bishop of the Diocese of La Paz for eight years from 1714 to 1722, but managed to
visit only eleven villages — all in 1717 — during his tenure. It was not until 1725, under
the direction of Bishop Alejo Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo that a systematic review of
priestly behavior resumed in the diocese, but even then in an altered form which
marginalized the most critical voice of previous discontent, that of monolingual Indians.
Bishop Rojas y Acebedo took office in 1723, and held regional visitas in 1725 and 1728-
29. By the time of his death in March of 1730, Fray Alejo or his visitor-general,
Licenciado Diego Pérez Oblitas, had conducted eighty-nine episcopal inspections, and had
visited all but four diocesan parishes (Combaya, San Juan de Merengúela, Calacoto, and
Guaqui)
In other words, the visita y escrutinio ceased, after 1697, to be an institution
parishioners could dependably rely on until 1725, a span of nearly thirty years. In fact, it
could be argued that the pastoral visita began its decline as a meaningful and reliable
tradition after Queipo de Llano Valdés left office in 1692, since his successor, Bishop
Carrasco Saavedra, only conducted trials in sixteen villages in 1697. But before I examine
the ramifications of this decline, two factors stand out which may help explain why
pastoral visitas became so sporadic after 1697.
First, from 1697 to 1709, the diocese was essentially bishop-less, since the only
man to be appointed to the top post during these years — Nicolás Urbano Mata y Haro —

244
died the day after his arrival to La Paz in 1704.34 So the chief administrating official in
charge of managing the day-to-day business of the diocese during this eight year span was
the provisor, Gerónimo Cañizares e Ybarra. Don Gerónimo, judging from his record of
service, was an accomplished and dedicated member of the secular clergy. He began his
career in 1683 in the Indian village of Hilabaya, located near Sorata northeast of Lake
Titicaca He later served briefly in San Miguel de Ilabe, before being appointed as parish
priest, vicar, and ecclesiastical judge of San Pedro de Extramuros in La Paz in 1688 This
was probably an important indicator of his professional success and potential, since a
move in any capacity to the capital city was considered a significant promotion.
Sometime prior to 1697, Don Gerónimo earned a prebendary post {canónigo
doctoral) in the Cathedral, yet another sign that he was progressing up the corporate
ladder of the Church A letter to the King of Spain written by Bishop Carrasco de
Saavedra in July of 1697 indicated that Don Gerónimo had been named provisor, so in
addition to his duties as canon, he also was the chief ecclesiastical judge of the diocese
No documentary records of any sort indicated that this man was anything but an
accomplished scholar, dedicated priest, and capable administrator, save this same letter,
which provided the first evidence that Don Gerónimo was not wholeheartedly a man of
diligence and singular quality. Indeed, Bishop Carrasco de Saavedra spoke bitterly of his
personal deficiencies, suspended him as provisor for six months, and reported to the King
that he should be punished accordingly for his many crimes against the community and the
Church. “In obedience to Your Majesty’s order” the dispatch began:
34López Menéndez, Historia de Arzobispado de Nuestra Señora de La Paz, 12.

245
As I am about to depart on a pastoral visita of this diocese ... [I notify
you] of the tremendous disorder (desorden grande) that exists concerning
the tax and property collections, a job that pertains to Doctor Don
Gerónimo de Cañizares Ybarra. ... On account of his negligence and
carelessness, [monies] have been lost. ... I have charged him with
negligence and poor administration, and for failing to fulfill those duties to
which he is obligated as a dignitary of this Church, to the extent that we are
so behind in payments and without any income ... I also point out the
chaos of his [personal] behavior and scandalous life, since he has had inside
his house [his own] children. . . . According to a visita conducted thirty
years ago, he has continued with this unsavory lifestyle, and [has thus]
failed in the obligations of his duties and of the dignity of the priesthood. .
this city is in turmoil on account of the severity of his bad disposition [met)
natural), since he involves himself in secular affairs ... [to the extent that]
my predecessors had to order him not to enter notary offices.35
The bishop concluded his report by pointing out that Don Gerónimo, indeed, “has more
than he deserves,”36 meaning of course that he possessed neither the character nor the
qualities of a man of his distinction.
It is possible that this letter was the result of a disagreement or quarrel between
Don Gerónimo and Bishop Carrasco de Saavedra It is also possible that some of these
accusations were true What cannot be disputed is that within a month, the bishop was
dead, and Don Gerónimo served as the top administrating official in charge of the Diocese
of La Paz If judged by his record of pastoral visitas alone, he was an unequivocal failure,
since he only supervised thirteen inspections in the eight years of his administration. More
significant, I argue, is the fact that he discontinued a tradition which had been an important
point of connection between higher Church officials and the region’s ordinary citizens.
Concomitantly, he ushered in an era (1698-1725) whereby the pastoral visita ceased to be
35AGI, Charcas 138, 30 July, 1697.
36Ibid.

246
an institution that parishioners, particularly Indians, could rely on to voice their
displeasures about their living conditions or the behavior of their parish priests.
Careless administration on the part of presiding ecclesiastical officials, however,
only partly accounts for the decline of the visita as a dependable institution and as
convenient medium of dialogue between priests, parishioners and higher Church
authorities. Indeed, a number of primary records indicate that a series of epidemics
plagued the region in the late 1700s and throughout the 1710s, and thus hampered the
ability of religious officials to tour parts of the diocese. This appears to be especially true
for Bishop Mateo Villafañe Pandaño’s term from 1714 to 1722, when — as mentioned
above — only eleven visitas were conducted. Unfortunately, I have been able to locate
only a few sources apart from the visitas of the 1720s which mentioned the plagues and
the ruinous effect they had on the region’s demographic make-up. The best and most
authoritative account, written by Bishop Alejo Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo in 1725,
explicitly acknowledged that the epidemics made it impossible for his predecessors to
carry out their visita duties. Moreover, he sadly noted, the region and the people under
his jurisdiction had suffered tremendously. Having just completed a seven-month tour of
the diocese, the bishop compared the state of the diocese to the fall of Jerusalem to the
Gentiles:
It has been thirteen years since anyone has visited [the diocese] on account
of various events which have occurred to impede it [i.e. the pastoral visita],
namely the general epidemic which spread through all of these Provinces,
from which ensued universal hunger for the ordinary citizens [and] fruitless
harvests. This has left the towns so deserted, and it is a deplorable shame
to see such desolation, for the majority of the homes are in ruins, because
they have no one to live in them. . . . The pain of my heart as I contemplate

247
all this is reminiscent to that of the first and true Father when he pondered
the desolation of Jerusalem.37
Over half of the parishioners interviewed by ecclesiastical officials during the
visitas y escrutinios of the 1720s mentioned the epidemics in their testimonies. In every
case, they discussed them in the context of how the priest on trial reacted to the desperate
situation The responses unanimously praised the priest concerned. Francisco de Torres, a
Spaniard from Ambaná stated, for example, that Licenciado Antonio de Sigorondo had
made sure that “none of the faithful lacked anything in this benefice,”38 a notable
accomplishment indeed considering the poverty of the region. Lucas Cordero, another
vecino from Ambaná reported that:
I only know that there have been no complaints by the parishioners that he
has persuaded them [to donate things to the Church] because in this respect
he behaves himself righteously. ... I say this because of his actions during
the unfortunate years of the pestilence and starvation which plagued this
area, [when] he took people — many poverty stricken — into his house,
maintaining them at not an insignificant cost.39
In his final sentence, Visitor-General Diego Pérez Oblitas confirmed that Don Antonio had
performed his priestly duties with diligence and zeal, and noted that “he gives them,
particularly the poorest ones, such care and charity . . . providing for them food in his own
house . . . chiefly during the regrettable era of the plagues which affected this province.”40
37AGI, Charcas 376, 6 November, 1725. The reference to the visitas held thirteen
years earlier must be to those conducted in 1710, when Bishop Morcillo Rubio y Auñón
supervised forty-two visitas.
38ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol. 172.
”ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol. 175.
40ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol. 179.

248
Other priests, such as Br. Diego Machicao of Carabuco, apparently converted
abandoned village homes into health care centers to service the poor during these difficult
decades. A Spanish witness named Juan Gil Negrete told the visitor-general that “Don
Diego did away with some of the corrupt practices from which the unfortunate Indians of
the past suffered. . .he has treated them with love and pity, especially during the general
epidemic which in years past plagued this area, providing hospital service at considerable
costs.”41 Another parishioner, Simón de Urbanza, claimed that Don Diego was the
primary source of aid to the Indians during the epidemic:
He treats all of them with fatherly love, and always seeks to alleviate [their
suffering] and help them with the things that they need, just as he did
during the plague. ... He founded two hospitals, from which he dispensed
— at considerable cost — medicines . and other necessities of life.
When famine set in, he provided the Indians with continuous support, and
sustained an infinite number of poor people who came to his house to look
for food These acts of charity, along with many others, exemplify his noble
spirit and religious piety42
These were not isolated incidents. Marcos de Aparicio of Ancoraymes, according
to all the witnesses who testified, “piously served the poor with his assistance during the
era of the plagues and famine which devastated these lands,”43 Juan Antonio Ybañez de
Muruzabal of Yunguio “looks upon the parishioners with care and assistance, for they are
41ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol. 185r
42ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol. 187.
43ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol 274r.

249
needy And no one returns from his house without having received relief and solace,
especially during the years of the epidemics;”44 and Doctor Andrés de Lizárraga exhibited
mercy towards all his parishioners, mercy which was manifest during the
famine which affected these regions. He dedicated himself to gathering up
many poor people who could not find relief in other territories, and he
maintained them here, spending much money from his own assets.”45
Regardless of any explanations for the decline of regular pastoral visitas in the
1700s and 1710s, the fact remains that many villages in the Diocese of La Paz were not
visited by religious officials for decades. A few notable examples were the Indian towns
of Laza and Chulumani — both located in the Yungas valley east of La Paz — whose
parishioners had to choose a different outlet for their grievances, or survive without one
altogether, for thirty-seven and thirty-eight years respectively. In the case of Laza, the last
pastoral inspection of the seventeenth century took place in 1688; the next time a bishop
visited the town was in 1725. Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier visited Chulumani in
1687, almost four decades elapsed before Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo included
the village in his general tour of 1725. These particular examples are not special by any
means After Queipo de Llano Valdés left office in the mid 1690s, and especially after the
series of 1697 visitas, many parishes such as Suri, Santa Bárbara de Hilavi, Tiahuanacu,
Sepita, Caquiaviri, and Caracato — to name just a few — were not visited again until the
1720s. Even among those villages visited in 1710 and 1717, the majority had not hosted a
44ACCFLM, Tomo 34, fol. 77r.
45ACCFLM, Tomo 34, fol. 108.

250
visiting bishop or visitor-general for — at the very least — thirteen years, and would not
see another visit by ecclesiastical officials for another fifteen to eighteen years.
The ramifications of this institutional decay were many and widespread. Unlike
their ancestors, as I have argued, parishioners of the 1700s, 1710s, and 1720s could not
rely on the pastoral visita as a dependable channel of communication between themselves
and higher Church officials. They were, as a result, probably less sophisticated in the
nuances of visita protocol and the unique form of power they possessed as trial witnesses.
Until the inspections of the 1720s, parishioners rarely participated more than once as
witnesses before the chief prosecutor. Indeed, almost all the Indian parishioners who
testified in the 1710s and 1720s were appearing for the first and last time in their lives, and
thus the witness pools differed significantly compared to the 1680s and 1690s. Looking at
the two most visited towns between 1697 and 1725, for example — Ayata and Quiabaya
— only two witnesses (the caciques Francisco Sanca and Simón Chaleo both in 1701 and
1710) appeared before the promotor fiscal more than once in Ayata, and Juan Guanea was
the only parishioner from Quiabaya to testify twice (in 1701 and 1710).
Not only were visita witnesses appearing more irregularly and less often, the
ethnicity of the witness pools changed significantly as well. If the decades of the 1680s
and 1720s can be viewed as mirror opposites in terms of rate of accusations per trial, the
question of who was testifying in these respective decades seems germane. The total
number of Indian witnesses appearing before the promotor fiscal in the 1680s was, as
previously pointed out in Chapter 5, 85.8 percent (78.2 percent monolingual Indians, and
7.6 percent ladinos) In contrast, only 25 percent of the witnesses from the 1720 were

251
monolingual Indians. Ladinos in the later decade constituted 13.1 percent of the witness
pool, so 38 1 percent of the total number of witnesses testifying in the 1720s were racially
classified as Indians This is a drop of nearly 50 percent when compared with the
percentages from the 1680s. The number of Spanish witnesses, accordingly, rises.
Whereas they constituted a mere 13.9 percent of the witness pool in the 1680s, they now
made up almost half of the total number of witnesses — 110 of the 236, or 46.6 percent.46
These numbers reflect the gradual but considerable marginalization of native
American leaders in the visita y escrutinio process as it was practiced in the Diocese of La
Paz over a fifty year period from 1680 to 1730. As the system became infrequent and
weak, in other words, many Indian leaders understood that to initiate changes or to
articulate their position vis-a-vis colonial officials (to include parish priests) or other
village rivals, they had to turn elsewhere to lodge their complaints. In any case, that this
marginalization coincided with a drastic reduction in the number of allegations of priestly
abuse as reported to visita officials, is not, I argue, coincidental. It seems clear that since
the least disenfranchised members of colonial Alto Peruvian society — those of Spanish
descent — were now the majority of the visita witnesses, and considering that those
Indians who did testify in this decade were doing so for the first time in their lives, it is not
surprising that the percentages of alleged priestly malfeasance drop so noticeably.
46Bishop Alejo Rojas y Acebedo and his visitor-general, Diego Pérez Oblitas, were
generally more relaxed about recording personal data on witnesses compared to their
seventeenth-century predecessors. Apart from their names, the secretarios for these men
did not record any other information for 15.3 percent of the witnesses who appeared in
visita courts.

252
Some numerical comparisons regarding the ethnicities and numbers of witnesses
from the 1680s and 1720s are revealing. In the villages of Ytalaque and Guaicho, ten
Indian witnesses appeared before ecclesiastical officials in 1687, compared with six
Spanish vecinos in 1725 and 1728. In Moho and Carabuco, sixteen monolingual Indians
testified in visita courts in 1684 and 1687 respectively, compared to six Spaniards in 1725.
The ratio increased even more in towns like Mocomoco, where nine of the twelve
witnesses were Indians in 1687, compared to the three Spaniards who testified in 1725.
The argument that the primary voice of discontent was gradually marginalized or
turned elsewhere to voice its grievances gains more support when two other factors
relating to the visitas of the 1720 are considered. First, despite the fact that more trials
were held in the 1720s — eighty nine compared to eighty-eight for the 1680s — the
number of witnesses decreased from six hundred and thirty two to two hundred and thirty
six. This is a difference of almost four hundred, which means that roughly 4.5 fewer
witnesses testified per trial compared to the earlier decade. In fact, only rarely did the
number of witnesses in the pastoral visitas of the 1720s exceed three, and as indicated,
most of these parishioners were Spanish vecinos. As I point out earlier in this chapter,
even if the parish priest was competent in all of his duties, he was sometimes involved in
village feuds and controversies which occasionally led to charges of priestly abuse. In this
regard, it seems logical to presume that less participation — particularly by Indian
witnesses — meant less opportunity for parishioners to bring village politics and
factionalism into the visita interrogations. In sum, the bargaining, the system of give and
take, and the overt interpositioning that took place in the 1680s and 1690s for advantages

253
and power probably continued between parish priests and village leaders, but the visita y
escrutinio was no longer, by the 1720s, the main instrument of these negotiations.
Another peculiar difference between the visitas of the 1680s and those of the
1720s had to do with where the trials were actually held. In the 1680s, ecclesiastical
officials conducted almost all (over 95 percent) pastoral visitas on site. That is, when the
parish priest of Cohoni was subject to review, the visiting team of authorities traveled to
Cohoni to interrogate witnesses, inspect Church grounds, and generally assess the spiritual
environment that the priest had established. This arrangement, of course, was most
convenient for all the local parties, particularly for parishioners, since they could stay at
home (no travel costs) — and presumably gained confidence from being on their familiar
home ground — and still testify against their parish priest.
In the 1720s, in contrast, more than half of all visitas were either held in La Paz or
the principal towns of the district {cabeceras). For example, Licenciado Joseph de Rojas
y la Madriz and three Indian witnesses traveled in 1725 all the way from Sapaqui, located
eighty-one kilometers from La Paz, to the capital city to give their testimonies. In 1728,
priests and parishioners from Laza and Songo — two towns nearly 100 kilometers away
from La Paz — spent nearly a month making their way to the city, and that same year,
Casimiro Segarra and three Indians traveled one hundred and twenty kilometers from their
homes in Chulumani to appear in La Paz before ecclesiastical authorities. In terms of trials
held in cabeceras, a whole series of visitas took place in Sorata in 1728, and in the east,
priests and parishioners routinely travelled to Puno from villages such as Ilabe, Acora,
Chucuito, and others along the southern banks of Lake Titicaca to give their testimonies.

254
Just as conducting visitas sporadically and calling in fewer witnesses (particularly
Indians) to testify decreased the likelihood that allegations of priestly impropriety would
arise, so, I argue, did establishing a standard whereby most parishioners had to travel
elsewhere, and to more Spanish venues, to give their testimonies before Church officials.
First of all, how likely was it that priests would willingly bring along recalcitrant witnesses
to testify against them before the bishop or visitor-general? Secondly, how many Indians
could now afford — after the epidemics and famine of the 1700s and 1710s — to make
the trip, not only in terms of travel money, but also time spent away from work? In sum,
there was much less incentive for Indian leaders to use this vehicle (the pastoral visita) for
protest or bargain for their own or their community’s well-being.
The visita record regardless of these speculations, however, supports the idea that
priests and parishioners indeed got along better in the 1720s compared to the contentious
decades of the 1680s and 1690s. The nature of the questioning certainly remained the
same, as did the custom of inspecting Church properties and parochial books. In many
ways, in fact, those trials from the last two decades of the seventeenth century which
included no allegations of improper behavior were analogous to the favorable testimonies
given by nearly all the witnesses testifying in the 1720s. As seen in the citations on
priestly behavior during the epidemics, parishioners often spoke of the benevolence of the
parish priest, confirmed his devotion to the community and to the religious vocation at
large, and verified that he faithfully administered the Sacred Sacraments to his flock,
taught his parishioners the catechism, and explained in understandable language the
mysteries of the Catholic Faith. All but five priests during the decade, as previously noted,

255
survived the visita trials completely unscathed by allegations of neglect and abuse, and of
those five, only Licenciado Carrasco del Sar and Joseph de Marichalar of Calamarca were
accused of numerous offenses. Bishop Rojas y Acebedo and his visitor-general, Diego
Pérez de Oblitas, incidentally, eventually acquitted both priests in their final sentences.47
As a result of the nearly unblemished visita records of the 1720s, no priests who
worked in the Diocese of La Paz during the 1720s had to file rebuttals to charges of
priestly neglect or misconduct. This is, for the purposes of the current study, an
unfortunate consequence, since the voices and visions of the priests themselves remain
mysteries. It is certainly possible that given their clean records, they lived comfortably
and, on the whole, were less bothered by the political antagonisms which affected their
predecessors. But in all likelihood, the same types of complaints that their colleagues had
to address in the 1680s plagued them as well, but the documentary records confirm that
visita officials by the 1720s no longer served as the mediators of these disputes
For their part, Bishop Rojas y Acebedo and Visitor-General Pérez Oblitas
conveyed an equally sublime image of priest/parishioner relations in their final sentences.
As I mentioned above, all final rulings of the 1720s were favorable, and so no priest was
fined, suspended or expelled as a result of bad conduct or errors in judgement. In three
ways, the final sentences differed significantly from the favorable final sentences of the
1680s and 1690s. First, the ecclesiastical official was, as seen earlier, specific in his
tributes as to how priests responded to the epidemics and famine of the 1700s and 1710s.
47Parishioners accused Don Joseph of overcharging for burials and not paying
parishioners for personal service.

256
Second, the bishop or visitor-general congratulated a majority of the priests for reducing
the burden on Indians by pardoning them at least some portion of the charges for the
administration of religious services. Parishioners in the trial versus Licenciado Pedro de
Uriarte of Caquingora in 1728, for example, emphasized that they gained much relief from
the priest’s lenience when it came to burying their dead. Visitor-General Pérez Oblitas’
final sentence reflected his appreciation for Don Pedro’s good deed.
He has proceeded with vigilance . . . and has met the obligations of the
profession . . specifically for charging less than the arancel stipulates for
the administration of the Sacred Sacraments. . . . Because of his efficiency
and laudable and exemplary performance, he is deserving of an
appointment to a prebendary post in one of the Cathedrals in this
Kingdom 48
Finally, the final sentences of the 1720s tended to stress any achievements or
progress the particular priest had made concerning Church construction and Church
adornment Whereas bishops and visitors-general from earlier decades sometimes
mentioned priestly accomplishments as builders and decorators, nearly all of the final
rulings from the later decade praised priests for their ability to raise funds and complete
construction projects. Diego Mexia Hidalgo’s church in Ayata, according to Visitor-
General Perez Oblitas’ final judgement, “has been in ruins [until] he raised it and built
additions so that God Our Father can be praised;”49 Licenciado Joseph Juan de Vera of
Cohoni “has decorated his Churches with the utmost decency [in honor of] the Divine
48ACCFLM, Tomo 34, fol. 60r.
49ACCFLM, Tomo 34, fol. 10.

257
Cult,”50 and Doctor Diego de Alarcón y Contreras of San Sebastián de las Piezas in La
Paz:
has been an ideal and vigilant minister of God Our Father, for in his honor
and to improve the quality of worship he has taken pains to adorn this
church, and at his own expense he has endowed this Church with precious
ornaments and expensive gems. His piety has not been insignificant in the
sense that he has protected his parishioners, especially during the general
epidemics that plagued these provinces as all the witnesses have avowed.51
To conclude, the first and most likely explanation for the decline of parishioners
allegations of sacerdotal neglect and impropriety after 1700 had to do with native leaders
seeking a different outlet for their grievances. One alternative to this view — however
doubtful it may be — is that the priests of the early eighteenth century were, in fact, more
devoted and less corrupt than their colleagues of the seventeenth century. They were after
all, a new generation of professionals living in a different time under different social and
political conditions, and the documentary record clearly shows that the old order (i.e.
those priests active during the tenure of Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdés) had basically
died off by the late 1710s.52
50ACCFLM, Tomo 34, fol. 29.
51ACCFLM, Tomo 33, fol. 97r.
520nly one priest, Antonio de Sigorondo, survived long enough to be the subject of
pastoral visitas in four different decades. He served in Carabuco in 1697, Ayata in 1710
and 1717, and Ambaná in 1725. Looking at the documentary data as a whole, fifty-four of
the one hundred and sixty-six priests (32.5 percent) who stood trial between 1680 and
1730 accounted for seventy-three of the ninety-seven claims of priestly neglect and abuse
(78.3 percent). Over 80 percent of these priests were active in the first two decades of
this study. These data support the idea that as the corrupt group of priests were replaced
and died off, a new clergy emerged that was more professional, more law-abiding, and less
likely to cause controversy on the local level. This conclusion is plausible enough, but of
course impossible to prove, and there are certainly better explanations (seeking other

258
Another explanation for the decline of priest/parishioner hostilities (at least as seen
through the lens of the visita y escrutinio) has to do with the demographic disasters of the
1700s and 1710s. It is possible that the record of priestly behavior improved in the 1720s
because Indians were so poor they were no longer exploitable. In this scenario, priests had
fewer opportunities to take advantage of local Indians due to the paucity of resources, and
may have been sufficiently wealthy considering the many benefits they now enjoyed as
heirs of Indian wills and as providers of costly religious services (i.e. funerals). This
argument too, is hard to prove, and is further complicated by the fact that diet often
improves for the survivors of epidemics, and so living conditions and the ability of Indian
parishioners to work would have possibly been enhanced.53
Another explanation that would account for the drop in allegations of priestly
negligence and abuse stems from the possibility that rivalries for the top spot in village
politics decreased in intensity and number after the epidemics and famines of the 1700s
and 1710s. It is conceivable that with the gradual disintegration of the cohesive Indian
communities (caused by the epidemic and the general trend to flee the tributario system as
the colonial period progressed) that dotted the map in the 1680s and 1690s, surviving
priests now assumed a less controversial role in local politics since they had, in effect,
fewer native rivals Of course, this too is impossible to prove. But it is important to point
outlets to air grievances, for example) for why the percentage of accusations dropped so
suddenly.
53See Woodrow Borah and Sherburne F. Cook, Essays in Population History:
Mexico and the Caribbean (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1970).

259
out that while on average of five and six caciques testified in trials of the 1680s, it was
rare to have more than two appear before ecclesiastical officials in the later decade.
If it is true that priests indeed had less competition for the top political position in
Indian villages throughout the diocese, they could certainly exercise greater control of the
local population With greater control, of course, came fewer accusations of malfeseance
and thus, less controversy when, and if, visita officials came to town. In the end — and
using this logic — if the visita y escrutinio records constitute, in part, a history of one
group’s struggle (parish priests) versus another (Indian leaders) for power and the
authority to dominate local political and religious life, the members of the secular clergy of
the Diocese of La Paz emerged, by the 1720s, as victorious.
Summary
By any standard, the twenty-year period from 1680 to 1700 signified an era of
conflict and controversy between parish priests and their parishioners in the Diocese of La
Paz Indigenous village leaders established themselves as a formidable voice of opposition
to what they viewed as unfair or excessive treatment at the hands of parish priests, while
the latter group defended their actions — and the decisions they made to preserve their
privileges and entitlements — as entirely appropriate and even necessary for the
maintenance of public order. The visiting bishops and the visitors-general active during
these years, for their part, made the visita y escrutinio a meaningful institution that gave
ordinary citizens an opportunity to raise issues immediately relevant to their increasingly
imperiled lives. The final judgements notwithstanding, the mere fact that a few members of

260
the upper clergy made regular visitations to the diocesan parishes legitimized the goals and
the spirit of the Catholic mission in this particular colonial setting.
I have argued, further, that the visita system as a whole as it was practiced during
the last two decades of the seventeenth century, served a legitimizing function since
parishioners were able to express their needs and concerns, and because it gave priests an
opportunity to clarify their motives and express the anxieties they faced as representatives
of the crown and as the spiritual leaders of their communities. In other words, because of
the effectiveness and thoroughness of the 1680 and 1690 pastoral visitas, it is possible to
judge, to some extent, why popular action took the course it did during these years, and to
measure how these respective groups (parishioners and priests) bargained for the
socioeconomic and political advantages at stake at this particular moment in the region’s
history.
The visita y escrutinio system, and more importantly what it represented as the
chief instrument of mediation between these three groups (priests, parishioners and visita
authorities), ceased after 1697 to function as a significant tool of negotiation. No longer
were visitas regular and frequent, Indian parishioners in particular became marginalized
from the visita process or were forced to find other outlets for their grievances; and the
style and format of visita itself changed in ways which seemed to favor conciliation over
conflict. It is possible, of course, that the plagues of the 1700s and 1710s bred a new
generation of priests more devoted to spiritual guidance and less interested in secular
concerns of wealth and political power. It is equally conceivable that parish priests had
fewer rivals for the top spot in village politics as native leaders died off or fled their

261
communities to avoid the burdens of tribute, forced labor, and the priest’s demands of
payment for religious services. But people’s actions and attitudes rarely change in such a
short span of time, even in the fairly turbulent society of the southern Andes during the
mid-colonial period In all likelihood — and on a scale comparable to their predecessors
— priests and parishioners of the early eighteenth century engaged in negotiations for
power, prestige and advantage, but they did it in a different way and through a different
medium.

CHAPTER 8
CONCLUSION
Catholic priests living in rural communities have played a prominent role in the
formation of Spanish American social, political, and economic institutions for over five
hundred years. In the Andean countries, parish priests have constituted a material and
ideological link between an urban, chiefly European-oriented culture, and a provincial,
predominantly indigenous way of life. During the colonial period, members of the secular
clergy working in Indian villages throughout the region were, on the one hand, agents of
Spanish dominance who effected extraordinary changes to indigenous customs. In this
capacity, as the archival documentation from the Diocese of La Paz suggests, a sizable
percentage of these men used their positions of authority for personal gain or political
advantage.
The documentary record also indicates, however, that many priests staunchly
defended the Christian communities they sought so energetically to create and maintain
amidst severe population decline and economic exploitation. Most priests, I suspect, did
both of these things at one point or another during their careers. In any case, whether a
priest was mostly good, average, or sometimes bad, whether he allegedly extorted money
from his parishioners or protected them from the wrath of rapacious corregidores, secular
priests serving in rural districts in the colonial served a vital role as the chief point of
contact between the subject Indian majority and the dominant Spanish minority. Priestly
262

263
involvement in mediation, of course, did not stop at this diplomatic level. Priests were
also integral members of the communities they served. Indeed, they were often friends,
always neighbors, and sometimes enemies and rivals of the people they saw daily, or at
least once a week for Sunday mass.
“Community,” Lotte de Jong writes, “is a matter of mediations and reciprocities.
What makes a community possible is the fact that it involves a series of mediated
relationships.”1 James C. Scott in his many books on peasant resistance has examined the
complex terms and conditions of these mediated, often contested relations between the
rich and poor in contemporary Malaysian villages.2 In short, Scott has argued that in their
contacts and dealings with the conservative and progressive orders and with members of
the dominant class, peasants employ strategies to defend their interests and rationalize
their behavior Peasants act as they do and resist encroachments from the outside in part
because as people who live constantly on the edge, they are obsessed with survival, and
thus they must devise ways not to comply with power. Generally the oppressed recognize,
however, that resistance has its limits, and are thus usually reluctant to jeopardize their
‘Lotte de Jong, “Community Discourse: A Family Conflict in Eighteenth-Century
Coyotepec, Oaxaca,” in Simon Miller and Arij Ouweneel, eds., The Indian Community of
Colonial Mexico: Fifteen Essays on Land Tenure, Corporate Organizations, Ideology,
and Village Politics (Amsterdam: CEDLA, 1990), 26.
2See James C. Scott, The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Subsistence and
Rebellion in Southeast Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976); “Hegemony and
the Peasantry,” Politics and Society 7 (1977): 267-96; “Protest and Profanation: Agrarian
Revolt and the Little Tradition,” Theory and Society 7 (1977): 1-38, Domination and the
Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1990); and
Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance (New Haven: Yale
University Press, 1985).

264
lives and livelihoods by staging violent revolts and riots. Scott states: “The goal, after all,
of the great bulk of peasant resistance is not directly to overthrow or transform a system
of domination, but rather to survive — today, this week, this season — within it.”3 When
it assumes a repetitive and consistent form, he contends further, peasant resistance can
have a seriously restricting effect on Antonio Gramsci’s concept of hegemony, which
involves a “proletariat more enslaved at the level of ideas than at the level of behavior.”4
Here I have in mind the ordinary weapons of relatively powerless groups:
foot dragging, dissimulation, desertion, false compliance, pilfering, feigned
ignorance, slander, arson, sabotage, and so on. . . It is my guess that just
such kinds of resistance are often the most significant and the most
effective over the long run.5
Even if foot dragging and arson were not necessarily forms of resistance used by
parishioners of the Diocese of La Paz during the mid-colonial period, it can be argued that
their utilization of the pastoral visita to complain about priestly abuses and neglect
represents a type of not so passive resistance to colonial authority. In fact, many of the
conceptual ideas Scott raises about the nature of contested relations between classes, the
shifting boundaries of domination, and modes of resistance are, I think, relevant to the
present study. I have argued in this dissertation that Indian parishioners living in the
Diocese of La Paz in the 1680s and 1690s used the pastoral visita, on the one hand, as a
tool to protest conditions and forms of behavior which they felt violated the social and
3James C. Scott, Weapons of the Weak, 301.
4Ibid , 39. See Antonio Gramsci Selections from Prison Notebooks. Transí, and
ed. Quinten Hoare and Geoffrey Nowell Smith (London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1971).
5Ibid., xvi.

265
moral standards of their communities. Furthermore, some witnesses who testified during
these decades capitalized on the opportunities that the pastoral visita presented, and used
their time before ecclesiastical officials to condemn the priest or his associates for acts
which were, in fact, largely unrelated to his priestly ministry. In these instances, the visita
y escrutinio served as a forum for rival factions to express their displeasure over issues
which divided the community or threatened sectional interests. These disputes frequently
involved parish priests because of their central role in pueblo politics. In either case, it is
my opinion that native leaders in particular who were active in the 1680s and 1690s
bargained by complaint in an effort to legitimize their place in colonial society, and to
attempt to preserve whatever advantages and privileges to which they felt themselves or
their communities entitled.
Priests, as seen in their responses to the charges of neglect, did not stand idly by to
let their reputations be sullied and their careers jeopardized by what they believed to be
false incriminations In short, they too fought for their rights and privileges, and also for
the entitlements they felt they deserved as local leaders and as poorly-paid agents of the
Church and Spanish Crown. Just as their parishioners resisted infringements on their
liberties, priests throughout the 1680s and 1690s challenged the repeated attacks on their
character, behavior, and job performance.
Visita authorities, as I point out in Chapter 6, acted as bureaucrats and arbiters in
these local struggles for advantage and dominion. The application of law, as it pertained
to priestly conduct, punishment, and victims’ rights, was, as John Leddy Phelan among
others have pointed out, a flexible apparatus in colonial Spanish America, and the bishops

266
and visitors-general of the Diocese of La Paz typically exercised restraint, stressed order
to avoid confusion, and handled cases with the ultimate goal of maintaining the proper
balance of power between priests and their parishioners. To be sure, they implicitly
sanctioned corrupt behavior by priests by imposing such minor fines and penalties; of the
ninety-eight cases that involved allegations of priestly malfeasance or sacerdotal neglect
from 1680 to 1730, only ten priests had to pay fines of two hundred and fifty pesos or
more, or were suspended or expelled from the diocese. Each of these priests, by the way
and as I discuss in Chapter 7, were active in the diocese during the last two decades of the
seventeenth century
The documentary record suggests that unhappy parish priests, parishioners and
visita officials frequently resorted to accommodation to iron out the many social, political
and economic conflicts which plagued village society. Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier
and Bishop Queipo de Llano y Valdés constantly admonished priests in the 1680s and
early 1690s to follow the arancel when they charged for religious services, to pay Indians
for their personal service, and to discourage the continuance of the alferasgo and
camarico if local Indians found the obligations too onerous and time-consuming. Rarely
did priests receive fines for any of these transgressions, and this system of warnings
usually worked since subsequent visitas to previously troubled parishes were almost
always without incident. For the 1720s, the written archival evidence even confirms that
grievances were commonly dealt with on informal level by the inclusion of the words “se
rremedió” (it has been corrected) next to the point of contention. Indeed, and in all
likelihood, conflicts between priests and parishioners throughout the period under review

267
probably ended, or at least were temporarily solved, through compromises and pledges of
good faith which took place well beyond the scope of the visita trials.
In a visible way, this pattern of parishioners complaining, priests vehemently
defending themselves against the charges, visita authorities using tolerance and
pragmatism to decide cases, and the practice of accommodation by all parties to resolve
disputes, engendered a type of social and moral equilibrium in village life in the 1680s and
1690s. In other words, parishioners viewed the visita as a concession that should be taken
advantage of, and so they complained more often than not. Priests either were vindicated
by favorable final sentences, compromised with their accusers, or paid minor fines for their
alleged transgressions. And visita authorities legitimized the symbolic power and
functionality of the Church by appearing every few years to make sure that peace,
however tenuous, prevailed, and that the mission of God had not been seriously
undermined.
After 1700, however, the pastoral visita ceased to be a regular and reliable point of
contact between parishioners and visita authorities. Whether due to the indolence or
administrative inefficiency initiated by Provisor Gerónimo de Cañizares Ybarra, or the
destitution of the villages after the epidemics of the 1700s and 1710s, the bishops who
served after Bishop Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra (1694-97) inadvertently severed the
connective ties which had linked higher Church officials to the rural and usually remote
parishes. Parishioners in some districts, such as Suri and Laza, in fact, went nearly four
decades without hosting visita authorities. If it can be argued that the pastoral visita was
more than just a point of contact — that in fact it served as one of the main tools of

268
negotiation for privileges, rights and advantages between priests and their parishioners in
earlier decades — then after 1700 it probably served as nothing more than a “public
transcript”6 of social relations, which, as Scott points out, frequently gives a false
impression of harmony, and hides the truth about sentiments and expectations between
dominated and subject groups.
It is possible, as I discuss in Chapter 7, that priests and parishioners in fact did get
along better in the later decades of this study. Perhaps priests behaved according to the
many rules and regulations which strove to limit the degrees of their corrupt ways.
Perhaps parishioners no longer enjoyed the authority and power that the cohesive
communities of the late seventeenth century somehow managed to maintain due to
tributario flight and demographic decline. Perhaps native elites realized that the pastoral
visita no longer served as an effective mediating tool, and so they sought different avenues
of complaint. Whatever the explanation for the ostensible lack of conflict in the first three
decades of the eighteenth century between priests and parishioners, negotiations for power
and privilege, as well as priestly corruption, likely did not suddenly end after 1697. In this
regard, the first two explanations are less tenable, for, as Scott and others have
convincingly argued, “corruption, like violence, must be understood as a regular,
repetitive, integral part of the operation of most political systems.”7 This certainly
6Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance, 2.
7James C. Scott, Comparative Political Corruption (Madison: University of
Wisconsin Press, 1972), viii.

269
included the Spanish Empire in colonial America since it was a system founded on
profound social, political, economic, and racial inequalities.
To conclude, Scott posits that domination is a constant negotiation, sometimes one
side pushing hard, sometimes the other. He describes, for example, the realm of struggle
between the rich and poor in post-colonial Malaysia as:
a constant process of testing and renegotiation of production relations
between classes. On both sides — landlord-tenant, farmer-wage laborer —
there is a never-ending attempt to seize each small advantage and press it
home, to probe the limits of the existing relationship 8
Boundaries of authority and power, in other words, constantly shift, as do the means and
methods to gain advantages, and to negotiate and bargain with rival groups. The 1680s
and 1690s seem to represent a moment in the history of the Diocese of La Paz when the
visita y escrutinio was a main tool used in the negotiations between parish priests and
their parishioners. Perhaps parishioners before 1680 utilized a different method to protect
their privileges and defend their “traditional view of social norms and obligations.”9 While
the documentary record of the Archivo Central is notably lacking for information from this
period, I suspect — given the tone and tenor of contested relations evident in the early
1680s — that both parishioners and priests were adept in the nuances of visita protocol
and utilized their time before higher Church authorities to defend their personal or
community interests After 1700, clearly the pastoral visita lost some of its authority and
ceased to function as it had earlier Only further research and analysis of the ample body of
8Scott, Weapons of the Weak, 255.
’Thompson, “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in Eighteenth-Century
England,” 78.

270
post-1730 archival data located in the Archivo Central can resolve the question of whether
or not the pastoral visita would again serve as a window into the social and political
conflicts which surely existed between parish priests and their native parishioners as the
colonial period moved onto its last century in this northern sector of Alto Perú

APPENDIX A
DIOCESAN PARISHES IN 1627
In his report, Bishop Valencia listed each parish, its advocación (dedication to a patron-
saint), as well as the respective yearly stipend (in pesos ensayados) of the resident priest in
employment The names of the villages contained in this appendix are spelled exactly as they
appeared in the original document. Some parishes - most notably those under non-secular
administration - were staffed by more than one priest. I point out that distinction by including the
number of priests working in a given parish when that number exceeds one.
Corregimiento de Pacajes1
Viacha
San Agustín
800 pesos ensayados
Caquingora
Santa Bárbara
700
Calacoto
Santiago
700
Machaca
Santiago
700
Machaca
San Andrés
700
Machaca (Jesús de)
Jesús
700
Caquiaviri
La Concepción (two)
1400
Guaqui
Santiago
700
Tiaguanaco
San Salvador
700
‘Bishop Valencia stated: "In this corregimiento there are three parishes in the villages of
Callapa, Julloma, and Cuiaguara which were taken from this bishopric at the time when it was
divided [in 1605], [This action goes] against all justice on account of the fact that this
corregimiento [Pacajes] is under the jurisdiction of this city. This issue is currently under appeal in
the consejo [de Indias] " AGI, Charcas 138, 10 January, 1627.
271

272
Corregimiento de Caracollo2
Calamarca
Santiago
700
Hayo Hayo
San Salvador
700
Palca
Asunción de Nuestra Señora
700
Cohoni/Collana
San Bartolomé
700
Yanacachi
Santa Bárbara
700
Zapaqui
San Joseph
500
Lassa
San Pedro
500
Suri\Circuata
Santiago
700
Corregimiento de Omasuvo3
Achacache
San Pedro (two)
1400
Copacabana
Nuestra Señora de La Gran
Veneración y Milagros
700
Carabuco
San Francisco
700
Previously this corregimiento was referred to as Sicasica. It is unclear why Bishop
Valencia choose the name Caracollo for this district, but it appears from the few extant records
that the towns under the jurisdiction of the corregidor of Sicasica and Caracolla were the same.
At the end of this section, Bishop Valencia wrote: "In the valley of Caracato works a capellán
(chaplain) who is paid by the hacendados (of that district). From this corregimiento...(and) from
this bishopric they took away in the division (the towns of) Luribaya, Mohosa, Cicacica and
Caracollo...this is also under appeal." Ibid.
3Next to the entries of Copacabana, Guarina, and Pucarani, Bishop Valencia made
notations which read: "they do not pay seminario ni quarta," references to monetary
contributions to the colegio seminario of San Gerónimo in La Paz and a compulsory donation to
the bishop's office of a quarter of monies collected for funeral services. Additionally, he described
Copacabana as a place "where there is an image and sanctuary in honor of Our Lady of the Grand
Veneration and Miracles. It is serviced by friars of Saint Augustine." Two friars of the
Mercedarian order staffed the church in Guarina, and Pucarani - where "there is an image of many
miracles" - was serviced by two Augustinian priests. Ibid.

273
Guarina
Nuestra Señora de la Merced
(two)
1400
Ancoraymes
Santiago
700
Guaycho
Santiago
700
Pucarani
Nuestra Señora de la
Encarnación (two)
1400
Laxa
San Pedro
700
Corregimiento de Larecaxa
Zorata
La Magdalena
700
Hilavaya
San Francisco
700
Cumbaya
San Francisco
700
Quiabaya
San Pedro
700
Ambana
Santiago
700
Ytalaque
San Miguel
700
Chuma
Asumpción de Nuestra
Señora
700
Charasani
Santiago
700
C amata
Santiago
700
Songo
La Candelaria
700
Challana
Santiago
700
Mocomoco
San Pedro
700

274
Corregimiento de Paucarcolla4
Moho
San Pedro
700
Vilque
San Miguel
700
Guancane
Santiago
700
Puacarcolla
San Pedro
700
Tiquillaca
San Francisco
700
Ycho/Puno
San Juan
700
Coata/Capachica
Nuestra Señora de la Merced
1400
Governación de Chucuito5
Chucuito La Mayor
San Pedro
1000
Chucuito
San Pablo
780
Chucuito
San Domingo
780
Chucuito
Los Reyes
780
Acora
San Pedro
770
Acora
San Juan
770
Acora
La Concepción de Nuestra
Señora
770
Hilavi
San Miguel
770
Hilavi
Santa Bárbara
770
Hilavi
La Concepción
770
Juli
San Pedro
770
4Bishop Valencia included the notation "no pagan seminario ni quarta" next to the entry
of Coata/Capachica, along with the acknowledgment that friars from the Mercedarian order
managed this parish. Ibid.
5Next to the Juli entries, Bishop Valencia wrote in the margin "no pagan seminario ni
quarta " Further, he noted that the Jesuits serviced the parishes in Juli and that the three churches
in Pomata were under the supervision of the Dominicans. (Ibid.)

275
Juli
San Juan Baptista
770
Juli
La Asumpción
770
Juli
Santa Cruz
770
Pomata
Santiago
770
Pomata
San Martín
770
Pomata
San Miguel
770
Yunguyo
Santiago
770
Yunguyo
La Magdalena
770
Cepita
San Pedro
770
Cepita
Sancta Fé
770
Cepita
San Sebastián
770

APPENDIX B
THE VISITA INTERROGATION
The following is a verbatim transcription of the questions Promotor Fiscal Francisco de
Truxillo León asked visita witnesses in the trial against Bachiller Juan de Heredia
conducted in June, 1683. The general content of these inquiries changed little in the fifty
year span from 1680 to 1730, even if the language and the format varied slightly from one
chief prosecutor to the next.
“Por las preguntas siguientes examinen los testigos que presentase el Promotor Fiscal en la
ynformación y pesquisa secreta que se hace contra el Br. Don Juan de Heredia Cura
Propia de esta Doctrina de Guaqui y contra Sus Ayudantes de sus costumbres y
administración de su oficio desde la última visita-
1. Primeramente se an preguntados por el conosimiento de las partes y noticia desta visita-
Gen - De las generales de la ley y que hedad tienen-
2. Y si saben que el dicho Cura y sus Ayudantes an procedido y proceden con la decencia
que require su estado-
3. Y si saben que el dicho Cura y sus Ayudantes an tratado mal a sus feligreses y
ynjuriándolos de obra o de palabra digan-
4. Y si saben que el dicho Cura y sus Ayudantes an administrado los Sanctos Sacramentos
con puntualidad a sus Feligreses sin que por su culpa se an muerto alguno sin ellas digan-
5. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a administrado el Santo Sacramento de la penitencia y el
de la comunión anualmente a sus feligreses haciendo padrones para ello y si a los que no
cumplen con el precepto castiga severamente digan-
6. Y si saben que el dicho Cura enseña la Doctrina Christiana a sus feligreses todos los
Domingos-
7. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a dicho missa todos los días de fiesta a hora competente y
si a predicado el Santo Evangelio los Domingos explicando los misterios de nuestra Santa
Fee a los Yndios en su idioma natural digan-
8 Y si saben que el dicho Cura a cantado la Salve todos los Savados solemnamente como
fue obligado-
9. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a ido con puntualidad a las estancias a administrar los
Sanctos Sacramentos, y por la ida lleva a los Indios gallinas, guebos, u otros géneros, y si
por escusar el travajo hace traer los enfermos al Pueblo digan-
276

277
10 Y si saben que el dicho Cura ynduce a los enfermos a que otorguen sus memorias y
testamentos ante los Sacristanes, Cantores, y otras personas de su afecto - Y si con mano
de Cura añade en los testamentos legítimamente otorgados missas, possas, pendones o
lugar de sepultura - o si obliga a los herederos a que pongan ofrendas en los cavos de año
y días definados y despúes de pasados sale por las estancias a cobrar ofrendas por dicha
razón digan-
11. Y si saben que el dicho Cura nombra violentamente los alferazgos llevando a los
Indios el camarico y de ellos se siguen borracheras de que se originan muchos pecados
digan-
12. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a tenido en su doctrina Padre Madre parientes o amigos y
con esta ocasión an recevido los Indios algunos agravios digan-
13. Y si saben que el dicho Cura lleba más derechos de los que señala el arancel
eclesiástico digan-
14. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a tratado o contratado en algunos géneros mesclándose
con los seculares digan-
15. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a hecho hilar o texer a las Indias depositándolas en su
casa aunque sea para la Iglesia digan-
16. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a consentido algún amancebimiento público que por
respectos humanos ocasionando con el ejemplo que vivan otros en mal estado digan -
17 Y si saben que el dicho Cura a tenido en su casa alguna muger de sospecha causando
escándolo digan -
18. Y si saben que el dicho Cura publica los días de fiesta para que no travajasen sus
feligreses y la vigilias para que ayunen digan-
19. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a casado algunos sin preceder las ynforotaciones,
moniciones y demás requisitos, y si las ynformaciones an sido por escrito digan-
20. Y si saben que el dicho Cura como Vicario a defendido la immunidad eclesiástica, y si
las causas que ante el pasaron las despacho sin hacer agravio a las partes ni llebar
cohechos digan-
21. Y si saben que el dicho Cura a faltado sin licencia de su beneficio y si con ella a dejado
en su lugar sacerdote aprovada para la administración de su oficio digan-
22. Y si saben que el dicho Cura lleba a los Indios forasteros el pesso ensayado de más de
los derechos digan-
23 . Y si saben que el dicho Cura a hecho la benedición de la Pila el Savado Santo digan-
24. Y si saben que el dicho Cura ayuda bien morir a los enfermos quando es llamado
digan-

278
25 . Y si saben que el dicho Cura paga en plata a los Indios su servicio personal y lo que le
traen para su sustento por su justo precio y si tienen chacras o casa de juego digan-
26. Yten de público y notario pública voz y fama digan-111
‘ACCFLM, Tomo 5, fol. 12-14r.

APPENDIX C
THE SENTENCIA FINAL OF PEDRO DE MONTESDOCA
The following is a verbatim transcription of the final sentence issued in the case against
Pedro de Montesdoca in June of 1687. It is positioned on this page in approximately the
same format as it appears in the original document.
“en la caussa de Vissita que ante nos a pendido y
pende de oficio de la Justicia eclesiástica que
administramos a pedimento del promotor fiscal de
dha Vissita contra el Licenciado Don Pedro de
Montesdoca cura de esta Doctrina de Ambaná y
Vicario de esta Probincia sobre la aberiguación de su
vida y costumbres y el usso de su oficio de cura y
Vicario.
Visto Nuestro,
Hallamos atento a los Autos y méritos de la caussa que devemos declarar y
declaramos que el dho Licenciado Don Pedro de Montesdoca a ssido buen
cura y Vicario de esta doctrina por constar de la Ymformación sumaria que
a pedimiento del Promotor Fiscal de esta dha Vissita por nos se recivió
aver vivido onesta y virtuosamente conforme a su estado sacerdotal dando
buen ejemplo con su vida y costumbres y aver ssido muy puntual en la
administración de los Santos Sacramentos sin que por su culpa aya muerto
algún sin ellos, ni dejado los de recevir todos los años para cumplir con los
preceptos de Nra Santa Madre Yglesia hasiendo padrones de toda la
feligrecía y llamando por ellos a los que no vinieron dentro del término y
castigándolos hasta que todos cumplieron con los dhos preceptos en
desirles missa los Dominos y fiestas de guardar a ora competente que
pudiesen averse juntado todos para oirla, en predicarles y haserles la
doctrina en su lengua a los indios, y que a ssido muy caritatibo
tratántandolos a todos bien de obra y de palabra sin llebarles obenciones
por fuerza ni por las voluntarias excedido a lo que manda el Arancel y que
les a pagado en plata su trabajo personal y lo que le an traydo para su
sustento por su justo precio ajustándose en todo a la obligación de su
oficio declaramos lo assi y le damos las gracias y lo bien que a obrado y
por el selo con que asiste al Culto Divino y le encargamos lo continue para
que en todo haga el servicio de Dios Nuestro Señor en desconseulo de la
Real conciencia y nuestra y por esta nuestra sentencia sea difinitiva
jusgando assi lo pronunciamos y declaramos. Juan Obispo de la Paz.”1
'ACCFLM, Tomo 11, fol. 172-172r.
279

REFERENCES
Abercrombie, Thomas. “To be Indian, to be Bolivian: ‘Ethnic’ and ‘National’ Discourses
of Identity.” In Greg Urban and Joel Sherzer, eds., Nation-States and Indians in
Latin America. Austin, 1991, 95-130.
Adorno, Rolena. “Images of Indios Ladinos in Early Colonial Peru.” In Kenneth J. Adrien
and Rolena Adorno, eds., Transatlantic Encounters: Europeans and Andeans in
the Sixteenth Century. Berkeley, 1991. 232-270.
Adrien, Kenneth J. Crisis and Decline: The Viceroyalty of Peru in the Seventeenth
Century. Albuquerque, 1985.
Albo, Xavier. La paradoja aymara: solidaridad y faccionalismo. La Paz, 1977.
. Raíces de America: el mundo del Aymara. Madrid, 1988.
Albo, Xavier, and Josep M. Bamadas. La cara campesina de nuestra historia. La Paz,
1984.
Allen, Catherine. The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identity in an Andean
Community. Washington, DC, 1988.
Arriaga, José de. La extirpación de la idolatría en el Perú, translated by L. Clark Keating.
Lexington KY, 1968.
Assadourian, Carlos Sempat. Modos de producción, capitalismo, y subdesarrollo en
América Latina. Buenos Aires and Mexico, 1973.
. El sistema de la economía colonial: Mercado interno, regiones y espacio
económico. Lima, 1982.
Bakewell, Peter J. Miners of the Red Mountain: Indian Labor in Potosí, 1545-1650.
Albuquerque, 1984.
Ballivián, Mario Bedoya. Crónicas de Nuestra Señora de La Paz. La Paz, 1988.
Baptista Gumucio, Mariano. Esplendor y grandeza de Potosí, 1545-1825. La Paz, 1997.
280

281
Barriadas, Josep M. La Iglesia Católica en Bolivia. La Paz, 1976.
Bauer, Arnold J. “The Church and Spanish American Agrarian Structure, 1765-1865”
The Americas 28 (1971): 78-98.
. “The Church in the Economy of Spanish America: Censos and Depósitos in
the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries” Hispanic American Historical Review
63 (1983): 707-33.
Bayle, Constantino. “Cabildos de indios en la América Española” Missionalia Hispánica
8 (1951): 5-35.
. “Los clérigos y la expirpación de la idolatría entre los neófitos americanos”
Missionalia Hispánica 3 (1946): 53-98.
. El clero secular y la evangelización de América. Madrid, 1950.
. “El Concilio de Trento en las Indias españolas” Razón y Fé 45 (1945): 257-
84.
Bendix, Max. Max Weber: An Intellectual Portrait. Garden City NJ, 1960.
Block, David. Mission Culture on the Upper Amazon: Native Tradition, Jesuit Enterprise
and Secular Policy in Moxos, 1660-1880. Lincoln, 1994.
Borah, Woodrow W. Justice by Insurance: The General Indian Court of Colonial
Mexico and the Legal Aides of the Half-Real. Berkeley, 1983.
. New Spain’s Century of Depression. Berkeley, 1951.
Borah, Woodrow W. and Sherburne F. Cook. Essays in Population History: Mexico and
the Caribbean. Berkeley, 1970.
Boyusse-Cassagne, Thérése. La Identidad Aymara: Aproximación histórica, siglos XV-
XVI. La Paz, 1987.
. Potosí: La versión Aymara de un mito europeo. La minería y sus efectos en
las sociedades andinas del siglo XVII. La Provincia de Pacajes. Madrid, 1993.
Brading, David. Church and state in Bourbon Mexico: The Diocese of Michoacán, 1749-
1810. Cambridge, 1994.

282
Cahill, David. Curas and Social Conflict in the Doctrinas of Cuzco, 1780-1814” Journal
of Latin American Studies 16 (1984): 241-76
Campbell, Leon G. “Church and State in Colonial Peru: The Bishop of Cuzco and the
Tupac Amaru Rebellion of 1780“ Journal of Church and State 22 (1980): 251-70.
Cárdenas, Victor Hugo. “La lucha de un pueblo.” In Xavier Albo, ed., Raíces de América:
El mundo aymara. La Paz, 1982.
Ceballos Gómez, Diana Luz. Hechicería y brujería e inquisición en el Nuevo Reino de
Granada: Un duelo de imaginarios. Bogotá, 1994.
Chance, John. Race and Class in Colonial Oaxaca. Stanford, 1978.
Choque Canqui, Roberto, “Los cacique aymaras y el comercio en el Alto Perú.” In Olivia
Harris, Brooke Larson, and Enrique Tandeter, eds., La participación indígena en
los mercados surandinos. La Paz, 1987. 357-378.
. Sociedad y economía colonial en el sur andino. La Paz, 1993
Christian, William A., Jr. Apparitions in Late Medieval and Renaissance Spain.
Princeton, 1981.
. Local Religion in Sixteenth-Century Spain. Princeton, 1981.
Clendinnen, Inga. Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatán, 1517-1570.
Cambridge, 1987.
Cline, S.L. Colonial Culhaucán, 1580-1600. A Social History of An Aztec Town.
Albuquerque, 1986.
. “The Spiritual Conquest Re-examined: Baptism and Church Marriage in
Early Sixteenth-Century Mexico” Hispanic American Historical Review 73
(1993): 453-80.
Cole, Jeffrey. The Potosí Mita, 1573-1700: Compulsory Indian Labor in the Andes.
Stanford, 1985.
Collier, George A., Renato I. Rosaldo, and John D. Wirth, eds., The Inca and Aztec
States, 1400-1800: Anthropology and History. New York, 1982.
Condarco Morales, Ramiro. Atlas Histórico de Bolivia. La Paz, 1985.

283
Cook, David Noble, ed. Tasa de la visita general de Francisco de Toledo. Lima, 1975.
Cordero, Luis Peñaloza. Nueva Historia Económica de Bolivia. La Paz, 1984.
Crespo Rodas, Alberto. Esclavos Negros en Bolivia. La Paz, 1977.
Crespo Rodas, Alberto, Mariano Baptista Gumucio, and José de Mesa. La Ciudad de La
Paz: su historia su cultura. La Paz,1989.
Diez de San Miguel, Garci. Visita hecha a la provincia de Chucuito [1567], edited by
Waldemar Espinoza Soriano. Lima, 1964.
Dobyns, Henry F. “An Outline of Andean Epidemic History to 1720” Bulletin of the
History of Medicine 37 (1963): 493-515.
Draper, Lincoln. “Archbishops, Canons, and Priests: The Interaction of Religious and
Social Values in the Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Bolivia.” Ph.D dissertation,
University of New Mexico, 1989.
Dussel, Enrique D. Caminos de liberación latinoamericana (Interpretación histórico-
teológica de nuestro continente latinoamericano). Buenos Aires, 1972.
. Historia de la iglesia en América Latina, 2d ed. Barcelona, 1972.
Egaña, Antonio de. Historia de la iglesia en la América Española, desde el
descubrimento hasta comienzos del siglo XIX: Hemisfério sur. Madrid, 1966.
Elias, Fray Julio María. Copacauana-Copacabana. Tarija, 1976.
Elliott, J. H. “Self-Perceptions and Decline in Early Seventeenth-Century Spain” Past &
Present 74 (1977): 41-61.
. “Spain in America before 1700." In Leslie Bethell, ed., Colonial Spanish
America. Cambridge, 1984.
Esquivel y Navia, Diego. Noticias cronológicas de la gran ciudad de Cuzco. Lima, 1980.
Farriss, Nancy M. Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, 1759-1821. London, 1968.
. Maya Society Under Colonial Rule: The Collective Enterprise of Survival.
Princeton NJ, 1983.
Fernández, Juan Patricio. Relación historial de las misiones chiquitos. Asunción, 1896.

284
Figuera, Guillermo. La formación del clero indígena en la historia ecclesiástica de
América, 1500-1810. Caracas. 1965.
Flores Galindo, Alberto. Arequipa y el sur andino, siglos XVII-XIX. Lima, 1977.
. Buscando un Inca: Identidad y utopia en los Andes. Lima, 1987.
, ed. Independencia y revolución (1780-1840). 2 vols. Lima, 1987.
Fontaura Argadaña, Manuel. Descubridores y exploradores de Bolivia. La Paz, 1971.
Fulbrook, Mary. “Legitimation Crises and the Early Modem State: The Politics of
Religious Toleration.” In Kaspar von Greyerz, ed., Religion and Society in Early
Modem Europe, 1500-1800. London, 1984, 146-56.
Gabai, Varón. Francisco Bizarro and His Brothers: The Illusion of Power in Sixteenth-
Century Peru, translated by Javier Flores Espinosa. Norman, 1997.
Ganster, Paul. “A Social History of the Secular Clergy of Lima During the Middle
Decades of the Eighteenth Century.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of California,
Los Angeles, 1974.
Gibson, Charles. The Aztecs Under Spanish Rule. Stanford, 1964.
Gisbert, Teresa. Iconografía y mitos indígenas en el arte. La Paz 1980.
Glave, Luís Miguel, and María Isabel Remy. Estructura agraria y vida rural en una
región andina: Ollantaytambo entre los siglos XVI y XIX. Cuzco, 1983.
Godoy, Ricardo. “State, Ayllu, and Ethnicity in Northern Potosí, Bolivia” Anthropos 80
(1985): 53-65.
Góngora, Mario. El estado en el derecho indiano, época de fundación. Santiago, 1951.
. Studies in the Colonial History of Spanish America, translated by Richard
Southern. Cambridge, 1975.
Gramsci, Antonio. Selections from Prison Notebooks, translated and edited by Quinten
Hoare and Geoffrey N. Smith. London, 1971.
Greenleaf, Richard E. “The Inquisition and the Indian of New Spain. A Study in
Jurisdictional Confusion” The Americas 22 (1965): 138-66.

285
. The Mexican Inquisition of the Sixteenth Century. Albuquerque, 1969.
, ed. The Roman Catholic Church in Colonial Latin America. New York,
1971.
Gruzinski, Serge. “Las cenizas del deseo: Homosexuales novohispanos a mediados del
siglo XVTL” In Sergio Ortega, ed., De la santidad a la perversion, o, de porque
no se cumplía la ley de Dios en la sociedad nohovispana. 1986 255-82.
. “Individualization and Acculuration: Confession Among the Nahuas of
Mexico from the Sixteenth Century to the Eighteenth Century.” In Asunción
Lavrin, ed., Sexuality and Marriage in Colonial Latin America. Lincoln, 1989:
96-115.
. Man-Gods in the Mexican Highlands: Indian Power and Colonial Society,
1520-1800. Stanford, 1989.
Hamnett, Ian, ed. Social Anthropology and Law. New York, 1977.
Haring, Clarence. The Spanish Empire in America. New York: 1947.
Harrington, Raymond P. “The Secular Clergy in the Diocese of Merida de Yucatan,
1780-1850: Their Origins, Careers, Wealth and Activities.” Ph.D. dissertation,
Catholic University of America, 1983.
Harris, Olivia, Brooke Larson, and Enrique Tandeter, eds., Ethnicity, Markets and
Migration in the Andes. Durham, 1995.
. La participación indígena en los mercados surandinos: Estratégias y
reproducción social, siglos XVI-XX. La Paz, 1987.
Haskett, Robert. Indigenous Rulers: An Ethnohistory of Town Govemement in Colonial
Cuernavaca. Albuquerque, 1991.
Heath, Dwight B. “New Patrons for Old: Changing Patron-Client Relationships in the
Bolivian Yungas.” In Arnold Strickton and Sidney M. Greenfield, eds., Structure
in Latin America: Patronage, Clientage and Power Systems. Albuquerque, 1996,
101-138.
Hemáez, Francisco Javier, ed. Colección de bulas, breves y otros documentos relativos a
la iglesia de América y Filipinas. 2 vols., Brussels, 1879.

286
Hicks, Frederick. “Politics, Power, and the Role of the Village Priest in Paraguay.” In
Dwight B. Heath, ed., Contemporary Cultures and Societies of Latin America: A
Reader in the Social Anthropology of Middle and South America, 2d ed. New
York, 1973, 387-95.
Hobsbawn, Eric. Primitive Rebels: Studies in Archaic Forms of Social Movement in the
19th and 20th Centuries. New York, 1965.
Hoffman, Werner. Las misiones jesuíticas entre los chiquitanos. Buenos Aires, 1979.
Huerta, María T., and Patricia Palacios, eds. Rebeliones indígenas en la época colonial.
1976.
Hunefeldt, Christine. “Comunidad, curas y comuneros hacia fines del periodo colonial:
Ovejas y pastores indomados en el Perú” HISLA: Revista Latinamericana de
Historia Económica y Social 2 (1983): 3-31.
Isem, Juan. La Formación del clero secular de Buenos Aires y la Compañía de Jesús.
Buenos Aires, 1936.
Jackson, Robert. “The Decline of the Hacienda in Cochabamba, Bolivia: The Case of the
Sacaba Valley, 1870-1929” Hispanic American Historical Review 69 (1989): 259-
281.
Jacobsen, Nils. Mirages of Transition: The Peruvian Altiplano, 1780-1930. Berkeley,
1993.
Johnson, H.B. “Portrait of a Portuguese Parish: Santa Maria de Alvarenga in 1719”
Estudios de Historia de Portugal 2 (1983): 181-201.
Jong, Lotte de. “Community Discourse: A Family Conflict in Eighteenth-Century
Coyotepec, Oaxaca.” In Simon Miller and Arij Ouweneel, eds., The Indian
Community of Colonial Mexico. Amsterdam, 1990.
Just, Estanislao. Aproximación a la historia de la Iglesia en Bolivia. La Paz, 1987.
Kizca, John, ed. The Indian in Latin American History: Resistance, Rebellion and
Acculturation. Wilmington, 1993.
Klein, Herbert S. Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society. New York, 1982.
■ Haciendas and “Ayllus”: Rural Society in the Bolivian Andes in the
Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Stanford, 1993.

287
Klor de Alva, J. Jorge. “Colonizing Souls: The Failure of the Indian Inquisition and the
Rise of Penitential Discipline.” In Mary Elizabeth Perry and Anne J. Cruz, eds.,
Cultural Encounters: The Impact of the Inquisition in Spain and the New World.
Berkeley, 1991, 3-22.
. “Spiritual Conflict and Accommodation in New Spain: Toward a Typology of
Aztec Responses to Christianity.” In George A. Collier, Renato I. Rosaldo, and
John D. Wirth, eds., The Inca and Aztec States, 1400-1800: Anthropology and
History. New York, 1982, 345-66.
Konetzke, Richard, ed. Colección de documentos para la historia de la formación social
de Hispanoamérica. 5 vols. Madrid, 1953-62.
Kubler, George. Mexican Architecture of the Sixteenth Century. 2 vols., New Haven,
1948.
Langer, Erick D. “Economic Geography and Ethnic Economies: Indian Trade in the
Andes.” In Lance H. Grahan, ed., Indian Trade in the Americas: A Comparative
Perspective. Lincoln, 1998.
Lanning, John T. Academic Culture in the Spanish Colonies. London, 1940.
. “The Church and the Enlightenment in the Universities” The Americas 15
(1959): 331-50.
Larson, Brooke. “Caciques, Class Structure and the Colonial State in Bolivia” Nova
Americana 2 (1979): 197-235.
. Colonialism and Agrarian Transformation in Bolivia: Cochabamba, 1550-
1900. Princeton, 1988.
. “Explotación y economía moral en los andes del sur andino: Hacia una
reconsideración crítica.” In Segundo Moreno Yáñez and Frank Solomon, eds.,
Reproducción y transformación de las sociedades andinas, siglos XVI-XX. Quito,
1991,2:441-480.
Lavrin, Asunción. “The Church as an Economic Institution.” In Richard E. Greenleaf,
ed., The Roman Catholic Church in Colonial Latin America. New York, 1971,
182-94.
. “Misión de la historia e historiografía de la iglesia en el periodo colonial
americano” Anuario de Estudios Americanos 46 (1989): 11-44.

288
. “Mundos en contraste: Cofradías rurales y urbanas en México a fines del siglo
XVm.” In Arnold J. Bauer, ed., La iglesia en la economía de América Latina,
siglos XVI a XVIII. 1986, 235-76.
. Sexuality and Marriage in Colonial Latin America. Lincoln, 1989.
Lea, Henry C. The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies. New York, 1908.
Lears, T. J. Jackson. “The Concept of Cultural Hegemony: Problems and Possibilities”
American Historical Review 90 (1985): 567-93.
Llano Restrepo, Maria Clara. La chicha, una bebida fermentada a través de la historia.
Bogotá, 1994.
Lockhart, James. The Nahuas After the Conquest. Stanford, 1992.
. Spanish Peru. Madison: 1968.
Lockhart, James, and Stuart B. Schwartz. Early Latin America: A History of Spanish
America and Brazil. Cambridge, 1983.
Lopétegui, León, and Felix Zubillaga. Historia de la iglesia en la América española
desde el descubrimiento hasta comienzos del siglo XIX: México, América Central,
Antillas. Madrid, 1965.
López Beltrán, Clara. Alianzas familiares: élite, género, y negocios en La Paz, siglo
XVII. Lima, 1998.
. Biografía de Bolivia. La Paz, 1993.
. Estructura económica de una sociedad colonial: Charcas en el siglo XVII. La
Paz, 1988.
López Menéndez, Felipe. El Arzobispado de Nuestra Señora de La Paz. La Paz, 1949.
. Compendio de Historia Eclesiástica de Bolivia. La Paz, 1965.
Luna, Keith P. Territories of Grace: Cultural Change in the Seventeenth-Century
Diocese of Grenoble. Berkeley, 1991.
MacCormack, Sabine. Religion in the Andes: Vision and Imagination in Early Colonial
Peru. Princeton, 1991.

289
MacLeod, Murdo J. “La espada de la Iglesia: Excomunión y la evolución de la lucha por
el control político y económico en Chiapas colonial, 1545-1700” Mesoamérica 20
(1990): 199-214. "
. "The Primitive Nation State, Delegation of Functions, and Results: Some
Examples from Early Colonial Central America." In Karen Spalding, ed., Essays
in the Political, Economic and Social History of Colonial Latin America. Newark
DE., 1982: 56-79.
Machicao González, César Augusto. Historia de Apolo y de la provincia de Franz
Tamayo. La Paz, 1990.
Maldonado Villagrán, David. 500 Años de Evangelización en Bolivia. La Paz, 1991.
Manrique, Nelson. Conquista y orden colonial. Lima, 1996.
Martín, Rivera, José de. “La vida cotidiana de la cristiandad americana.” In Enrique
Dussel, ed., Historia general de la Iglesia en América Latina, 5 vols. Salamanca,
1981,5:95-164.
Martínez Reyes, Fabriel. Finanzas de las 44 diócesis de Indias, 1515-1816. Bogotá,
1980.
Masuda, Shozo, Izumi Shimada, and Craig Morris, eds. Andean Ecology and
Civilization: An Interdisciplinary Perspective on Andean Ecological
Complementarity. Tokyo, 1967.
Mayer, Enrique. “Mestizo e indio: El contexto social de las relaciones interétnicas.” In
Fernando Fuenzalida, ed., El indio y el poder en el Perú rural. Lima, 1970, 87-
152.
Medina, José Toribio. Historia del Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición en
México. 2ded. 1952.
Merrill, William L. “Conversion and Colonialism in Northern Mexico: The Tarahumara
Response to the Jesuit Mission Program, 1601-1767.” In Robert W. Hefner, ed.,
Conversion to Christianity: Historical and Anthropological Perspectives on a
Great Transformation. Berkeley, 1993: 129-63.
Miller, Simon, and Arij Ouweneel, eds. The Indian Community of Colonial Mexico.
Amsterdam, 1990.

290
Morales, Francisco. Clero y política en México (1767-1834): Algunas ideas sobre la
autoridad, la independencia y la reforma eslesiástica. 1975.
Momer, Magnus. La corona española y los foráneos en los pueblos de indios de
América. Stockholm, 1970.
. The Expulsion of the Jesuits from Latin America. New York, 1965.
. Perfil de la sociedad rural del Cuzco a fines de la colonia. Lima 1978.
. Race Mixture in the History of Latin America. Boston, 1967.
Morse, Richard. “The Heritage of Latin America.” In Louis Hartz, ed., The Founding of
New Societies: Studies in the History of the United States, Latin America, South
Africa, Canada, and Australia. New York, 1964, 123-77.
Muller, Gene A. “The Church in Poverty: Bishops, Bourbons, and Tithes in Spanish
Honduras, 1700-1821.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kansas, 1982.
Murra, John V. “Aymara Lords and Their European Agents at Potosi” Nova Americana
(Turin) 1 (1978): 231-244.
. The Economic Organization of the Inca State. Greenwich CT, 1979.
. Formaciones económicas y políticas del mundo andino. Lima, 1975.
. Visita de los valles de Sonqo en los yunka de coca de La Paz (1568-70).
Madrid, 1992.
O’Dea, Thomas F. The Sociology of Religion. Englewood Cliffs NJ, 1966.
Olin, John C. Catholic Reform: From Cardenal Ximénez to the Council of Trent. New
York, 1990.
O’Phelan Godoy, Scarlett. “El norte y las revueltas anticlericales del siglo XVTO”
Historia y Cultura 12 (1979),1-17.
. “Por el rey, religión y la patria: Las juntas de Gobierno de 1809 en La Paz y
Quito” Boletín del Instituto Francés de Estudios Andinos 17 (1988): 61-80.
Ortner, Sherry B. “Theory in Anthropology Since the Sixties” Comparative Studies in
Society and History 26 (1984): 126-66.

291
Padden, Robert C. “The Colonial Church in New Spain: Era of Establishment.” Ph.D.
dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1959.
Pagden, A. R. The Fall of Natural Man: The American Indian and the Origins of
Comparative Ethnology. Cambridge, 1982.
. Spanish Imperialism and the Political Imagination. New Haven, 1990.
Palafox y Mendoza, Juan de. Manual de sacerdotes. 1664.
Parry, J. H. The Spanish Seaborne Empire. New York, 1966.
. The Spanish Theory of Empire in the Sixteenth Century. Cambridge MA,
1940.
Pastor, Rodolfo. “Los religiosos, los indios y el estado en la Mixteca, 1524-1810: Sobre
el trasfondo y función social de la ideología.” Paper presented to the Sixth
Conference of Mexican and U.S. Historians. Chicago, 1981.
Pease, Franklin. Curacas, reciprocidad, y riqueza. Lima, 1992.
Peel, J.D.Y. “Syncretism and Religious Change” Comparative Studies in Society and
History 10(1968): 121-41.
Peña Montenegro, Alonso de la. Itinerario para párochos de indios, en que se trata las
materias más particulares tocantes a ellos, para su buena administración.
Madrid, 1668.
Pérez de Velasco, Andrés Miguel. El ayudante de cura instruido en el porte a que le
obliga su dignidad en los deberes a que le estrecha su empleo y en la fructuosa
práctica de su ministerio. Pueblo, 1766.
Pescador Cantón, Juan Javier. De bautizados afieles difuntos: Familia y mentalidades
en una parroquia urbana: Santa Catarina de México, 1568-1820. 1992.
Phelan, John L. “Authority and Flexibility in the Spanish Imperial Bureaucracy”
Administrative Science Quarterly 5 (1960): 47-65.
. The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century: Bureaucratic politics in
the Spanish Empire. Madison, 1967.
. The Millennial Kingdom of the Franciscans in the New World. Berkeley,
1970.

292
Platt, Tristan. “Acerca del sistema tributario pre-toledano en el Alto Perú” Avances (La
Paz) 1 (1978): 33-44.
. “The Andean Soldiers of Christ: Confraternity Organization, the Mass of the
Sun and Regenerative Warfare in Rural Potosi (18th-20th Centuries)” Journal de
la Société des Americanistes 73 (1987): 139-92.
. Estado boliviano y ayllu andino: Tierra y tributo en el norte de Potosí. Lima,
1982.
Polo de Ondegardo, Juan. “Informe al licenciado Briviesca de Munatones sobre la
perpetuidad de la encomiendas en el Perú [1516]” Revista Histórica (Lima) 13
(1940), 125-196.
Poma de Ayala, Felipe Guamán. Nueva Crónica y buen gobierno [1615]. 3 vols., edited
by John V. Murra and Rolena Adomo. Mexico City, 1980.
Poole, Stafford. “The Third Mexican Provincial Council of 1585 and the Reform of the
Diocesan Clergy.” In Jeffrey A. Cole, ed., The Church and Society in Latin
America. New Orleans, 1984, 21-37.
Porras Muñoz, Guillermo. El clero secular y la evangelización de la Nueva España.
1987.
Portugal Ortíz, Max. La esclavitud negra en las épocas coloniales y nacionales de
Bolivia. La Paz, 1977.
Powers, Karen. Andean Journeys: Migration, Ethnogenesis and the State in Colonial
Quito. Albuquerque, 1995.
. “Indian Migration and Socio-political Change in the Audiencia of Quito,
1534-1700.” Ph.D. dissertation. New York University, 1990.
Quejerazu Lewis, Roy. Impacto hispano-indígena en Charcas: análisis historial del
coloniaje. La Paz, 1996.
Quesada, Vicente G. La vida intelectual en la América Española. Buenos Aires, 1917.
Querejazu Calvo, Roberto. Historia de la Iglesia Católica en Charcas. La Paz, 1995.
Rafael, Vicente. “Confession, Conversion, and Reciprocity in Early Tagalog Colonial
Society” Comparative Studies in Society and History 29 (1987): 320-39.

293
Ramirez, Susan E. Provincial Patriarchs: Land Tenure and the Economics of Power in
Colonial Peru. Albuquerque, 1986.
Rappaport, Joanne. The Politics of Memory: Native Historical Interpretation in the
Colombian Andes. Cambridge, 1990.
Rasnake, Roger. Domination and Cultural Resistance: Authority and Power among an
Andean People. Durham, 1988.
Recopilación de leyes de los reynos de las Indias. 4 vols. Facsimile of 1681 original.
Madrid, 1973.
Ricard, Robert. The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico. Berkeley, 1966.
Ricker, Dennis P. “The Lower Secular Clergy of Central Mexico, 1921-1857.” Ph.D.
dissertation, University of Texas, 1982.
Rivera Cusicanqui, Silvia. “El mallku y la sociedad colonial en el siglo XVII: El caso de
Jesús de Machaca” Avances (La Paz) 1 (1978): 7-27.
Rivera Pagán, Luis N. Entre el oro y lafé: el dilema de América. San Juan, 1995.
Rodríguez Cruz, Agüeda María. Historia de las universidades hispanoamericanas.
Bogotá, 1973.
Saignés, Thierry. En busca del poblamiento étnico. La Paz, 1986.
. Los andes orientales: Historia de un olvido. Cochabamba, 1985.
. “Las etnias de Charcas frente al sistema colonial (siglo XVII): Ausentismo y
fugas en el debate sobre la mano de obra indígena (1595-1665)” Jahrbuchfür
Geschichte von Staat, Wirschaft und Gesellschaft Lateinamerikas (Cologne) 21
(1984): 27-75.
. “Políticas étnicas en Bolivia colonial, siglos XVI-XIX,” Historia Boliviana
(Cochabamba) 3.1 (1983): 1-30.
Saignés, Thierry, F.M. Renard Casevitz and A.C. Taylor, eds. Al este de los Andes:
Relaciones entre las sociedades Amazónicas y Andinas entre los siglos XV y XVII.
Lima, 1986.
Salomon, Frank, and George L. Urioste, eds. The Huarochiri Manuscript: A Testament of
Ancient and Colonial Andean Religion. Austin, 1991.

294
Sánchez-Albomoz, Nicolás. Indios y tributos en el Alto Perú. Lima, 1978.
. The Population of Latin America: A History. Berkeley, 1974.
Santa Cruz, Victor. Historia colonial de La Paz. La Paz, 1942.
Sariola, Sakari. Power and Resistance: The Colonial Heritage in Latin America. Ithaca
NY, 1972.
Schmitt, Karl M. “The Clergy and the Independence of New Spain” Hispanic American
Historical Review 34 (1954): 289-312.
Schwaller, John Frederick. The Church and Clergy in Sixteenth-Century Mexico.
Albuquerque, 1987.
. Origins of Church Wealth in Mexico: Ecclesiastical Revenues and Church
Finances, 1523-1600. Albuquerque, 1985.
Scott, James C. Comparative Political Corruption. Madison, 1972.
. Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. New Haven, 1990.
. “Hegemony and the Peasantry” Politics and Society 7 (1977): 267-296.
. The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southern
Asia. New Haven, 1976.
. “Protest and Profanation: Agrarian Revolt and the Little Tradition” Theory
and Society 7 (1977): 1-38.
. Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. New Haven,
1985.
Seed, Patricia. “The Colonial Church as an Ideological State Apparatus.” In Roderic A.
Camp, Charles A. Hale, and Josefina Zoraida Vásquez, eds., Intellectuals and
Power in Mexico. Los Angeles, 1991, 397-415.
Shiels, W. Eugene. King and Church. Chicago, 1961.
Silverblatt, Irene. “Political Memories and Colonizing Sumbols: Santiago and the
Peruvian Mountain Gods of Colonial Peru.” In Jonathan D. Hill, ed., Rethinking
History and Myth: Indigenous South American Perspectives on the Past. Urbana
IL, 1988, 174-94.

295
. Sun, Moon, and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Spanish
Peru. Princeton, 1987.
Smith, Carol A. “Local History in Global Context: Social and Economic Transitions in
Western Guatemala” Comparative Studies in Society and History 26 (1984): 193-
228.
Solano, Francisco, “La vida cotidiana en el Alto Perú a mediados del siglo XVII”
Jomadas de Andalucía en América. Seville, 1984.
Soux, Maria Luisa. Apolobamba Caupolicán, Franz Tamayo: historia de una región
paceña. La Paz, 1991.
Spalding, Karen. “Hacienda-Village Relations in Andean Society to 1830” Latin
American Perspectives 2 1 (1975): 107-121.
. Huarochiri: An Andean Society under Inca and Spanish Rule. Stanford, 1984.
. “Social Climbers: Changing Patterns of Mobility among the Indians of Peru”
Hispanic American Historical Review 50 (1970): 645-664.
Sparks, Rosa Consuelo. “The Role of the Clergy During the Struggle for Independence in
Peru.” Ph.D. dissertation, University of Pittsburgh, 1972.
Stem, Steve J., Peru’s Indian Peoples and the Challenge of Spanish Conquest:
Huamanga to 1640. Madison, 1982.
Stem, Steve J., ed. Resistance, Rebellion, and Consciousness in the Andean Peasant
World, 18th to 2Cfh Centuries. Madison, 1987.
Szuchman, Mark D.. ed. The Middle Period in Latin America. Boulder, 1989.
Tandeter, Enrique. Coercion and Market: Silver Mining in Colonial Potosí, 1692-1826.
Albuquerque, 1993.
Tau Anzoátegui, Victor. La ley en América Hispana del descubrimiento a la
emancipación. Madrid, 1987.
Taussig, Michael T. The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America. Chapel Hill,
1980.
. Shamanism, Colonialism, and the Wild Man: A Study in Terror and Healing.
Chicago, 1986.

r
296
Taylor, William B. “Between Global Process and Local Knowledge: An Inquiry into
Early Latin American Social History, 1500-1900.” In Olivier Zunz, ed., Reliving
the Past: The Worlds of Social History. Chapel Hill, 1985, 115-90.
. Drinking, Homicide & Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages. Stanford,
1979.
. Landlord and Peasant in Colonial Oaxaca. Stanford, 1972.
. Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eighteenth-Century
Mexico. Stanford, 1996.
TePaske, John. “General Tendencies and Secular Trends in the Economies of Mexico
and Peru, 1750-1800: The View from the Cajas of Mexico and Lima.” In Nils
Jacobsen and Hans-Jurgen Puhle, eds., The Economies of Mexico and Peru
During the Late Colonial Period, 1760-1810. Berlin, 1986, 316-39.
Thompson, E. P. The Making of the English Working Class. London, 1963.
. “The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century” Past
and Present (London) 50 (1971): 76-136.
Tibesar, Antonine. “The Alternativa: A study in Spanish-Creole Relations in
Seventeenth-Century Peru” The Americas 9 (1955): 229-83.
. “The Lima Pastors, 1750-1820: Their Origins and Studies as Taken from
Their Autobiographies” The Americas 28 (1971): 39-56.
. “The Shortage of Priests in Latin America: A Historical Evaluation of Werner
Promper’s Priestemot in Latinamerika” The Americas 22 (1966): 413-20.
Twinam, Ann. Public Lives, Private Secrets: Gender, Honor, Sexuality, and Illegitimacy
in Colonial Spanish America. Stanford, 1999.
Valdizán, José Gamio. Historia Naval del Perú. Lima, 1984.
Van Oss, Adriaan C. Catholic Colonialism: A Parish History of Guatemala, 1524-1821.
Cambridge, 1986.
• “Comparing Colonial Bishoprics in Spanish America” Boletín de Estudios
Latino-americanos y del Caribe, no. 24. (1978) 27-66.

. “Pueblos y parroquias en Suchitepéquez colonial” Mesoamérica 7 (1984):
161-79.
297
Van Young, Eric. “Conflict and Solidarity in Indian Village Life: The Guadalajara
Region in the Late Colonial Period” Hispanic American Historical Review 64
(1984): 55-79.
Vega, Garcilaso de la. Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru,
translated by Harold Livermore. Austin, 1994.
Villanueva Urteaga, Horacio, ed. Cuzco en 1689: Economía y sociedad en el sur andino.
Lima, 1982.
Wachtel, Nathan. The Vision of the Vanquished: The Spanish Conquest of Peru Through
Indian Eyes, 1530-1570. New York, 1977.
Weber, Max. From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, translated and edited by H. H.
Gerth and C. Wright Mills. New York, 1946.
. The Sociology of Religion, translated by Ephraim Fischoff. Boston, 1963.
. The Theory of Social and Economic Organization, translated and edited by A.
M. Henderson and Talcot Parsons. New York, 1947.
Wightman, Ann W. Indigenous Migration and Social Change: The Forasteros of Cuzco,
1570-1720. Durham, 1990.
Wolf, Eric R. Europe and the People Without History. Berkeley, 1982.
Zulawski, Ann. “Social Differentiation, Gender and Ethnicity: Urban Indian Women in
Colonial Bolivia, 1640-1725” Latin American Research Review 25 2 (1990): 93-
113.
. “They Eat from Their Labor”: Work and Social Change in Colonial Bolivia.
Pittsburgh, 1995.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Caleb Paul Stevenson Finegan was bom in Tucson, AZ, in 1966, and has attended
schools in Medford, OK, Oklahoma City, OK, Galveston, TX, Nashville, TN, Madrid,
Spain, and Gainesville, EL. He earned his B.A. (1988) in Spanish and M.A. (1993) in
Latin American Studies from Vanderbilt University. He earned his Ph.D. from the
University of Florida in History in 1999. He is married to Beth Huson Finegan and has a
one son, Noah Lewis Finegan.
298

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
rey Needell
(ssociate Professor of History^
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Kathryn tfums
Assistant Professor of History
I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Tim Cleaveláhd
Assistant-Professor of History

I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to
acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Associate Professor of Religion
This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the Department of
History in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate School and was
accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December 1999
Dean, Graduate School




PAGE 1

PRIESTS PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISIT A: THE MORAL ECONOMY OF VILLAGE LIFE IN THE DIOCESE OF LA PAZ 1680-1730 By CALEB PAUL STEVENSON FINEGAN A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 1999

PAGE 2

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Funding for the research used to complete this dissertation came from the J. William Fulbright U S Student Programs Foundation, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Florida, and the Tinker Foundation (Center for Latin American Studies at the University of Florida) I have benefitted immeasurably over the years from the support of several individuals who whether by providing comic relief or a different sense of priorities rescued me from the sometimes perilous throes of prolonged academic pursuit. Among those who come to mind are Preston Eckel, Tim Fox Linda Fussell Albekis, Steve Bombaugh, Malinda Carlen, John, Brad, and Christie Wilson, Diana Connolly, Marcus Nenn, John Ashbrook, Marcus Harvey, Mark Smith, Barbara Thoney, Dave Tegeder, Faith McCarthy, Steve Noll, Jack Henderson, Mike Gamble, Chris Beckman, Rich Baker, Adam Hughes, Ken Siewert, Jim Doherty, Joy Revels, Erin O'Keefe, Mitch Stacy, Kevin Fritz, Chris Lane, Paula van der Veen, and Chris and Cathy Lewis A few select friends from my hometowns of Galveston, Nashville, and Gainesville deserve thanks for their long-term support and encouragement. They include all the members of the Cassill family, Jenni Duke, Kerri McDaniel Miller, Lisa Fasano Cartwright, Frank and Louis Montalbano, Andrea, Carroll, and Stephanie Sunseri, Richard Shepherd, Kelly Forester, Allen Mathews, Jamie Arens, Jud and Cathy Magrin, Toni 11

PAGE 3

Thompson and Emma Silver My three best friends from Vanderbilt get special acknowledgment since they supervised first-hand my progress to higher levels of knowledge Despite their efforts to distract me from any and all intellectual development words cannot describe the affection and respect that I have for Sean Connolly Scott Myers and Hugh T. McGill Colleagues who have contributed ideas or suggestions to the present study and who have exhibited patience as forbearing listeners to my countless stories oflong deceased parish priests include Joe Thompson, Doug Klepper, Anne Marie O Donovan Paul Wojtalewicz Jeremy Stahl, Doug Tompson and Paul Lokken Jeremy Clark with convivial spirit helped me complete the few maps which complement the text Faculty and staff members from Vanderbilt University, the Universidad de Madrid Computlense and t he University of Florida who have spurred my interest in Spain and Latin America or w ho have helped in my academic training are : Richard Andrews Francille Bergquist Pepe Cepeda Norma Antillon Marshall Eakin Stephen Houston Simon Collier Jane Landers Paula Covington Leonard Folgarait Betty Corwin Rene Akins Kimberly Brown Barbara Guynn Linda Opper David Geggus Jeffrey Needell Kathryn Bums Mark Thurner, Harold Wilson, Eldon Turner Geoffrey Giles, Tim Cleaveland Anna Peterson Manuel Vasquez, and Michael Gannon From the archives in Spain and Bolivia Socorro Preus and Norman Reyes Davila deserve special appreciat i on Four people stand out among those who have been instrumental in my academic progress First m y father Philip Finegan, gave me the incentive and confidence to pu r sue the best education w e could afford Red Cassil was and is the intellectual I have always aspired to be Tom Spaccarelli has been my soul mate and main source of guidance since I lll

PAGE 4

was twenty years old And Murdo MacLeod has provided the direction, wisdom, and congeniality rarely seen I suspect in dissertation advisors Finally, a few other members of my family deserve mention because of their undying faith in me as I earned this degree Gertie Love Finegan is the best dog a family could ever have My in-laws, Bob and Betty Huson, could not have possibly been more understanding and supportive of their son-in-law as he labored through with significant help from their daughter his years as a graduate student. Sam Finegan and Marta Stevenson Sullivan are the people I know best in this world; I am so very proud and thankful to have them as my older brother and sister. I can hardly express what my mother, Paula, has meant to me throughout my childhood and adult life I thank her from the bottom of my soul for loving me so unconditionally, and for providing the best example of how to live one s life In a meaningful way, this achievement is as much hers as it is my own Lastly and with indescribable emotion and sincerity, I acknowledge my wife of eight years, Beth Huson Finegan She is in short, my strength and inspiration. Any accomplishments I have made in the last ten years; any dreams I have been fortunate enough to realize ; and all the hopes I have for the future depend, most profoundly, on her participation in my life Beth's patience, wide smile, tenderness, hearty laugh, and tremendous mind have been sources of energy and comfort To borrow a phrase from one of my favorite song-writers: "If ever there's an angel, it is you .. This work is dedicated entirely to her and to our beautiful son of four months, Noah Lewis Finegan lV

PAGE 5

TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .. . ....... .. .. .. .. ........ . .. . ... . .. .. ..... ... ........ .... ....... ...... .. 11 ABSTRACT. ............. . . . . .... .. .. .. ......... ........... ... ....... ............... ........... .... .. ....... vu CHAPTERS 1 INTRODUCTION ......... .. .. . . ....... . .. .. . . ... . . ...... . ... ....... .. .... .. ...... . ... ... . 1 2. THE SETTING. ...... .. .. . .. .. .... .. ... ... ..... .. .... .... ... ....................... . . . .. .. .. .. 17 The Audiencia of Charcas and the City of La Paz. .. .. ..... . .. .. .. . ... ... . .. .. ..... .... 18 Catholicism in Charcas, 1535-1680 .. ......... ....... : ...... . ....... ... ........ .......... ..... 31 The Pastoral Visita y Escrutinio .. . .. ... ... .... ..... ........ ............................ .... .. . 43 3 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS . . .... .. .. . .. .. . ... . .. .. . ..... ... . 58 Sources and Samples. .. .. .. . ................. .. ...... .. ............................ ... .... .. .. .. ..... . 59 Priests as Members of Colonial Andean Society ....... .. ... .. ........ .. ...... ... . .... . 66 4 PRIESTLY EDUCATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS ....... .. .. .... ......... . 86 5 THE VILLAGE VOICE : WITNESS TESTIMONIES, 1680-1700 .. .......... .. 112 6 REACTIONS AND RULINGS, 1680-1700 .. ........ .................... .. .. ... ........ .. 150 Priests on Defense .............. .. ... ... . ..... .. ... .... . ......................................... ... .. 150 Final Judgments ...... .. ...... .. . ... .. . .. .. .. . . ... .... ..... .. . ........ .... ........ .... .... . ...... 171 Three Case Studies ....... .. ... .. .............. . .. . . ............... .. .. . ..... .. . ... . ....... .. .. 187 Antonio de Vivero: Parish Priest of Ancoraymes ........................................... .. 187 Curas of Sapaqui : Bernardo Pacheco y Zerguera and Esteban de Prado y Raya ........ ... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199 7 PRIESTS PARISHIONERS, AND THE PASTORAL VISITA, 1680-1730 .. 213 Bargaining by Complaint and Self-Defense, 1680-1700 ....... .. . .. .. .. ... . .. .. .... .... 215 Crimes Final Sentences and the Colonial Bureaucracy .. .... .. .. . ..... . ....... . .. .. 234 The Decline of the Pastoral Visita after 1700 : Some Explanations and Ramifications .... .. . .... ....................... ..... .... .......... ... ........ .. .. .. . .. . .... 240 V

PAGE 6

8 CONCLUSION ..... .. .. ........ .. ..... ................... ..... ..... ............ .................. .. .. 262 APPENDICES A DIOCESAN PARISHES IN 1627 .. ........ .. . ... ... ........ ...... .... .. . ... .... .. . ... .... ... .. 271 B THE VISIT A INTERROGATION .... ..... ... . ..... ..... .. ... ....... .... ..... ... .. ... . ...... 276 C THE SENTENCIA FINAL OF PEDRO DE MONTESDOCA. ........ ... ..... . .. . 279 REFERENCES ...... .. . .... ..... .. ...... .. ...... . ...... ....... .. . ........... .... .... .......... . .. ..... ..... 280 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. ...... ... ................... .... ....... . .......... .. .... ..... .. . .. .. . ....... 298 Vl

PAGE 7

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy PRIESTS PARISHIONERS AND THE PASTORAL VISIT A: THE MORAL ECONOMY OF VILLAGE LIFE IN THE DIOCESE OF LAP AZ. 1680-1730 By CALEB PAUL STEVENSON FINEGAN Chairman : Murdo J. MacLeod Major Department: History December 1999 This dissertation focuses in general on how parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 managed their li v es as cultural brokers between the Spanish crown and the predominantl y indigenous communities they served Specifically I explore the possible causes for and the character of contested relations between members of the secular clergy and their parishioners as reported to ecclesiastical officials who periodicall y v isited Indian v illag e s of this jurisdiction throughout the period under re v iew I conclude among other things tha t priests and their parishioners engaged in constant negotiations with each group vying fo r ad v antages respect and financial benefits according to a constantl y e v ol v ing y et essenti a ll y consistent view of social norms and obligations Theoretical support for m y argument comes from E P Thompson s ideas on the moral economy of the poor ," vu

PAGE 8

which he argued gave legitimacy to the English crowd s demands for fair if not uncorruptible, market practices in eighteenth-century England Like the riots which served as a medium for the working people of England to voice their objections in the late eighteenth century I argue that the pastoral visita~.inspection) as practiced in the 1680s and 1690s proved to be an effective tool of social and political bargaining between priests and their parishioners It was effective because it served as a check on parish priests the majority of whom allegedly sought to abuse their positions of authority for personal gain and concomitantl y empowered native elites b y providing them an opportunity to air grievances on behalf of their exploited communities. After 1697 the visita ceased to be an institution that parishioners particularly Indians could rely on to negotiate for relief or ad v antage This was due in part to more rela-.,;:ed enforcement of Church policies by the bishops of the earl y eighteenth century and because tra v el and administrative duties were hampered b y a series of epidemics which plagued the region in the late 1700s and throughout the 1710s Vlll

PAGE 9

CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION To the first-time visitor's eye and mind, the transition from the tranquility of the Bolivian altiplano to the confusion that dominates street life in that country s biggest city is sudden and astonishing I first traveled to Nuestra Senora de La Paz in the summer of 1994 as a student and a tourist. I remember being rudely introduced to the city by means of its offspring, El Alto, with its squalid sprawl of makeshift homes, muddied streets, and darting pedestrians By the time our bus began its descent from El Alto to La Paz, my imagination had taken firm hold of my senses, and I wondered to myself how I would manage to complete my studies, let alone survive, in such a place The first sight of La Paz took my breath away, both figuratively and literally Located at between 12 000 and 11,000 feet above sea level, depending on how far down the valley you are it resembles a large, irregularly shaped bowl with skyscrapers at the base and shacks perched on cliffs which rise all the way up to the rim. As in most big cities around the world the contrast of affluence and poverty is immediately striking Most of the wealth is concentrated in the downtown area and further down the valley In these zones, bunches of business people with cell phones dress in tailored suits and drive Mercedes Benz Sports Utility Vehicles. At the higher elevations, where the poorer pacenos live, running water is rare, electrical and phone lines dangle haphazardly from posts and homes, and people work hard to climb and descend the dirt and gravel streets 1

PAGE 10

2 which wash away every year during the rainy season from November to March The rich and poor, and those in between, however, are not segregated in La Paz; the city's central avenues and main plazas overflow with middle-class families, well-to-do cholas, half clothed beggars shoe-shine boys, and street kids of all socioeconomic classes playing soccer with their T-shirts on the ground as goal markers I appreciated in the first few hours after arriving in La Paz the appeal and the charm of the city's stark human contrasts I came to La Paz to study native religion during the colonial period I had learned from a few American scholars of an ecclesiastical archive there which had scarcely been investigated by historians I had been told that the Archivo Central Can6nigo Felipe Lopez Menendez (the Archive of the Archbishopric of La Paz) may contain some cases involving Indians accused of witchcraft and idolatry After making contact with the archivist Professor Norman Reyes Davila, and perusing the index of the main series of documents, I determined that nothing of the sort existed in this particular archive With little money to travel elsewhere (to Sucre and the Archive Nacional, perhaps), and since I genuinely liked the atmosphere, if not the altitude, of La Paz, I decided to stay and focus my attention on what appeared to be the documentary strength of the Archivo Central a series of pastoral inspections called visitas y escrutinios. Anachronistic considerations aside, I decided after a few days of reading these primary records that certain elements of human activity had changed little in the city of La Paz in the last three hundred or so years First and foremost as arguably the most "Indian" of all South American nations, Bolivia as a whole still retains an indigenous quality about it ; the Aymara culture in particular dominates the countryside around La Paz

PAGE 11

3 and the Lake Titicaca region Mixed in to this cultural and ethnic majority in varying proportions depending mostly on the distance from urban areas are people of ostensibly different backgrounds and socioeconomic levels Indeed apart from the cholas and the men dressed in traditional Andean garb it is difficult especially as an outsider to understand the complexity of cultural variations that now defines modem Bolivia But Bolivians of different ranks and ethnicities as stated earlier do not live insulated and separate lives As profoundly public people their relations, interactions and interconnections are part of the public forum which can be said to constitute social life in this land-locked Andean nation It is at this point at this confluence of human activity that life in Bolivia today I suspect coincides with that of the past. Indeed the most striking feature of the visita y escrutinio cases that I came to know that summer in 1994 was that they dealt precisely with this issue of public exchange, popular action and the interrelationships between peoples of different cultural backgrounds and legacies Th i s dissertation examines how parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 managed their lives as cultural brokers between the Spanish Crown and the predominantly indigenous communities they served. Specifically I explore the possible causes for and the character of contested relations between members of the secular clergy and their parishioners as reported to ecclesiastical officials who periodically visited Indian villages of this jurisdiction throughout the period under review William Ta y lor Nancy Farriss, and David Brading, among others have confirmed in their respective studies of religious life in colonial Latin America that parish priests

PAGE 12

4 operated as agents of both the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church 1 Especially during the Hapsburg era no sharp line had divided secular and religious life 2 so priests particularly those working in Indian villages were expected to maintain public order uphold Christian morality judge and discipline their parishioners according to a strict social and religious ethic and perhaps most importantly mediate the often delicate relationships between God the Spanish state and the members of their congregations Each of these scho l ars demonstrates that in the course of managing these responsibilities the moral religious and sociopolitical authority of parish priests did not go unchallenged That priests enjoyed a privileged position in the hierarchical colonial society and that they often desired a comfortable, if not prosperous life added dimensions to the strained relations they sometimes had with other colonial groups namely royal authorities and their own parishioners 1 William Taylor Magistrates of the Sacred: Priests and Parishioners in Eigtheenth-Centu ry Mexico (Stanford : Stanford University Press 1996) ; Nancy Farriss Crown and Clergy in C olonial Mexico, 1 7 59-1821 (London : Athlone 1968) ; David Brading Church and State in Bourbon Mexico : The Diocese of Michoacan 1 7 49-1810 (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 1994) Other works on the secular clergy in colonial Latin Am e rica include John Frederick Schwaller The Church and Clergy in SixteenthC entury Mexico (Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press 1987) ; Schwaller Origin s of C hurch Wealth in Mexico (Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press 1985) ; Adriaan Van Oss Catholic Catholicism : A Parish History of Guatemala, 1524-1821 (Camb r idge : Cambridge University Press 1986) ; Lincoln Draper Archbishops Canons and Priests : The Interaction of Religious and Social Values in the Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Bolivia." Ph D diss ., University of New Mexico 1989 ; and Raymond Patrick Harrington "The Secular Clergy in the Diocese of Merida de Yucatan, 1780-1850 : Their Origins, Careers, Wealth, and Activities, Ph.D. diss ., Catholic Universit y of America 1983 2 Taylor Magistrates of the Sacred, 12

PAGE 13

5 All three of these scholars concentrate on the Catholic clergy in late colonial Mexico, and they dedicate much of their attention to the Spanish crown's efforts to control priests during the contentious era of the Bourbon reforms Farriss considers the last two decades of the eighteenth century as a period of crisis between Church and State a crisis provoked and sustained in large part by a basic conflict between the State's need to exert authority over a powerful and influential clergy and the latter's claim to exemption from that authority ." 3 Similarly, Taylor focuses in part on the problems that erupted between secular priests and Bourbon district governors when priests perceived their judicial jurisdiction to be threatened by new initiatives implemented in the last four decades of the eighteenth century Brading, in his discussion of priests and laity, basically follows Farriss lead and accounts specifically for the umest created by royal laws that challenged priests legal authority in the Diocese ofMichoacan after 1795 Unlike Farriss, who scarcely discusses how parishioners fit into these relations between religious and secular authorities Taylor and Brading are more cognizant of the nature of grass-roots tensions and of the social and political nuances of the relationship between priests and their parishioners While Brading focuses more on elements of priestly power, methods of coercion, and the apparent acceptance by some members of the secular and regular clergy of some aspects of native religion, Taylor is more interested in how priests performed as brokers between two cultural worlds. He writes : He was both a father and a stranger, traditionally required to stand apart and above, his conduct to be measured by a higher standard Parishioners were drawn to the priest by his spiritual power, his ability to sanctify the 3 Farriss, Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico, ix

PAGE 14

local community and his patronage in parlous times but they found themselves distanced from him by his demands for money, labor and obedience [ and] by his institutional ties 4 6 This study of the parish priests who lived and worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 builds on Taylor s emphasis on personal relations since I seek to achieve a better understanding of how these men figured into the broad social matrix that was village life in the southern Andes in the mid-colonial period Specifically I am interested in why in spite of their duties to serve as agents of a protective Spanish crown and as spiritual models of proper conduct a majority of secular priests who served in this distri c t during the last two decades of the seventeenth century had to defend themselves against widespread charges of corruption and sacerdotal neglect. Surely just as in Bourbon Me x ico priests who worked in the Diocese of La Paz one hundred years earlier engaged in legal and moral disputes with secular magistrates over matters of authorit y and jurisdiction but the focus here is squarely on the allegations of impropriety brought by membe r s of their congregations, most of whom were Indians One of my main arguments is that throughout the period under review but most vividly in the 1680 s and 1690s priests parishioners and the visiting bishops or v isitadores genera/es operated within a moral economy that saw each group bargain from fairly equitable footing for advantage legitimacy and social order. The medium of contact the instrument which enabled representatives of these three groups to articulate their sentiments attitudes and opinions was the episcopal visita which, I argue empowered Indian witnesses during the 1680s and 1690s with a valuable tool to resist colonial policies 4 Taylor Magistrates of the Sacred 25.

PAGE 15

7 and forms of exploitation which they deemed unfair unscrupulous or against the common good of their communities As I discuss in the second half of Chapter 7 this era of overt negotiations bargaining unwritten contracts, and jostling for power profit, and favor at least as seen through the lens of the visita y escrutio process fell apart after 1700 This was in part due to the fact that after this date the visita marginalized the primary voice of previous discontent monolingual Indians and because the visita itself became an infrequent and undependable source through which native elites could air their grievances Which other outlets native elites sought to voice their displeasure remains at least in terms of the present study a topic of future research, but surely even if with reduced numbers they found other ways (perhaps through corregidores) to negotiate boundaries of acceptable conduct with village priests Taylor s explicit goal in Magistrates of the Sacred which studies the role of the secular priests in the Archdiocese of Mexico and the Diocese of Guadalajara, is to examine the social political and religious lives of parish priests and to offer several perspectives on how public life was organized and to gauge the scope and consequences of some Bourbon administrative reforms 5 He attests also to the effectiveness of parish priests who served as the grass-roots agents of social control whose dedication and loyalty emboldened Spanish imperial efforts to maintain control of most of its original American territories without the expense of a standing army 6 In fulfilling these goals he 5 Ibid 3 6 F arris made this same point nearly thirty years earlier when she remarked, "Whatever its gradations clerical influence was a strong force in colonial society not only in Mexico but throughout the entire Indies, a force which had significant political and

PAGE 16

8 is mostly successful ; Taylor s book is a veritable gold mine of useful data on priests their social backgrounds educations behavior career paths religious views involvement in secular activities and on how priests responded to the Bourbon initiatives which ostensibly reduced their capacities as authority figures But Taylor does not ignore how Indian parishioners played a role in the clergy s development and influence He d i scusses among other things their views on Christianity and native religion their keen predilection for miracles and other Christian icons like Santiago and the image of Guadalupe their participation in Church activities and finally their involvement in the movement toward Independence after 1810 Magistrate s of the Sacred has influenced the present study in three important ways. First it has served as a guide for how to organize my thoughts on the different levels of interaction between priests and other social groups and how religious life and public life often co i ncided during the colonial period Second Taylor has written a resource book that contains information on seemingly every imaginable element of Catholicism as it w as practiced and administered in colonial Spanish America Third and most importantly for my emphasis on conflict and patterns of domination his abundan t examples of the controversies that arose between parish priests and parishioners provide useful sources of comparison for my own ideas on the motives and essential qualities of social implications i n the history of the Spanish empire Whether condemning or praising Spanish rule in America both contemporary observers and present-day historians agree that a large share of the credit for maintaining this rule for almost three centuries belongs to the colonial clergy The peaceful subordination of a vast empire with only a token force of troops during most that period was possible . because the priests and bishops constantly impressed upon the people their duty to render obedience and devotion to their temporal sovereign as well as to God. Crown and Clergy in Colonial Mexico 3

PAGE 17

9 priestly behavior during the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries in the southern Andes Unfortunately while Taylor has much to say about dissension between priests and parishioners he offers at various points for example snapshot theoretical explanations for popular action and how this affected competition for pueblo leadership he is so wary of the hazards of generalization that his many contextual citations of contested relations lack a general theoretical construct. Nevertheless he offers a view of the secular clergy rarely found i n historical scholarship, and several of his conclusions relate directly to the present stud y. For example Taylor finds as I do, that Indian parishioners were players more than counterplayers in the colonial order even in their resistance to colonial officials new laws 7 His analysis furthermore of the explosion of disputes over clerical fees in the second half of the e i ghteenth century shares many of the same qualities found in the era of intense negotiation and bargaining (1680s and 1690s) that I discuss in Chapters 5 6 and 7 8 On the fissures c aused by overcharging for religious services he rightly contends that the fees were as much a pretext as the cause for dispute an opening advertised by the colonial administrat i on that engaged deeper tensions over control among competing interests and order wi thin the community or local territory 9 In this respect he understands that pe r sonal ambitions as well as traditional feuds and village fact i onalism 7 Taylor Ma gi strates of the Sacred 345 8 Ibid 425 9 Ibid ., 345

PAGE 18

10 played key roles in the controversies which arose between priests and parishioners Frequently and as I also point out priests found themselves in the middle of interand intra-village political squabbles which had little to do with their job performance or character Many p r iests were as a result compelled to defend their actions before vis i ta officials And finall y, Taylor cites a number of different sources of conflict that strained relations between priests and their parishioners and confirms as I do in Chapter 5, that political wrangling clerical fees, and other economic demands were at the heart of most disputes 10 In the end while Taylor is interested in the multiple and evolving interfaces between priests and their Indian parishioners (he rightly acknowledges by the way that these relationships were constantly being redefined reformulated and contested) he generall y supports the idea that erring priests were members of a corrupt colonial society who like other colonial agents of control sometimes abused their positions of authority for personal gain Certainly civil and criminal trials ecclesiastical visitas and other Church records contain ample evidence from Mexico Alto Peru and throughout colonial Latin America of a delinquent clergy which sought to enrich itself at the expense of the poorer and more vulnerable sectors of society But a more difficult task and the one which I take on in this study is to reconstruct elements of the social and moral order which enabled these priests to take advantage of their positions of power while remaining in good (or at leas t acceptable) standing with the bishop's office other royal officials and in many cases the v ery communities they allegedly exploited. 10 Ibid 35 3.

PAGE 19

11 To help explain the nature of priestly misconduct and the ways in which ecclesiastical officials responded to allegations of impropriety and to understand how bishops priests and parishioners managed the pressures anxieties, and temptations of a corrupt paternalistic society such as colonial Spanish America E P Thompson s ideas on the moral economy of the eighteenth-century English crowd are instructive In his analysis of the cost and supply of food staples and the impact fluctuating prices and corrupt market activity had on uprisings among the poor, Thompson argues mainly that riots occurred not "spasmodically . [ as] rebellions of the belly," but rather as supremely organized disciplined reactions by people defending traditional rights 11 I mean that t he men and women in the crowd were informed by the belief that they were defending traditional rights or customs ; and in general that they were supported by the wider consensus of the community . it is of course true that riots were triggered off by soaring prices by malpractices among dealers or by hunger But these grievances operated within a popular con s ensus as to what were legitimate and what were illegitimate practices in marketing milling baking etc This in tum was grounded upon a consistent t raditional view of social norms and obligations of the prope r economic funct i ons of several parties within the community which, taken together can be said to constitute the moral economy of the poor 12 Throughout his argument Thompson describes an intricate system of social and economic relations between governmental regulators farmers millers dealers bakers and the "labouring people 13 all of whom continually tested the limits of their customary responsibilities in order to achieve maximum benefits for either themselves or their specific 11 Edward P Thompson "The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century ," Past and Present 50 (February 1971) : 76-77 12 Ibid ., 78-7 9 13 Ibid 80

PAGE 20

12 class In other words interwoven into the social fabric of English society at that time were traditional customs and unwritten contracts between different socioeconomic classes with each group vying for advantage over others either through legal or illegal means When a group or an individual within a given group violated the social contract ; when traditional mores o f market behavior were out of balance ; or when the level of moral turpitude exceeded customary levels of corruption and exploitation ( characteristics, indeed of all societies) 14 riots almost always initiated by the oppressed ensued On the other hand as long as consumers and producers honored the principles of acceptable behavior bargained effectively, and operated within the ever-changing confines of the paternalistic traditional order peace however tenuous prevailed In this dissertation I argue that three groups the various bishops of the Diocese of La Paz who served from 1680 to 1730 the hundreds of priests who staffed the parishes throughout the diocese at this time and the Indian "flocks" 15 who formed the demographic majority of the supposed Catholic population in the region operated within and behaved according to a standard of conduct and code of morality which delineated however ambiguously acceptable conduct in this particular colonial (and paternalistic ) setting Just as gr i e v ances operated within a popular consensus as to what were 14 1 tend to agree with William Taylor when he writes in a different study : I am inclined to view conflict and temporary accommodation as perennial among and within the groups that formed colonial [Spanish American] society William Taylor Drinking Homicide & Rebellion in Colonial Mexican Villages (Stanford : Stanford University Press 1979) 9 15 Priests and bishops primarily used the terms feligresia and rebaiio to refer to their native constituents

PAGE 21

13 legitimate and what were illegitimate practices in marketing milling [ and] baking" in Thompson's eighteenth-century England, complaints against parish priests their responses to the charges and the bishop s final sentences reflected what were acceptable and unacceptable violations of the social standards which members of these three groups used to organize their lives 1 6 As I discuss in the central chapters people's actions corrupt or not and the prevail i ng code of morality depended on a variety of different factors including among others an awareness by priests and parishioners of current crown and Church laws ; the di l igence of presiding religious officials ; opportunities for exploitation (i e ., the relative wealth or po v erty of a given area) ; the willingness of witnesses to speak out against their priest ; a region or a town's noted predilection for peace or turmoil ; the local demographic and ethnic composition ; the strength of native Andean social and religious traditions ; past controversies between priests and parishioners ; the bishop's preference for or dislike of, a particular priest on trial ; and the scope and severit y of corrupt activit y. Other colonial actors were significant in the creation and maintenance of this moral economy ; corregid o res their lieutenants hacendados miners members of the local business communit y, to name just a few certainly added conditions and attitudes which helped define norm s of conduct and boundaries of permissible exploitation But my main focus here is on the social behavior of parish priests who as a group, I argue (like Taylor does in Magistrate s of the Sacred) were more immersed in rural communities than other royal officials and Spanish citizens 1 6 lbid ., 79

PAGE 22

14 That a career in the priesthood at least in the Diocese of La Paz was a desirable job during the late Hapsburg and early Bourbon eras is unquestionable Despite the hardships of work and poverty parish priests described in their numerous reports to the bishop 17 the sheer n umber of applicants for jobs and ordination reflect an occupation not lacking in qualified professionals One probable explanation for this high level of interest in the priestly profession involved the economic and social benefits the position offered All parish priests working in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 either earned a set stipend (designated by the bishop and paid for by members of their parishes) or li v ed from the proceeds of a capellania a type of ecclesiastical endowment used to support a cleric and donated usuall y b y a rich relative. 18 In either case the "legitimate" wages priests made were insufficient. As Murdo MacLeod explains in his essay on the delegation of functions in the colonial period in Central America colonial agents (including parish priests) simply made up the difference between what they earned and what they needed to live comfortabl y through a systematic exploitation of the local in this case Indian population "A discreet amount of fee gouging he writes "influence peddling and direct extortions such as d e rramas and repartimientos de efectos among the rural powerless 1 7 1 refer here of course to the relaciones de meritos y servicios submitted by priests either in the course of applying for orders or during competitions for vacant curatos 18 Priests supplemented their annual wage by charging fees (obvenciones) for religious services such as burial masses wedding ceremonies baptisms Exceeding the charge prescribed b y the arancel (schedule of ecclesiastical fees) was a frequent source of conflict between a priest and his parishioners and between priests and bishops on visita

PAGE 23

15 especiall y the Indians were part of the unwritten contract." 1 9 For the purpose of my thesis these unwritten contracts and subtle negotiations between different ( and sometimes rival) colonial groups constituted the foundation upon which the moral econom y rested Of course bishops priests and parishioners were all well aware of the countless royal decrees, papal edicts and other forms of official recorded policy designed to curtail exploitation by royal officials Indeed the written laws and regulations even if not practiced helped to define the Spanish crown's vision of ideal behavior and thus set standards which affected social behavior. But the measure of priestly conduct of course cannot be assumed by examining what ecclesiastics and parishioners were supposed to do rather what they actually did The documentary evidence from the D i ocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1700 (and probably before and beyond) suggests that all three parties (bishops, priests and parishioners) operated with an acute awareness of t h e multitude of written laws and regulations (the equivalent of Thompson s "paternalistic model which he adds "parts company at many points with eighteenth-century a c tualities" 20 ) but negotiated bargained and jostled for advantage according a constant l y evolving reformulated, and redefined standard of permissible behavior 1 9 Murdo J. MacLeod "The Primitive Nation State, Delegation of Functions and Results : Some Examples from Early Colonial Central America in Essays in the Political, Economic and Social History of Colonial Latin America ed Karen Spalding (Newark, DE : University of Delaware Latin American Studies Program Occasional Papers and Monographs No 3 1982), 56 2 0 Thompson The Moral Economy of the English Crowd in the Eighteenth Century 84

PAGE 24

16 Chapters 2 3 and 4 are background chapters which set the stage for the conclusions I draw in the later chapters Chapter 2 deals with the establishment of colonial society in this particular zone of the southern Andes In addition, I also trace the evolution of ecclesiastical administration in the Audiencia of Charcas and I examine some of the nuances of the pastoral visita as it was practiced in this particular jurisdiction Chapters 3 and 4 focus on biographical details of the men who comprised the secular clergy in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 I discuss among other things their origins, social and economic backgrounds and aspects of their educational and professional careers

PAGE 25

CHAPTER2 THE SETTING To establish the setting for my study of parish priests who worked in the Diocese of La Paz in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, this chapter describes the historical formation of the southern Andean region from Spanish arrival in the mid-1530s up to Juan Queipo de Llano Valdes' installation as bishop in 1680 Specifically I examine the colonization of La Paz and the city's emergence as the main political and commercial center linking the cit y of Cuzco and the important silver mines of Potos i. 1 I then outline the foundation of the Catholic Church in Alto Peru highlighting the enduring tradition of the episcopal visita w hich, among other things elucidated the relationship between priests, the communities the y served members of the upper clergy and ultimately the Spanish crown. The historiographical record is rich in studies of the city of La Paz, the Audiencia of Charcas and the Catholic Church in colonial Bolivia 2 But rather than rely exclusively 1 Two major t r ansportation links connected Charcas with Lower Peru The camino de la sierra began in Lima then traveled through Jauja Ayacucho Andahuaylas Abancay Cuzco La Paz La Plata and finally Buenos Aires The camino de la costa ran from Lima to Arica t hen east to La Paz and south to Potosi Luis Penaloza Cordero Nueva Historia Economica de Bolivia (La Paz : Editorial Los Amigos del Libro 1 984) 81. 2 On La Paz and the surrounding area, see Mario Bedoya Ballivian, Cr6nicas de Nuestra Sefiora de La Paz (La Paz : Libreria Editorial Juventud 1988) ; Clara Lopez Beltran Alianzas Jamiliares : elite genero, y negocios en La Paz, siglo XVII (Lima : Instituto de Estudios Peruanos 1998) ; and Victor Santa Cruz Historia colonial de La 17

PAGE 26

18 on secondary sources to reconstruct the region s early history I base part of the following summary on a series of primary manuscripts located in Section Five (Gobierno) of the Archivo General de lndias in Seville Spain. All of the documentary data come either from relaciones (statements) or informes (reports) filed by various bishops of La Paz in response to regular ly issued cedulas reales which required them to update the Spanish crown on different aspects of their episcopal jurisdiction 3 I was unable to locate any primary material on the diocese dated prior to Bishop Pedro de Valencia's relaci6n de visita from 1620 ; hence my discussion of the sixteenth century and the tenure of the first bishop of La Paz Domingo Valderrama, relies mostly on secondary literature The Audiencia of Charcas and the City of La Paz. 1535-1680 Prior to the discovery in 1545 of rich silver deposits in a highland zone which came to be called Potosi Spanish authorities in Lima were seemingly resigned to let civil war between the Pizarri s tas and supporte r s of Diego de Almagro take its course in the vast Pa z (La Paz : Editorial Renacimiento 1942) On the colonial history of Charcas see Clara Lopez Beltran Estructura de una sociedad colonial: Charcas en el siglo XVII (La Paz : Centro de Estudios de la Real Economia y Social 1988) ; and Roy Quejerazu Lewis Impacto hispano-ind i gena en Charcas : analisis historial de/ co/oniaje (La Paz : Libreria Editorial Juventud 1996) On the history of the Catholic Church in colonial Bolivia see Josep M Bamadas L a Iglesia Cat6lica en Bolivia (La Paz: Libreria Editorial Juventud 1976) ; Estanislao Ju s t A proximaci6n a la historia de la Iglesia en Bolivia (La Paz : Editorial Don Bosco 1987) ; and Roberto Querejazu Calvo Historia de la Iglesia Cat6lica en Charca s (La Paz : Imprenta Publicidad Papiro 1995) 3 The prelude to a 1651 royal edict concerned among other things local commercial development the condition of the cathedrals and churches current population figures and the composition of the working clergy (regular or secular) It read : "Los Reverendisimos Arzobispos y Obispos Del Peru Y De La Nueva Espana Han De Remitir Para Poner la U ltima Historia De Sus Santas Iglesias Y De Si Mismos Lo Siguiente ... Archivo General de Indias (hereafter AGI), Charcas 13 8 3 March 1651

PAGE 27

19 eastern territory cr 6 nistas referred to as Alto Peru 4 Soon after Gonzalo de Pizarro's defeat at the hands of the royal army in 1548 near Guarina Spanish officials rushed to the region to establish an orderly colonial presence. Their goal ostensibly, was to gain control politically and to begin supervision of what were already lucrative, Spaniard dominated industries in mining and agriculture 5 Chuquisaca ( Spaniards changed the name of the city to La Plata and later soon after Independence from Spain it was renamed Sucre in homage to the famous liberato r, Antonio Jose de Sucre) became the de facto administrative center of Alto Peru as early as the late 1530s. But after 1545 mining and business activity in Potosi dominated the region and spurred the foundation and colonization of supporting cities 6 To recognize the 4 One of the best colonial sources on the Spanish Civil War is Garcilaso de la Vega s account in the classic Rea/es Comentarios de /os Inca which has been translated into English as Royal Commentaries of the Incas and General History of Peru trans Harold Livermore (Austin TX : University of Texas Press 1994). An interesting recently published monograph by Nelson Manrique Conquista y Orden Colonial (Lima : SUR Casa de Estudios del Socialismo 1996) p l aces the conquest and subsequent civil war in the context of current theoretical debates of race ethnicity etc The latest biography of Pizarro which focuses particularly on his life after the conquest comes from V ar6n Gabai Francisco Pi z arro and His Brothers: The Illusion of Power in Sixteenth-Century Peru trans Javier Flores Espinosa (Norman : University of Oklahoma Press 1997) 5 The administrator who supervised the post-Pizarro colonization of Alto Peru was Pedro de la Gasca Gasca served as President of the Audiencia of Peru and had effective authority to govern the region between Blasco Nunez Vela's (1544-46) and Don Antonio de Mendoza's (15515 2) respective tenures as Viceroy of Peru In large part, according to most colonial scholars he was responsible for ending the civil war in Peru and the reassignment of encomiendas to a new generation of Spanish war heroes. For a biography of his career see Don Pedro de la Gasca 1493-1567: su obra politica en Espana y America (Lima : Pontificia Universidad del Peru Fondo Editorial 1989) 6 Monographs on Potosi and the silver mines of the Cerro Rico are numerous Three of the best are Jeffrey Cole The Potosi Mita 1573-1700 (Stanford : Stanford University Press 198 5 ) ; Mariano Baptista Gumucio splendor y grandeza de Potosi

PAGE 28

growing political and commercial importance of Alto Peru King Charles V officially created the Audiencia de Charcas (with La Plata as the capital) by issue of a cedula real dated 12 June 1559 7 20 In the course of the remainder of the sixteenth century the Audiencia of Charcas came to encompass most of the territory of modem-day Bolivia La Plata and Potosi were the important urban and mining centers in the south; Santa Cruz de la Sierra became the frontier staging center for military 8 and missionary expeditions 9 in the east ; the centrally 1545-1825 (La Paz : Anthropos 1997) ; and Peter J. Bakewell, Miners of the Red Mountain: Indian Labor in Potosi 1545-1650 (Albuquerque : University ofNew Mexico Press 1984) Carlos Sempat Assadourian has written extensively on the social and economic effect Potosi had on surrounding populations In an essay entitled Andean Communities Political Cultures and Markets : The Changing Contours of a Field he writes that Potosi was the principal motor force of structural change that affected all facets of economic and social relations throughout the Andes ." Brooke Larson and Olivia Harris eds., Ethnicity Mar.kts, and Migration in the Andes : At the Crossroads of History and Anthropology (Durham : Duke University Press 1995), 15. 7 Ramiro Condarco Morales Atlas Hist6rico de Bolivia (La Paz : Imprenta "San Jose 1985) 30 8 According to the Bolivian historian Manuel Fontaura Argandafia, the quick establishment and subsequent colonization by the Spanish of the Audiencia of Charcas was only in part due to the potential of the Potosi mines He claims that perhaps more important and somewhat overlooked was the significance of Charcas as an expeditionary point of departure He writes : "in effect, from Charcas they organized expeditions to the south toward Tucuman to the west and southwest to Chile to the southeast to Paraguay and to the north toward Brazil." Manuel Fontaura Argandafia Descubridores y Exploradores de Bolivia (La Paz : Editorial Los Amigos del Libra 1971) 43 9 Several monographs have examined the colonial history of the Jesuit missions among the Moxos and Chiquitos Indians of eastern Bolivia On the Moxos, see David Block Mission Culture on the Upper Amazon: Native Tradition Jesuit Enterprise and Secular Policy in Moxos 1660-1880 (Lincoln : University of Nebraska Press, 1994); and for Chiquitos see Werner Hoffman Las misiones jesuiticas entre las chiquitanos (Buenos Aires : Fundaci6n para la Educaci6n, Ciencia, y Cultura, 1979); and Juan Patricio Fernandez Relacion historial de las misiones de indios chiquitos (Asuncion : A. de Uribe

PAGE 29

21 located Cochabamba valley and its surrounding area grew from a collection of small agricultural farms into the primary granary of Potosi ; 10 and La Paz with its ecologically diverse provinces and dense indigenous populations, dominated the northern sector of the audiencia The Spanish conquistador Don Alonso de Mendoza founded the city ofNuestra Senora de La Paz on October 20 1548 Three days later after "appreciating that the site was hostile to all forms of decent life Mendoza moved the city to its current location in a valley some twenty kilometers west. 11 Prior to the arrival of the Spanish, this valley was home to a handful of indigenous gold miners who had formed small settlements along the banks of the Chuquiabo River By the time of Mendoza's establishment of effective administrative control in the region a number o f encomenderos (all of whom had served under Francisco Pizarro) already had profitable commercial enterprises which capitalized on the region s vast y Compaiiia 1896 ) 10 0n the foundation and eventual fluorescence of the Cochabamba valley as an agricultural area see Brooke Larson Colonialism and Agrarian Transformation in Bolivia : Cochabamba 1550-1900 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press 1988) and Robert Jackson The Decline of the Hacienda in Cochabamba Bolivia : The Case of the Sacaba Valley 187 0 -1929 ," Hispanic American Historical Review 69 (1989) : 259-281. 11 Alberto Crespo Rodas Mariano Baptista Gumucio, Jose de Mesa La Ciudad de La Paz : su historia su cultura (La Paz : Impresora Editorial Educacional 1989) 29 The original location became the town ofLaja located on the altiplano approximately thirty five kilometers west of the capital city. Laja served as an important link between La Paz and the many dense l y populated villages in the Province of Chucuito the district's westernmost region It was also commonly the first village visited when the bishop or the visitor-general toured this part of the diocese

PAGE 30

.. ,. c .-1 c t' ; 1 1 t" { if" f' : .11 .,. cAN D km 5() Figure 2-1 The Aymara Kingdoms in the late 15th and early 16th century (Source : Herbert S Klein Bol i via : The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society [ New York : Oxford University Press 1 982 ]) 22

PAGE 31

23 agricultural potential and sizable indigenous population 12 In his Colecci6n de documentos pertenecientes a la historia eclesitJStica y civil de America written in 1645 Juan Diez de la Calle ( who identified himself as an oficial segundo of the presiding Secretary of the Council of the Indies) wrote : The city ofNuestra Senora de La Paz or Chuquiabo in the Province of Charcas is situated in the middle of the Callao district 100 leagues from Cuzco and 80 from La Plata. It was founded by Captain Alonso de Mendoza in 1548 by order of the Governor and President of Peru Licenciado Pedro de la Gazca .. . It is composed currently of six corregimientos and is of agreeable climate, abundant with wine cattle and fish which are healthy and fresh year round on account of a large lake nearby 13 Among the local encomenderos in the 1530s and 1540s were Mendoza (his encomienda grant was located between Achacachi and Sorata) ; Pedro Leon Romano (Guarina) ; Juan de Espinosa y Leon (Laja); Antonio de Esquivel (Tiahuanaco) ; Garcia Herrezuela and Garcia Peralta (Desaguadero) ; Antonio Alvarez de Carrasco (Carocaro) ; and Francisco Pizarro who prior to his death in 1541 possessed three encomiendas one south of Laja, one just west of Cohoni and one in Sicasica 14 Pizarro, according to most contemporary scholars, held quasi-feudal control of the region prior to 12 1n her boo k, Potosi: La version Aymara de un mito europeo. La mineria y sus efectos en las sociedades andinas de/ sig/o XVII. La Provincia de Pacajes (Madrid : Editorial Catriel 1993 ), Teresa Canedo-Arguelles Fabrega uses both secondary and primary sources in her analysis of the pattern and effect of the first European incursions into Upper Peru She is interested mainly, in patterns of Spanish colonization and in particular how nati v es of what became the corregimiento of Pacajes reacted to the arrival of Spaniards and the subsequent forms of social political and labor control implemented after the Toledan reforms of the 1570s 13 Biblioteca Nacional (Madrid hereafter BN) Legajo 2930 fol. 130. 14 Condarco Morales Atlas Hist6rico de Bolivia 32

PAGE 32

24 Mendoza's arrival and had allotted more than 12 000 Indians to the personal service of the new Spanish colonists by 1540 1 5 By the end of 1548 forty-three Spanish vecinos their families and an unknown number of natives ( most of whom probably served the new Spanish colonists in some capacity) and black slaves occupied the city 16 By 1586, La Paz' Spanish population had reached two-hundred and sixty, but accounted for only 4 7 percent of the urban population which totaled 5 540 17 Demographically, Indians dominated the countryside as well In 1600 acco r ding to the cronista Juan Lopez de Velasco, 30,000 tributarios lived in the six provincial corregimientos (Paucarcolla Chucuito Omasuyos Larecaja Pacajes, and Sicasica) and the corregimiento of La Paz. 18 Three episcopal visitas from the 1620s 15 Under his 1537 Chuquiabo encomienda grant Pizarro obligated Indians from both banks of Lake Tit i caca and the important cultural zone along the Desaguadero River which were the most densely populated regions of Upper Peru to service the new Spanish landowners 16 Crespo Rodas La Ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura 436 17 lbid 36 I ndians slaves and mestizos thus combined to number 5 280 18 Condarco Morales Atlas Hist6rico de Bolivia 34 In the documentation of the Archivo Central tributarios are interchangeably referred to as originarios These Indians claimed ancestral ties to the communities they lived in and enjoyed the benefits (mainly rights to land) that this status conferred Perhaps these population figures were so high on account of the relatively low percentage of native mortality in the region during the demographically calamitous one-hundred year period from 1550 to 1650. Between the reigns of Viceroy Andres Hurtado de Mendoza Canete (1556-1560) and Viceroy Francisco de Toledo (1571-1581) Lopez Beltran reports that the area around La Paz and Lake Titicaca lost only 7 6% of its total indigenous population compared to a 32% loss in and around Potosi and La Plata In other words it is possible that the native populations in the northern sector of the audiencia were less affected by disease, abuse and overwork, and migration to avoid the Potosi mita than Indians in the southern areas Biografia de Bolivia 63

PAGE 33

-0 ----, ~('--~ ...__,...,. *----Jllir. --,-_ -_ -_-_-_.;a,,_..._ ...... 25 100 Km Figure 2-2 Principal Indian Villages on the Southern Bank of Lake Titicaca, circa 1600 (Source : Nathan Wachtel The Vision of 1/Je Vanquished: The Spanish Conquest of Pero through Indian Eyes, 1530 1510 [ New York : Oxford University Press 19821)

PAGE 34

26 and 1630s certify these figures and confirm the relatively dense population of the Lake Titicaca region and La Paz' eastern hinterland Bishop Pedro de Valencia reported after a general visit of the diocese in 1620 that he had saved over 10 000 ("arriva de diez mil") new souls through confirmation 19 S i xteen years later in 1636 Bishop Feliciano de la Vega declared that as result of his year-long tour of the diocese ("according to my diary I have walked four hundred and one leagues") the number of confirmed Christians in the region totaled 37 642 20 By 1638 that number had reached 52,000 In 1684 the total population of La Paz surpassed 12 600 A census compiled by the corregidor that same year declared that about two hundred Spanish families lived in the city each having an average of six or seven household servants 21 Towards the close of the colonial period in 1764 La Paz was the third most populated urban center in the Peruvian Andes with over 20 000 Indian and Spanish inhabitants 22 One scholar goes further and claims that La Paz boasted a population of 40 000 in 1750 ; in the adjacent areas furthermore the 150 000 to 200 000 campesinos .. converted La Paz into the 1 9 AGI Charcas 138 20 March, 1620 20 AGI Charcas 138 4 March, 1636 21 Ibid. 36 Crespo Rodas states that in 1650, 850 000 people lived in the jurisdiction of the Audiencia of Charcas ; there were approximately 750,000 Indians ; 50 000 Spaniards ; 30 000 black slaves ; 15,000 mestizos ; and 5 000 mulatos Ibid ., 60 22 Nicolas Sanchez-Albornoz, The Population of Latin America: A History trans. W A.R Richardson (Berkeley : University of California Press, 1974) 100 Lima, with a population of 54 000 and Cuzco with 26,000 inhabitants were the two biggest cities in the Peruvian Andes

PAGE 35

27 [ most important] administrative and mercantile center in the densely populated altiplano and valley region 23 Potosi certainly dominated the mining sector of Alto Peru But miners working in locations within what would become the Diocese of La Paz also experienced considerable, albeit usually short-term success Herbert Klein points out in his general history of Bolivia that by the close of the sixteenth century, the search for mineral deposits touched even the poorest altiplano communities 24 Mining in Berenguela 25 and San Antonio de Esquilache, both located in the heart of the altiplano south of Lake Titicaca and southwest of La Paz, proved to be two of the region's more lucrative and long-lasting enterprises in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries Colonial authors and scribes continually referred to Berenguela as an important mining district and rock quarry inhabited chiefly not by any tributario work force but rather by an ethnically mixed group of mestizo andforastero laborers 26 Northwest of Berenguela according to a mid seventeenth-century source was 23 L6pez Beltran Biografia de Bolivia, 91. An especially fascinating and recently published study of the city of La Paz (including some colonial illustrations) as seen through traveler's accounts from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries is Mariano Baptista Gumucio La Paz vista por viajeros extranjeros y autores nacionales siglos XVI-XX(La Paz : Anthropos 1997) 24 Herbert Klein Bolivia : The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Society (New York: Oxford University Press 1982) 57 25 Alberto Crespo Rodas reports that the stones ("piedra blanca") extracted from quarries in Berenguela were so valuable they were shipped as far a Lima to be used for construction of churches and other important buildings Crespo Rodas, La Ciudad de La Paz: su historia su cultura 45 26 The ethnic designation offorastero referred to those Indians and their descendants who had been uprooted from their ancestral homes or who had fled voluntarily to avoid tributary obligations

PAGE 36

a great mountain of mines called San Antonio de Esquilache which is very old and well-established . . In the entire empire there is no better production of metals It currently has six processing mills ... and in addition some metal crushers (trapiezes ) which they use to grind Emetals] in each of these mills 27 28 But agriculture not mining was the primary source of wealth for residents in and around La Paz and the banks of Lake Titicaca as e11co111.enderos and later hacendados benefitted from the region s diverse ecology. Farmers of the arid highland plains of the altiplano which stretched from north of Lake Titicaca to Argentina and Chile produced potatoes quinua (a type of grain} and to a lesser extent wheat. 2 8 In the steep river 2 7 AGI Charcas 13 8 3 March 1651 San Antonio de Esquilache was the site of a mestizo-led insurrection in 1661, and subsequently suffered a bad reputation among ecclesiastics assigned to work there Alonso de Monasterios cura of San Antonio in the 1680s sought a transfer after a murder attempt concocted and carried out by a few unhappy Indians Don Alonso explained in a private letter to Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes : "I appear before Your Most Excellent Lord ... to request a transfer with the priest from Yunguio . because some Indians entered my house with the goal of killing me." Archive Central Can6nigo Felipe Lopez Menendez (herafter ACCFLM} Torno 2 fol. 228 Ambrosio de Urquieta y Salinas applied in 1720 for several other positions because of the disagreeable weather and inability to make a proper living in San Antonio He stated in his relaci6n : "it is a land supremely unknown on account of the inhospitable weather which is totally opposed to good health It has such poverty that it is difficult to gather any salary which corresponds to the parish . . I have been relegated to the status of a beggar for my own survival because of the lack of parishioners and local foods all motives which compel me to impose on the charity of Your Most Excellent Lord." ACCFLM Torno 3 2, fol 104. 2 8 Nils Jacobsen in his case study of the Peruvian altiplano describes the region as the "cradle of Andean civilization He writes "The Titicaca basin forms the northern third of the altiplano which extends for some twelve hundred kilometers from the dividing line of the modem departments of Puno and Cuzco southward to the border between Argentina and Boli v ia It is surrounded by the eastern and western cordillera of the Andes . . at an altitude of 3, 812 meters above sea level Lake Titicaca, nearly two hundred kilometers long and up to seventy kilometers wide provides the special environment that has allowed the altiplano to become one of the most densely settled areas anywhere on our planet at comparable altitudes It has moderated the harsh climate and favored agricultural production in a narrow belt around its shores ." Nils Jacobsen Mirages of

PAGE 37

29 valleys northeast of La Paz known as the Yungas the climate was humid and more tropical 29 This region according to Thierry Saignes attracted many of the first Spanish colonists due to the market potential of the primary crop : coca Indeed of the many c i vil court cases I consulted in the Archivo de La Paz which involved secular priests several dealt with litigation pertaining to priest-owned coca farms (coca/es) in the Yungas Joseph Lopez Botello, an assistant priest (ayudante) in Yanacache in the 1710s for example allegedly owned se v eral coca/es near town and forced Indians to work them without proper compensation A witness named Pedro Alavi testified that : "Licenciado Botello has had farms for many years for coca production and also maize, and it is customary for him to compel the aljereses to work them without payment for their personal service 11 3 0 In addition as important suppliers to the local consumer market farmers in this lush environment g r ew fruits of all kinds including oranges limes pears peaches Transition: The Peru v ian Altiplano 1780-1930 (Berkeley : University of California Press 1993) 13 29 Thierry Saignes dedicated much of his scholarship to this particular region of Alto Peru. In his edited volume (with F.M Renard Casevitz and AC. Taylor) entitled Al este de los Andes : Relaciones entre las sociedades Amaz6nicas y Andinas entre los siglos XV y XVII (Lima : Instituto Frances de Estudios Andinos, 1986) he discusses among other things how Inca and later Spanish colonists to the region used pre-incaic roads to facilitate economic exploitations of the region In an essay entitled "Indian Migration and Social Change in Seventeenth-Century Charcas" (Larson and Harris, eds. Ethnicity Markets, and Migration in the Andes) Saignes explains that throughout this century tributario males frequently migrated out of their altiplano villages and settled in the Yungas territory at the behest of Spanish landowners because of the economic possibilities of the region 3 0 ACCFLM Torno 27 fol. 245

PAGE 38

example, allegedly owned several coca/es near town and forced Indians to work them without proper compensation. A witness named Pedro Alavi testified that: "Licenciado Botello has had farms for many years for coca production and also maize, and it is customary for him t o compel the alfereses to work them without payment for their personal service. 30 30 In addition, as important suppliers to the local consumer market, farmers in this lush environment grew fruits of all kinds, including oranges, limes, pears, peaches pomegranates figs and plums 31 In the higher reaches of the Yungas and in the ecological zone between the tropical forests and the altiplano (which included predominantly indigenous settlements such as Songo and Challana), farmers specializing in maize and grape production capitalized on the popular market for alcoholic beverages. Chicha a type of com beer of ritualistic significance in pre-Colombian (and contemporary ) Andean cultures remained popular in the colonial period and was principally consumed ( in excess if we are to believe most Spanish sources) by the area s native populations. 32 Spaniards 30 ACCFLM Torno 27 fol. 245. 3 1 Crespo Rodas, La Ciudad de La Paz: su historia, su cultura, 382. 32 On the use of c hicha and coca as important ingredients in contemporary Andean religious rituals see Catherine Allen, The Hold Life Has: Coca and Cultural Identi ty in an Andean Communi ty (Washington D.C.: The Smithsonian Institution, 1988). For a more historical analysis of chicha in Andean cultures, see Marfa Clara Llano Restrepo La chicha, una bebidafermentada a traves de la historia (Bogota: Instituto Colombiana de Antropologfa 1994 )

PAGE 39

31 Vivero possessed prior to his conviction on numerous violations of Church policy between six and seven hundred head of cattle and sheep which he kept on his ranch near Guarina, located just northwest of La Paz on the altiplano Don Antonio, according to allegations, also employed a herd of forty mules which he utilized to transport wine from Arequipa to La Paz and coca from his farms in the Yungas to destinations throughout the Diocese of La Paz Catholicism in Charcas. 1535-1680 Commensurate with the effective establishment of political and economic control of the region in the 1540s and 15 50s was the creation of an episcopal administration whose responsibilities included converting to Catholicism the multitudes of indigenous peoples and servicing the ever growing number of Spanish colonists 35 Missionaries from the various orders as in other parts of the Americas were the first ecclesiastics to establish sustained contact with the crown's new Indian subjects in Alto Peru 36 According he argues they deeply resented (like their descendants would centuries later) the new obligations imposed on them by the Dominican friars who demanded payments for religious services 35 1n his new book Entre el oro y lafe: el dilema de America (San Juan Puerto Rico : Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico 1995) Luis N. Rivera Pagan analyzes the fundamental motives and myths of Spanish conquest and Christianization in the Americas with part i cular emphasis on the earliest years of missionary activity 36 The problem of language especially in the attempt to make Indians believers in the Catholic faith surfaced immediately Commenting on the importance of language and the difficult task of conversion the famous historian of the Church in colonial Mexico Robert Ricard writes : "The friars of Mexico from the moment of their arrival recognized that the knowledge of the Indian languages was the essential prerequisite of serious evangelization .... It was the best means of penetrating the spirit of the pagans and conquering their hearts Robert Ricard, The Spiritual Conquest of Mexico trans Lesley Byrd Simpson (Berkeley : University of California Press 1966) 24 Sabine MacCormack's

PAGE 40

32 to the priest and contemporary historian David Maldonado Villagran Pizarro brought with him to Charcas six Dominican friars Among them was Pedro Valverde, who in 1538 became the bishop of Cuzco 37 Indeed clerics of the main regular orders the Dominicans Franciscans Augustinians Mercedarians and the Jesuits were well established in all the major cities of the audiencia by the close of the sixteenth century 38 The region in terms of religious jurisdiction was first governed by the bishop of Cuzco, but the growing importance of Potosi after 1545, combined with the sheer immensity of the territory (technically, the Diocese of Cuzco in 15 50 extended from Popayan to Chile) led King Charles to divide the diocese in 1552 Thus on 5 July of that year the Bishopric of Charcas (La Plata) was officially recognized as a separate ecclesiastical entit y ; its territory stretched from Cuzco east to the Chaco area north into Religion in the Andes : Vi sion and Imagination in Early Colonial Peru (Princeton NJ : Princeton Universit y Press 1991 ) is an innovative study which analyzes the objectivit y and authenticity of c olonial sources which dealt with religious practices and beliefs in the Andes 37 David Maldonado Villagran 500 Aiios de Evangelizaci6n en Bolivia (La Paz : Empresa Editora "U rquizo 1991) 36 38 Canonigo Felipe Lopez Menendez reports in his study of the Archdiocese of La Paz that the Franciscans established a monastery in La Paz in August of 1549 They were followed by the Mercedarians who arrived a month later, the Augustinians in 1562 and the Jesuits in 1582 Felipe Lopez Menendez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Senora de La Paz (La Paz : Imprenta Nacional Ayacucho, 1949) 250-260 In his more general study Lopez Menendez states that the Dominicans had established convents in Copacabana, Pomata Juli Sepita and Yunguyo (all towns in the jurisdiction of the Diocese of La Paz during the colonial period) by 1600. Felipe Lopez Menendez Compendia de Historia Eclesiastica de Bol iv ia (La Paz : Imprenta El Progreso, 1965), 11

PAGE 41

33 the western rainforests of the Amazonian basin and south to Tucuman. 39 The densely populated region around Lake Titicaca, as the seventeenth-century commentator Diez de la Calle pointed out, was an important focal point of early Church activity : "the lake area has had [from Spanish conquest] many men of nobility and lots of missionaries from the Franciscan and Augustinian orders 1140 The first ordained parish priest in La Paz, according to the A etas Capitulares de la Paz (1548-54), was Bachiller Juan Rodriguez. 41 It is unclear ifhe served in the city's first church San Sebastian which was built in 1539 and administered by the members of the Franciscan order or the parish of San Pedro (staffed throughout the colonial period by secular priests), founded in 1549. San Sebastian, San Pedro and later the parish of Santa Barbara (1557) serviced the city's sizable indigenous population La Paz' Spanish community somewhat surprisingly, did not have its own parish until town leaders commissioned the Iglesia de la Matriz to be built in 1556. Eventually, with the foundation of the Diocese of La Paz in 1605 the Iglesia de la Matriz became the diocesan Cathedral During the sixteenth century, the competition among ecclesiastics for the right to service the region's sizable Indian and growing Spanish population was fierce 42 To ease tensions between the bishops of Cuzco and La Plata, and to provide a more focused 39 BN Legajo 3010 fol. 216r With the creation of the Diocese of Charcas, Cuzco was elevated to the status of Archdiocese. 40 BN Legajo 2930, fol 130 41 L6pez Menendez, El Arzobispado de Nuestra Senora de La Paz, 117 42 Thierry Saignes, En busca def poblamiento etnico (La Paz : Avances de Investigaci6n 1986) 3 6

PAGE 42

34 colonial presence in this pivotal junction which linked Potosi to destinations in Lower Peru Pope Paul V signed a papal bull on July 4 1605 entitled Super specu/a militantis which established La Paz as the capital of a new see called the Diocese of La Paz 43 This bull also created the Diocese of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and elevated the former Diocese of Charcas to the s t atus of Archdiocese of La Plata Two years later, in 1607 King Philip III confirmed and ratified the bull, and ordered the President of the Audiencia of Charcas Alonso de Maldonado to set the frontiers and jurisdictional borders of the new dioceses 44 President Maldonado determined that the bishop of the Diocese of La Paz would assume episcopal control o v er all parishes in the city and the six previously mentioned corregimientos of Paucarcolla Chucuito Omasuyos Larecaja, Pacajes, and Sicasica 45 Thus in the first decade of the seventeenth century the Diocese of La Paz began to take shape and after two unsuccessful attempts to install a resident bishop in the diocese ( one nominee was transferred to another post before taking office and the other one died en route) the Dominican Domingo Valderrama finally arrived in La Paz from Quito and took office in April 1610 46 During his five-year tenure Bishop Valderrama 43 According to Lopez Menendez, Pope Paul V's bull "ordered that the bishop proceed with appointments of a good number of dignitaries canons, and prebends and other beneficed priests to serve in the city and throughout the diocese whose obligat i on it would be to save souls . and to build up the secular clergy as ordered by King Philip and those who preceded him and those future kings of Spain ." El Arzobispado de Nuestra Senora de La Paz 74. 4 4 lbid 2 45 Over time the boundaries of the jurisdiction of the diocese changed ; in 1627 for example Bishop Pedro Valencia did not include Sicasica as a corregimiento under his control rather a district he called Caracollo Many, but not all of the towns, were part of both corregimiento s 4 6 lbid 4

PAGE 43

organized his administrative office staffed the cabildo eclesirutico founded the colegio seminario in honor of San Geronimo 47 began construction of the Cathedral conducted 35 the first ecclesiastic visit of the diocese published the first schedule of religious fees (the arance/ eclesitJ.Stic o ) and began to ordain secular priests to serve in the region's many Indian parishes 48 Subsequent seventeenth-century bishops were : Pedro Valencia ( 16171631 ) ; 49 Feliciano de la Vega (1634-1639) ; Francisco Luna Alonso (1642); Antonio de Castro y Castillo (1647-1653) ; Martin de Velasco Molina (1656-1662) ; Martin Montalvo (1666-1668) ; Gabriel Guillestegui (1671-1678) ; Juan Perez de Concha Illescas (1679) ; Juan Queipo de Llano Valdes (1680-1694); and Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra (16951697) The four bishops of the early eighteenth century who supervised the priests covered in this stud y included Nicolas Urbano Mata y Haro (1702-1704) ; Diego Morcillo Rubio y Aufi6n(l 708-l 71 l) ; Mateo Villafane Pandafio (1714-1722) and Alejo Fernando 47 Commenting on the state of the colegio seminario in 1634, Bishop Feliciano de la Vega stated in a r eport to King Philip IV : "the seminary school was destroyed and its only staff were four professors In the meanwhile after taking a look at the accounts and assets in order to determine how many of them it could support I have named up to twelve so that the Church here might have more distinction I am currently drawing up series of constitutions for its governance because one has never been written ." AGI Charcas 138 12 March 1634 48 Crespo Rodas La ciudad de La Paz : su historia, su cultura, 44 4 9 Bishop de la Vega explained that one of the reasons for the poor condition of the diocese upon his arrival in 1634 "was because Bishop Don Pedro de Valencia had gone blind seven years before death and on that account I found the Divine Cult in poor condition as well as the regimen of the church [perhaps] because there were only three prebends ... [ All this] caused the citizens much grief." AGI Charcas 13 8 12 March 1634

PAGE 44

36 de Rojas y Acebedo (1723-1730) 50 All these men according to the historian Antonio de Egafia fulfilled the duties of their office with zeal and diligence and were especially faithful to the mandates of the Council of Trent promulgated by the Catholic Church in the sixteenth century 5 1 Egafia stresses : from the beginning the new diocese possessed the distinct features of a see strongly dedicated to the spirit of the Tri dentine strategy [ of episcopal administrat i on] . and a profound preoccupation (honda preocupacion) for the welfare of its Indian subjects. 52 A dissenting view of the behavior of the Church's higher administration in La Paz comes from the contemporary Bolivian economist Luis Penalosa Cordero who writes in his history of the coun t ry : One might say that with some exceptions, the Church abandoned its spiritual mission and dedicated its attention to satisfying more material concerns . as priests and bishops sought not only wealth, but also a cozy and comfortable (comoday holgada) life .. . The majority [of upper clergy] lived tranquilly well-served, and without discomfort because their parish pries t s exploited the indigenous parishioners and stole their lands and other assets 53 According to Felipe Lopez Menendez, there were seventy-two parishes in the Diocese of La Paz in 1609 At this date all but the Cathedral and the main church (la Iglesia Mayor) in Chucuito (the second most important urban center in the Diocese during 50 L6pez Menendez El Arzobispado de Nuestra Senora de La Paz 4-13 51 For a historical analysis of the Council of Trent see John C. Olin, Catholic Reform : From Cardenal Ximenez to the Council of Trent (New York : Fordham University Press 1990) 5 2 Antonio de Egafia Historia de la Iglesia en la America Espanola (Madrid : La Editorial Cat6lica 1966) 372-376 53 Pefialosa Cordero Nueva Historia Economica de Bolivia, 193

PAGE 45

37 the colonial period ) served predominantly indigenous parishioners Prominent villages along the banks of Lake Titicaca were Chucuito Ancoraymes, Copacabana, Juli and Puno Charasani Ambana Sorata and Combaya in the north, and Collana, San Andres de Machaca and Berenguela in the south were towns of notable size and commercial distinction 54 In the Yungas east of La Paz there were several significant settlements due to the lucrative coca industry including Chulumani Coroico and Suri 55 Near La Paz 54 Thierry Saignes has done considerable research on the demographic composition and origin of native towns in the region encompassed by the Diocese of La Paz In his book entitled Los andes orientales : historia de un o/vidado (La Paz : Centro de Estud i os de la Realidad Econ6mica y Social [CERES], 1985) he maps out boundaries of conquest and attempts to determine which villages were of pre-Columbian origin He concludes that most of the larger towns (such as Sorata Ambana Carabuco, and Mocomco) by the middle of the seventeenth century were the result of policies implementing the congregacion (reduccion) policy implemented by Viceroy Toledo in the 1570s 55 Travel in this tropical area was notoriously difficult and dangerous Priests throughout the period under review complained incessantly about the inaccessibility of many of the Indian hamlets In the 1630s when many of the region's inhabitants were still unfamiliar with the motives and teachings of the Church Bishop Feliciano de la Vega visited several villages "Having departed on the pastoral visita of this bishopric beginning with a tour of the Yungas Chapes a province where no prelate had entered before since the discovery of this kingdom on account of the harshness of the roads which were more like cliffs that were inaccessible in some parts . .. I entered the districts of Songo and Challana which are also villages occupied by these Yungas Indians and of even poorer roads than the others and these people had also never seen a prelate before because many of them [former bishops] could not go by horseback The royal visitors who have served [ this region] had also never arrived here at least according to the parochial books of t he churches For these reasons the Indians were unfamiliar with the teachings [ of Christ i anity] and in no way understood what was the sacred sacrament of confirmation They asked me in Challana if the bishop which they refer to as the apo was a humansuch was the extent of their ignorance AGI Charcas 138, 4 March 1636

PAGE 46

Charasane Chuma Combaya Lake Titicaca sorata Hachacache San Andres de Machaca Santiago de Machaca Caquingora Berenguela Laja Challana Zongo 38 La Paz Palca Viacha Sapaqui Figure 2-3 Principal Towns of the Diocese of La Paz, 1680 1730

PAGE 47

Laja, Tiahuanaco and Viacha were three of the most important indigenous communities of the altiplano in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries 56 39 Although the documentary evidence is ambiguous members of the various regular orders serviced at least eleven of the seventy-two parishes in 1609 The Jesuits founded a colegio dedicated mainly to language instruction in Juli in 1577, and administered all four of the parishes in that important colonial town until their expulsion from Spanish America in 176 7. 57 The Mercedarians staffed the church in Guarina until 17 5 3 The Augustinians worked in the altiplano village of Pucarani until 1767, and in the important lacustrine pilgrimage site of Copacabana throughout the colonial period. 58 The Dominicans controlled the three churches in Pomata located on the southern banks of Lake Titicaca between Copacabana and Chucuito And finally, the Franciscans managed the parish of San Sebastian in the city of La Paz until their transfer to Charasani in the northernmost 56 The complete list of curatos which comprised the Diocese of La Paz in 1609, according to Lopez Menendez were (in Alto Peru) Achacachi, Ancoraymes Ambana Copacabana Cohoni Caracato Coroico Combaya, Carabuco, Calamarca, Camata, Carejana Circoata Caquiaviri Caquingora, Calacoto, Challana, Chacapa Chuma Charazani Guarina Guaqui, Huaychu Irupana, Ilabaya Ytalaque, Jesus de Machaca, La Paz (Matriz, San Sebastian, San Pedro), Mocomoco, Palca, Pucarani, Pelechuco Quiabaya Sapahaqui Songo Simaco Sorata, Suri, San Andres de Machaca, Santiago de Machaca Tiahuanaco V i acha and Yungas Chapes In Bajo Peru were Puacarcolla San Francisco de la Puna Guancane Vilque, Moho, Puno Icho Capachica, Coati three parishes each in the villages of Chucuito, Acora Pomata and Zepita two parishes in Yunguyo and four parishes (all administered by the Jesuits) in Juli El Arzobispado de Nuestra Senora de La Paz 3 5 57 Perhaps the best general work on this topic is still Magnus Momer's The Expulsion of the Jesuits from Latin America (New York : Alfred Knopf, 1965). 58 For a history of the church and shrines of Copacabana consult Fray Julio Maria Elias, CopacauanaC opacabana (Tarija, Bolivia : Editorial Offset Franciscana 1976)

PAGE 48

40 sector of the diocese at the end of the seventeenth century Each religious order had a convento (monastery) in La Paz Commenting in 1620, fifteen years after the creation of the diocese, Bishop Valencia stated proudly : in the convents of Santo Domingo, San Francisco, San Augustin, La Merced, and La Compafiia [de Jesus] there are ordinarily two or three preachers (predicadores), and another three or four clerics .. who preach in the Cathedral and in their convents without ever missing a sermon on Sundays or festival days, and every Sunday before the main mass they preach in the cemetery of the Church in the general language [Quechua] and in Aymara to the Indians where many get together, both men and women I personally attend this sermon because the value [ of my presence] to the Indians is well-known And in the afternoons the fathers of the Compafiia de Jesus lead a procession of a thousand Indians through the streets, reciting the catechism 59 In 1627, according to an unusually detailed report compiled by Bishop Valencia, the number of parishes remained at seventy-two Secular priests occupied fifty-eight of the parishes while regular priests from the various orders managed the remaining fourteen As seen in Appendix A ("Diocesan Parishes in 1627 ) nearly a third of the parishes in the corregimiento of Chucuito were administered by regular priests At the end of the report, Bishop Valencia stated that the fifty-eight secular priests working in the diocese in 1627 had collectively paid him 7 000 pesos ensayados 60 generated from the quartafuneral and other sacramental offerings (ofrendas). On the issue of priestly payments he noted with obvious irritation that the fourteen regular priests serving under his supervision had not 59 AGI, Charcas 138, 20 March, 1620 60 There are two types of currency referred to throughout the documentation of the Archivo Central the peso corriente and the peso ensayado I believe the peso corriente was a more vulgar form of coin, and the ensayado, as its name indicates, a sort of assayed metal coin which was of more value than the other variety

PAGE 49

contributed any portion of their funeral charges to his office nor had they donated money to the seminary "ni otras cossa alguna" (nor anything else at all)also adding that and in spite of t his they enjoyed their full salaries 61 41 Separate from the list of corregimientos parishes and salaries, Bishop Valencia commented extensi v ely on other ecclesiastical matters such as the staffing of the Cathedral Chapter the previous year's diezmos y veintenas (the royal tithes and twentieths) revenue, church construction projects 6 2 and the distribution of funds In addition to the parishes listed in the tables t he bishop accounted for the three Indian churches in La Paz San Pedro San Sebastian, and Santa Barbara whose curates respectively earned 600 400 and 400 pesos per y ear Sometime prior to 1701 the standard yearly stipend for parish priests working in the Diocese of La Paz rose to 1093 pesos Few records in the Archivo Central contain data on priestly salaries but two reports from 1701 and 1709 indicate that the respecti v e parish priests of Sorata and Hilabaya both earned this base amount as their annual wage In addition each collected an average of between 750 and 1 500 pesos a year for the completion of various religious services (such as baptisms and funerals) In a rare annual 62 Upon his arrival in La Paz in 1634, Bishop Vega was unimpressed with the physical condition of the Cathedral He wrote to King Philip IV : "when this church was made into the Cathedral it consisted of two sections and even now they have not even begun the roof So it remains without a choir, without doors and without any place to pray or to sing the divine mass. They have made a roof of branches which is most indecent and that edifice which was here before is almost in ruins on account of i t being so old and having withstood so many floods and hard rains It is in terrible shape and dangerous AGI Charcas 138 12 March 1634.

PAGE 50

42 report, Licenciado Joseph Ferran de la Nussa advised Provisor (the chief administrator of ecclesiastical affairs during a sede vacante) Geronimo de Canizares Ybarra that in the previous year (1700) he had donated thirty-three pesos to the seminary, five hundred to the bishop's office to pay the quarta funeral, five hundred in salary to his ayudante, and another two hundred pesos to various priests who had assisted him during the busy season of Lent. In his 1709 report Pedro Tholedo y Leyba stated he had contributed thirty-two pesos and six reales to the seminary, paid two hundred fifty pesos as part of collected quarta funeral charges and given four hundred pesos to his assistant, Br. Diego de Areaya By the time Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes assumed control of the bishopric in 1680, the diocese was well-organized and consisted of sixty-nine parishes, ten of which were served by members of the various religious orders 63 Secular priests thus staffed fifty nine parishes in 1680 At the end of the period under review (1730), the number of parishes increased by three as San Marcos de Mollebamba, Simaco and Coata were incorporated into the diocese Secular priests staffed each of these new churches but Pelechuco once part of the corregimiento ofLarecaja, switched from secular control over to the Franciscans sometime after 1683 64 63 Some parishes had been consolidated with others nearby, and some had been created in the fifty-six year period between Bishop Valencia's 1627 report and Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes first round ofvisitas in 1683 For example, in 1683 Chucuito possessed only two churches : the Iglesia Mayor and Santo Domingo. Those in the advocation of Los Reyes and San Pablo had been closed down Caracato and Coroico were two towns that gained parish status at some point prior to 1683. 64 There is little reference in the Archivo Central's documentation to the Franciscan controlled region of Apolabamba north of Charasani in the northernmost sector of the

PAGE 51

43 The Pastoral Visita y Escrutinio This dissertation is mostly based on a series of documents which provide at regular intervals an unusually detailed view of local conditions, conflicts, and customs in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 Called visitas y escrutinios (visits and inspections), these episcopal inquiries were basically trials held to assess the behavior of secular parish priests who worked in diocesan parishes From 1680 to 1730, the various bishops or more commonly their episcopal appointees (visitadores genera/es)conducted three hundred sixty-four pastoral visitas in 1683 1687 1690-91 1697, 1701, 1710 1717 1725 and 1728 65 Thus all of the bishops of the Diocese of La Paz who served from 1680 to 1730 supervised regional inspections except for Nicolas Urbano Mata y Haro who according to some sources died the day after arriving in La Paz from Lima on December 24 1704 66 Certainly Queipo de Llano Valdes would have to be considered the most assiduous bishop if judged b y his visita record He or his visitor-general Juan Antonio de Egaures y Pasquier traveled to every village in the diocese over the course of his administration and diocese However much has been written about this missionary effort One good monograph is Cesar Augusto Machicao Gonzalez' Historia de Apolo y de la Provincia de Franz Tamayo (La Paz : Prefectura del Departamento de La Paz Direcci6n de Cultura 1990 ). 6 5 Bishop Castillo y Castro alluded in his long 1651 report to Bishop V alderrama's intial tour of the diocese but no primary records of that visit exist in any archives in La Paz The first record of a completed visita was filed by Bishop Valencia in 1620 ; I located this file in the Archivo General de Indias in Seville The first formal visita y escrutinio trial ( with witnesses) housed in the Archivo Central Can6nigo Felipe Lopez Menendez is dated May 20 1683 and was held in Guarina near La Paz 66 L6pez Menendez El Arzobispado de Nuestra Senora de La Paz, 12

PAGE 52

44 in all, conducted three episcopal tours over an eight year span from 1683 to 1691 Usually the investigative team set out from La Paz in June or Julymonths in the middle of the dry season and concluded their visits by October, prior to the advent of the yearly rains which significantly curtailed travel from November to March However, Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes final and most extensive tour of the diocese took well over a year to complete With occasional stopovers in La Paz, it lasted from June 1690 to September 1691 The Spanish tradition of the general visit has a long history. John Leddy Phelan, in his book, The Kingdom of Quito, traces its roots to the patrimonial kingdoms of Western Europe during the Middle Ages A key element of the patrimonial state, as posited by the German sociologist Max Weber in his long discussions of modem bureaucracies, was the implementation of periodic visits by the ruler or his designated official to different parts of the realm to prevent a fragmentation of royal authority 67 Certainly, the nature of the episcopal visitas and the inquiries of visiting ecclesiastical officials represented, as Phelan points out "a vision of society as it ought to be, a pale but nevertheless recognizable reflection of the ideal world encompassed in divine and natural law 68 Even if the bishop of La Paz or his visitor-general rarely encountered in the course of their travels ideal 67 John Leddy Phelan, The Kingdom of Quito in the Seventeenth Century: Bureaucratic Politics in the Spanish Empire (Madison : University of Wisconsin Press 1967), 325 Phelan points out that the historical origins of the visita general go back to Alfonso El Sabio's Siete Partidas. For a thorough discussion of the early history of the civic visita general in Spain and Spanish America, see Chapter IO of Phelan's study of colonial Quito 68 Ibid 328

PAGE 53

45 Christian communities complete with model priests and a dutiful congregation the visita in this part of Upper Peru I argue later in this dissertation empowered parishioners by providing them an opportunity to air grievances which with some luck, might lead to an amelioration of their oppressed condition or improve their negotiating position v is-a-vis the priest or rival village factions In any case the pastoral visita served as a nexus of contact between rulers and those they ruled and it appears from the witness testimonies of the 1680s and 1690s that parishioners relished the chance to inform Church authorities of aspects of the parish priest's behavior whether positive or incriminating 69 Only the bishop or the visitor-general possessed the authority to judge the priests on trial and impose penalties Usually the collection of testimonies and evidence fell to the second in charge the chief prosecutor (promotor fiscal) Further down the line of authority and perhaps the man who did most of the actual work, was the secretario His job was to record in written form all relevant matters of the inspection (i.e the tour of the church and chapels the reading of the public edict announcing the goals of the visita the interrogation of witnesses the issuance of the final sentence etc ) A vast majority of visiting bishops and visitors-general also employed a translator often a member of one of the religious orders and usually a Jesuit who was proficient in both Aymara and 69 This appea r s to be in contrast to the situation in Central America and Mexico Murdo MacLeod reports that in these regions the episcopal visita became a corrupt and much resented institution in many cases largely because of three features 1 The bishop tended to be less tolerant of local heterodoxies and would stamp them out via whippings jailings, burning of idols etc 2 Visitas became notorious for collecting large sums in "fees" of various kinds Some records from Chiapas tell oflndians fleeing to the monte when they heard the bishop was coming. 3. Bishops often traveled with large entourages which meant food food for mules and horses and lodging for the whole crowd Indians in some places, resented this Personal correspondence May 1999.

PAGE 54

46 Quechua A surve y of the witnesses brought before the various promotores fiscales during the first two decades of this study indicates that just over half required a translator to give their testimon y The other members of the investigative team were a few secular priests brought along to serve as witnesses of the proceedings Frequently these priests resided or worked near the town being visited and were thus commissioned on a temporary basis to c ertify the legitimacy and fairness of the trial. Visiting authorities from the Diocese of La Paz followed roughly the same protocol throughout the period under review That is the presiding official basically obeyed the same logistical procedures as his predecessors Using a 1683 visita y escrutinio held in Combaya (located north of Lake Titicaca near Sorata) as an example it is possible to gain insight into the organization and day-to-day operations of the process as it was practiced o v er a fifty-year period According to a report filed by Secretario Francisco de Truxillo y Godoy (his official title was Pr e sb i tero Secretario de CtJmara de/ Illustrisimo Senor Don Juan Queipo de Llano V aldes mi Seiior Obispo de La Paz) the group arrived in Combaya the morning of the 9th of July 1683 "After being received in the customary manner by Bernardo Hemani de Bonifaz [ one of the parish priests on trial] and a host of many Spaniards and Indians 70 Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier proceeded to say mass before the congregation After the Eucharist, he read a four-page edicto de visita (the edict of the visit) in its entirety Among other things the edict explained the purpose of the episcopal visit and outlined the questions which witnesses ( who were generally drawn 70 ACCFLM Torno 3 fol. 7

PAGE 55

47 from the town's more prominent citizens) would have to answer In addition, Visitor General Eguares y Pasquier announced that any parishioners not called to testify before the promotor fiscal could file a separate affidavit to air any grievances or protests they might have This proved to be an important outlet for women parishioners to denounce the priest's behavior since they were never called as primary witnesses in any visita trial held during the period under review 71 In fact, over a third (34 percent) of all separately-filed affidavits ( which numbered in the hundreds) during the first two decades of this study were submitted by women After mass the investigative team visited the tabernacle and other shrines of importance It was during this tour that Secretary Truxillo y Godoy recorded the visitorgeneral's impressions of the church's ornaments and decor In the end, after a generally favorable inspection of the physical property the secretary noted "one of the communion chests (caxuelas) had some vessels (ampolletas) of silver and others of glass and so the Senor Visitador ordered that all should be of silver. 72 Such minor directives were a common part of the pre-interrogation record, but occasionally a priest incurred significant rebuke and even fines for his careless upkeep of the church or chapels In fact at the end of this particular visita Visitor-General Eguares y Paquier warned Don Bernardo that he would be fined if he did not improve the physical conditions of several rural chapels in his district. 71 Occasionall y, women were called to testify before the promotor fiscal but only when they had been implicated in earlier testimony as either victims of priestly abuse or witnesses of misconduct.

PAGE 56

In the course of the inspection of this town it has come to my attention that the chapels and vice-chapels within this parish's jurisdiction, to include Carasani Conlili Suntusidi Coata, and Chiacono are without doors and keys resulting in free access [ of these holy places] to cows and herds of horses 73 48 After the inspection Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier then returned to the church and reviewed the Libras parroquiales the records of baptisms confirmations marriages and deaths and an inventory of church construction In addition, he made sure Don Bernardo possessed relevant books and manuals concerning religious matters such as the published records of most recently convened provincial councils and synods a summary of moral cases (la suma de casos morales) an edition of the Council of Trent decrees and the alli mportant pad.ran the record of parishioners who had fulfilled their yearly quota of confessions 74 Don Bernardo then filed a report on other priests who lived in the area In this case he mentioned Licenciado Lucas de Sosa whom he described as a becino and hacendado Licenciado Ygnacio Pinto (also an hacendado) and Melchor de Salinas The first two according t o Don Bernardo assisted him at various times throughout the year especially during Lent when religious activity was brisk and confession mandatory for all 73 ACCFLM Torno 3 fol. 125 74 By comparison during the 1710 series of visitas Fray Diego Morcillo Rubio Auiion reviewed the following books (cited here as they appear in the original document) prior to interrogating witnesses : "El Concilio Provincial El Concilio de Trento Las Sinodales de este Ob i spado El Cathecismo de Pio Quinto Las summas que tuviese de cassos morales Los L ibros de Baptizados Cassados y Difuntos Los Padrones de Confessados Las Licencias para los Casamientos" ACCFLM Torno 27 fol. 213

PAGE 57

49 parishioners in the district. Although Don Melchor occasionally helped out in the church Don Bernardo had never seen him administer the Sacred Sacraments to any parishioners 75 The trial of Bernardo Hemani de Bonifaz was preceded by an inquiry into the vida y costumbres (life and customs) of Combaya's former priest (Don Bernardo's predecessor) Joan Diez de Fuenmaior. 76 The interrogation began on the 10th of July the day after the group's arrival. In his official account of the proceedings Secretary Truxillo y Godoy recorded the first witness to testify before Promoter Fiscal Francisco de Leon was "an Indian who according to the interpreter Don Pedro de V aides the translator named for the visita of this bishopric calls himself Antonio Canabire an hilacata from the ayllu Y ampara 77 Almost every witness in each visita y escrutinio trial held from 1680 to 1730 was identified in this way ; he stated his name his professional or social 7 5 "As for Melchor I have never seen him celebrate or administer the Sacred Sacraments ACCFLM Torno 3 fol. 9 76 This is a fair l y common occurrence throughout the documentary record The trial of resident priests usually came after a review of the parish's previous priest Almost without exception the same witnesses testified in both hearings 77 ACCFLM T omo 3 fol. 21 The ayllu has been the topic of extensive research by both historians and anthropologists of the Andes It is usually considered the primary social foundation upon which Andean culture stands since most individuals living in predominately indigenous villages today have some ayllu affiliation. In the pre-colonial period an overwhelming majority of commoners nobles and rulers were members of ayllus and thus shared in communal work obligations and the distribution of land For a comprehensive and contemporary examination of the social political and economic facets of the ayllu as it evol v ed in the colonial period consult the several chapters dedicated to Andean social structure in Larson and Harris Ethnicity Markets and Migration in the Andes ; and Roberto Choque Canqui Sociedad y economia colonial en el sur andino (La Paz : HISBOL 1993)

PAGE 58

50 rank, 78 and his ayllu district 79 or village affiliation. Later in the testimony, testigos also provided their age The youngest men to appear before the promotor fiscal were eighteen years of age. The oldest were Don Carlos Gudina, a ninety year old Yndio natural of Songo, and Pedro Linaja a former principal of Combaya who claimed to be ninety-four years of age when he testified in 1710 Antonio Canabire and all the subsequent witnesses proceeded to answer a series of twenty-six questions which had first been announced in the edicto de visita and that varied from issues concerning the proper administration of the Sacred Sacraments, to Don Juan's 78 A vast majority of the Indians called as witnesses were either caciques (regional chiefs) hilacatas (defined by Theresa Canedo-Arguelles Fabrega as "Indios de segundo rango") or principales (other important members of the community). Canedo-Arguelles Fabrega, Potosi: la version Aymara de un mito europeo 25 79 Frequently Indian witnesses identified themselves as members of a parcialidad a socially and geographically based faction of citizens Like the ayllu, the moieties of Hanansaya and Urinsaya were characteristic of pre-Columbian societies, whereby those members associated with the parcialidad Hanansaya occupied the upper half of society (i e the nobility) and those of the parcia/idad Urinsaya were commoners Writing in 1621 the Augustinian friar Ramos Gavilan commented The Urinsayas are the natural Indians who are of common background at least according to the Anansayas who were forasteros and upstarts people without their own land, maintained by charity in their [the Anansaya 's] villages The Anansayas reported that they had come here at the behest of the Inca because he knew them to be troublesome . . They possessed little loyalty for his Highness. Thierry Saignes Los andes orientales : historia de un olvido, 34. According to most scholars of Andean history, including Saignes and Karen Powers these hierarchical groupings changed considerably during the colonial period due to the influx of foreign elements (forasteros andyanaconas) into what had previously been predominately originario settlements For a general discussion of moieties in the colonial Andes see Irene Silverblatt Moon, Sun and Witches: Gender Ideologies and Class in Inca and Colonial Peru (Princeton : Princeton University Press 1987); Thierry Saignes, Los andes orientales : historia de w1 olvido ; Ann Zulawski "Forasteros y Yanaconas : la mano de obra de un centro m i nero en el siglo XVIl in Brooke Larson, Olivia Harris, and Enrique Tandeter eds Estrategias y reproduccion social: siglos XVI a XX (La Paz : CERES 1987); and Karen Powers Andean Journeys: Migration, Ethnogenesis and the State in Colonial Quito (Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press, 1995).

PAGE 59

51 sexual behavior ("has the parish priest had inside his house any suspicious woman which would cause much scandal within the community 80 ) to his involvement in local commercial ventures ( has the parish priest had business dealings or contracts involving trade goods thus intermingling with secular men for these purposes. 81 ) After Antonio s testimony (which included incidentally widespread allegations of religious and criminal misconduct) eight other witnesses came before the promotor fiscal and corroborated his testimony. This pattern was common; the vast majority of visita trials from 1680 to 1730 involved witnesses whose testimonies were consistent. Subsequent testigos in the case against Don Joan were Capitan Joan Martin de Sosa (a fifty-five year old lieutenant of the corregidor of the province) Miguel de Sossa (a forty-four year old hacendado) Luis de Ojeda (a 30 year old vecino of Combaya) and finally a group of Indians who testified together : Sebastian Quispe and Andres Mamani (twenty-one and ei g hteen years old respectively and both identified as yanaconas from the parish of San Sebastian de La Paz), 8 2 Joan Tamona ( a thirty year old from the ayllu 8 0 ACCFLM Torno 3 fol. 13r 81 lbid A transcription of these questions which throughout the time under review remained thematically consistent albeit sometimes in different forms is included as Appendix B and entitled The Visita Interrogation 8 2 Yanacona is another term from the pre-Columbian era. In the Diocese of La Paz during the colonial period the term was used to identify landless Indians who mainly worked for local ha c endados Yanaconas were distinguised fromforasteros because the latter could technically ( and did in some instances) own land even though they had no ancestral ties to it. Herbert Klein states : "Arriving as migrants to the old communities or latecomers to the new ones these Jorasteros . were given lesser land rights or no land at all and simply took up residence as landless laborers on the plots of the originarios In changing status the y may have lost their lands but they removed themselves from all their tax obligations as well Until the eighteenth century forasteros did not have to pay the

PAGE 60

Charasani) 8 3 Xt6bal Alanoca (a twenty-five year old from the ayllu Guache) and Diego Estaca (a thirty year old from the ayllu Yampara) This particular witness pool was no t typical at least for the first two decades of this study In most visitas y escrutinios from 1680 to 1700 the promotor fiscal interrogated exclusively Indian parishioners If a Spaniard testified at all he was usually the only one 52 Because this visita involved two parish priests, Promoter Fiscal Leon did not issue his summary of the case to Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier until the July 12 two days after the interrogation began In his report, he outlined the allegations of misconduct made against Joan Diez de Fuenmaior, which included, among other things, forcing the sick and dying to come to Combaya instead of going out to them to administer last rites and having in his company two brothers who abused the Indians whipped them for no reason and "made them work without compensation which is against ordinances (ordenanzas) and decrees of His Majesty 84 In typical fashion for cases which involved violations of Church rules the promotor fiscal recommended that the erring priest be punished severely for his delinquencies : To Your Majesty I ask and appeal that in conformity with the proof of allegations . condemn the aforementioned Licenciado Joan Diez de tribute tax nor were they subject to the mita Herbert Klein Bolivia: The Evolution of a Multi-Ethnic Socie ty, 52 A more contemporary source on yanaconaje in colonial Bolivia is Thierry Saignes, Indian Migration and Social Change in Seventeenth-Century Charcas ," in Larson and Harris Ethnicity Markets and Migration in the Andes. 83 Combaya was frequently cited as being composed mostly offorasteros It is likely the ayllu that this witness referred to was the Indian village of Charasani, located less than fifty kilometers away to the northwest of Combaya 8 4 ACCFLM Torno 3 fol. 39

PAGE 61

53 Fuenmaior in the form he deserves for the crimes that he has committed about which I put forth these accusations .. . I ask for justice and court costs 85 In trials which involved no punishable transgression, the visitor-general or the bishop then filed his final sentence 86 But because this case revealed several violations of Church authority Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier issued his own summary of the charges against Don Joan and summoned the priest to respond to the allegations within a few hours In a written report, the priest defended himself and his actions ("todo es falso" 87 ), and appealed : "it would serve you to order me free of all charges that the promotor has had against me, to declare me a good priest, and likewise to award my zealous and vigilant work according to my [exemplary] record. 88 Not surprisingly, as I discuss at length in the later chapters of this dissertation, the case against Licenciado Joan Diez de Fuenmaior ended with the issuance of a favorable final sentence : "We declare that . he fulfilled as was his obligation the task of administering the Sacred Sacraments to the parishioners of this district .. living honestly without neglecting the duties of his sacerdotal position 89 85 ACCFLM Torno 3, fol. 39r. 86 Most sentencias finales which concluded the visita y escrutinio were favorable and formulaic ; usually they did not mention specific accomplishments other than "being a good priest" and "having sufficiently administered the Sacred Sacraments to his parishioners." A transcription of a typical final sentence is included as Appendix C and is entitled "The Sentencia Final of Pedro de Montesdoca." 87 ACCFLM Torno 3, fol. 43 89 ACCFLM Torno 3, fol. 46

PAGE 62

He was however, fined a total of sixty pesos for three offenses; Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier designated a third to be paid to complete the construction of the church in Combaya Don Joan had to pay twenty pesos to the Tribunal of the Holy Crusade (la Tribunal de la Sancta Cruzada) and the final third would be applied as Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes saw fit. Finally, the visitor-general ordered Don Joan to repay any amounts of money which were inappropriately and illegally collected from widows of the recently deceased 54 On the fourteenth of July, the investigative team led by Visitor-General Eguares y Pasquier left Comba y a and arrived the next evening in Ancoraymes located approximately thirty kilometers awa y Just as in Combaya the visiting officials arrived at the church were greeted by Indians and Spaniards, held mass, and conducted interrogations of parishioners. In ano t her contentious trial which pitted parishioners and other priests against Bachiller An t onio de Vivero the promotor fiscal interrogated over fifteen witnesses and received affidavits from a record twenty-two other citizens The content of the case against Don Antonio the indictments brought forth by nearly every parishioner (Indian and Spanish alike) the priest's appeal and the final sentence are chronicled in detail in the last sect i on of Chapter 6 of this study Summary Shortly after F rancisco Pizarro's arrival on the Pacific coast and in the subsequent decades of Spanish colonization of Peru Charcas became one of the most important mining and commerc i al centers in all of the American colonies. To the highland mines of Potosi in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries came tens of thousands of European

PAGE 63

55 settlers most of whom after failing in their endeavor to return eventually to Spain with their riches stayed in the southern Andes to capitalize on the many economic opportunities the diverse region, and its native peoples promised For much o f the colonial period life in La Paz and its supporting territories (mainly the Yungas and the Lake Titicaca district) was probably less frenzied compared to the hustle and bustle of Potosi and the audiencia capital of La Plata (Sucre) But La Paz dominated the northern sector of the district and served as a vital commercial link and provisioning junction between these southern Andean cities and the important urban center of Cuzco As throughout much of colonial Latin America the region's relative prosperity depended in part on the Spaniard's ability to raise capital and maintain political and social control of the sizable and comparatively healthy indigenous population Mostly however, it relied on the systematic exploitation of Indian labor and the expropriation of native land. Among the many agents of social economic and political control were Catholic priests both secular and regular who served in a sense as intermediaries between two cultural worlds The Spanish brand of organized religion came to Charcas with the first colonis t s as missionaries accompanied the initial conquistador bands that roamed east from Cuzco in the 1530s Soon however ecclesiastical administrators recognized the need for proper jurisdictions and b y the early seventeenth century an archbishop in La Plata and two bishops in La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra governed religious life in the territory Under their supervision and usually far away from the episcopal seat, thousands of parish

PAGE 64

56 priests toiled and with few exceptions, they led inconspicuo us lives despite the significant role they played as agents of the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church in colonial Latin American society In the Diocese of La Paz in 1730, secular priests staffed sixty one of the district's seventy-two parishes. The other eleven churches were managed by members of the various religious orders. After 1680, rarely did parish priests work alone; usually they hired one or two assistants (ayudantes or tenientes de cura) to help them with their religious duties in town and to service remote hamlets throughout their jurisdiction. These men, like the parish priest himself, were often underpaid and overworked, and as I point out in Chapter 5 not infrequently engaged in illicit practices or commercial dealings ( at the expense of Indian parishioners) to make a decent living One check on illegal activity by priests was the visita y escrutinio, a trial procedure which involved periodic visitations by ecclesiastic officials to each parish in the diocese These visitas form the documentary backbone of this dissertation, since they reveal both the spiritual and intellectual concerns of the high clergy and patterns of socioeconomic and religious behavior among parish priests More importantly, as I discuss fully in the later chapters of this dissertation, these pastoral inspections constituted a point of interaction a medium of contact and negotiation between Indian parishioners, ecclesiastical officials, and the resident priests on trial. In the next two chapters, however, I focus on who these secular priests were, their origins, what types of families they came from, and their self-professed motives for entering the priesthood. In Chapter 3, I discuss their social and economic backgrounds

PAGE 65

Chapter 4 deals with their academic careers and achievements as parish priests, as employees of the Spanish state, and as friends, neighbors, and sometimes bitter rivals of the people they served. 57

PAGE 66

CHAPTER3 SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC BACKGROUNDS Parish pries t s living in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 173 0 were men of varied backgrounds who sought to depict themselves professionally as religious men, even though their collective behavior in civil activities suggests they were more worldly and materially centered than they indicated in official correspondence If, as agents of thhe church and men of t he cloth they may have aspired to a higher, more spiritual level of consciousness and conduct the documentary records suggests they were in fact simply men of their time and place preoccupied with many of the same concerns as their secular neighbors and relat i ves 1 Who these men were and how their social backgrounds educations and professional careers helped shape their attitudes and behavior are significant factors in understanding not only how religious life was organized on the most basic level but also how these men factored into the complex social milieu that was colonial Andean society After a brie f discussion of documentary sources this chapter focuses on the familial and financial backgrounds of the parish priests who worked in the D i ocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1 7 30 In the subsequent chapter (Chapter 4) I examine the priests 1 In his negati v e assessment of the performance of priests living and working throughout the Audiencia of Charcas Luis Penaloza Cordero writes : "one might say that with some exceptions the Church abandoned its spiritual mission and dedicated its energy to satisfying their material needs Nueva Historia Econ6mica de Bolivia 192 58

PAGE 67

59 academic careers before concluding with an analysis of how these men viewed themselves professionally as spiritual specialists in this rugged and often inhospitable Andean region Sources and Samples This analys i s of the career patterns and socioeconomic background of the secular clergy of the Diocese of La Paz is based on information derived from three types of archival sources : p e ticiones de 6rdenes (petitions for orders) a collection of documents handed in by prospective priests seeking ordination from the bishop; relaciones ( or probanzas) de meritos y servicios (account or proofs of merits and services), a type of professional r~sum~ priests submitted when applying for a job or transfer ; and two reports recommending certain priests for promotion or special recognition, one filed by Bishop Queipo de Llano Vald~s in 1690 and the other by Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo in 1725 Petitions for minor (first tonsure and las cuatro grados the four degrees 2 ) or major (subdeacon deacon and presbyter) orders followed a standard set of procedures The applicants usually young boys inclined to the priestly vocation or older seminary students provided the bishop with personal information which proved their legitimacy, worthiness for the p r iesthood dedication to the Church educational training and any spiritual predilectio n which signaled their calling to the service of God As part of their applications candidates provided birth and baptismal records and sometimes 2 The ritual o f "first tonsure" involved the ceremonial cutting of a portion of the candidate's hair on the crown of the head In the sixth and seventh centuries, this practice emerged as a distinc t rite of admission to the clerical ranks The "four degrees" refers to the four ministries conferred upon the minor ordinate : porter lector, exorcist and acolyte The Enc y clopedia oJCatholicism, 1st ed s v. "first tonsure," and "minor orders

PAGE 68

60 recommendations written by prominent friends or relatives 3 The most important part of the ordination process apart from the general examination of the candidate himself, was the interrogation of witnesses before an ecclesiastical board of examiners Both of these procedures were governed by an edicto para 6rdenes ( edict for orders, a formal document issued by the presiding bishop for each candidate) whose tone and content betrayed the spirit of the Council of Trent and the religious preoccupations of the time. Bishop Queipo de Llano ValdP.s' edict for orders for Juan Feliz de Vargas y Villagomez, processed in June of 1689, was typical of edicts issued by the various bishops of the Diocese of La Paz throughout the period under review It advised all persons, ecclesiastics as well as ordinary citizens, that Don Juan was seeking first tonsure 4 the first of several transitional ministries for those preparing for the priesthood and that persons aware of any reason that the young boy should not be admitted should come forward The edict as a whole, concerned the life and customs of the candidate and included a wide variety of questions which ranged from the applicant's lineage and age to his record of service in his local church. Almost invariably then, one of the witnesses in any ordination trial (including Don Juan's) was the boy's hometown priest. At issue was 3 Filed as part of Gonzalo Nunez Bela's ordination papers, for example, was a recommendation by the presiding bishop of Santa Cruz, who, on behalf of the young man, wrote : "he is a fine young lad and appears to me to be of modest character." ACCFLM, Torno 27 fol. 82 4 William Taylor reports that the Fourth Provincial Council of Trent elaborated on this guideline adding that boys as young as seven were eligible for first tonsure if they were prudent boys who showed an inclination toward the office. Taylor, Magistrates of the Sacred, 5 71.

PAGE 69

61 not onl y the candidate's behavior and background but also that of his parents other living relatives and ancestors The first sections questioned : if the father or mother of the aforementioned Don Juan Feliz de Vargas ... or any of his two paternal grandparents has been a heretic or believer follower or defender of heret i cs or if the aforementioned candidate for orders has been a slave Indian or mestizo or if he is descendant of those recently converted to the faith or . if he is the product of a legitimate marriage. 5 The edict's subsequent questions expressed similar concerns ; does the applicant generally behave like a Christ i an should ; is he married 6 ; has he ever been married or been possessed by the devil ; is he c r azy ; if in battle, has the candidate run away from the enemy in a cowardly fashion ; does he often get drunk or frequent taverns or drinking houses ; and finally was the app l icant "prudent composed, peaceful and of good reputation, qualit i es which are and have been worthy and sufficient for ordination?" 7 The witnesses for their part almost uniformly responded by simply repeating the question adding on ly a "si" or a "no to the clause. 8 Bachiller and fellow priest Juan de 6 Ger6nimo Gabriel de Villalba was the only candidate for orders or jobs who acknowledged he had previously been married To convince the bishop of his noble desire to enter the priesthood and the admirable qualities of his then-deceased fourteen year old ex-wife Don Geronimo explained : "I have applied myself to my studies after the death of Dofia Rossa de Vera y Molina my legitimate wife with whom I contracted to marry She died a virgin in a bedroom of her parent's house On this account as is public knowledge I have not led a disorderly life (iregularidad de vida mia) because I was married just once to a virgin .... It would serve Your Most Excellent Lord to admit me to first tonsure ." ACCFLM Torno 2 3, fol. 144 7 ACCFLM Torno 15 fol.5 8 On the qual i ty of responses by witnesses in La Plata in the 1600s, Lincoln Draper writes : "the repetition of information tends to follow the pattern established in the cover

PAGE 70

Valencia, testifying on behalf of young Juan de Yvero 1691, stated: The aforementioned candidate for orders never has been a member of a religious order, neither has he been re-baptized nor possessed [by the devil] nor has he had premonitions, heart disease, leprosy, or other contagious illnesses, and [I] know that the aforementioned applicant is not impeded by any part of his body 9 62 Job vacancies generated documents which were similar to the petitions for orders, such that priests were required to submit baptismal records along with their relacion and a brief account of their performance in past visitas y escrutinios. Unlike the petitions, apparently no standard format was followed by priests applying for jobs and witnesses were not a part of the procedure. Clearly the most important element of each candidate's portfolio was the relaci6n, but these letters varied considerably in detail from one priest to another. Indeed while the archival records from La Paz, Madrid, and Seville contain considerable details on the lives of many priests, others left scant, and in some cases, no details concerning their education, birthplace, religious service or professional accomplishments This is especially true for the veteran priests who were working in the diocese when Bishop Queipo de Llano V aldP.s arrived in 1681 In his 1686 petition for a vacancy in GuancanP. for example, Joseph Munoz de Real provided no information other letter and was obviously the product of an agreement between the priest and the testigo Lincoln Arnold Draper "Archbishops, Canons and Priests : The Interaction of Religious and Social Values in the Clergy of Seventeenth-Century Bolivia 9 ACCFLM fol. 70 Torno 19.

PAGE 71

than the fact that h e was the legitimate son of Capitan Francisco Faria Mascarenas and Dona Andrea de Ver y Cardenas 10 63 By contrast other curas especially those working in the 171 Os and 1720s recounted their ent i re lives from infancy 11 to their latest promotion In this way the more complete relacione s differed significantly from the petitions : whereas the petitions tended to furnish only basic personal details (date and place of baptism, hometown names of parents and godparents and sometimes a brief record of their educational training up to that point) the detailed resumes contained considerable data on priests' illustrious Christian heritage admirable past service hardships endured in the field and usually long lists of academic achievements In any case both the petitions for orders and job applications gave prospective priests and ordained clerics an opportunity to boast about themselves and their ancestors, and thus contain an inherent bias which cannot be overlooked In his study of the secular clergy in La Plata L incoln Draper states : "As a result the picture of the priesthood that emerges from a reading of a number of these documents is that of a clergy as it wished to be seen or as it thought the royal government in Spain wanted the clergy to act. 12 This problem of reliabili ty of sources of course cannot be overcome, and it is possible to 1 0 ACCFLM Torno 9 fol. 7 11 Comment i ng in 1710 on his early calling to the Church Joseph Fransisco de Abendano "dedicated all the time from my youth, from the time I could reason ( desde la edad def usso de raz6n) to serving this Sacred Cathedral Church." ACCFLM, Torno 27, fol. 51. 1 2 Draper Archbishops Canons and Priests 202

PAGE 72

64 ascertain (through analysis of a wide array of documentary sources) at least some idea of the socio-economic base of parish priests and the extent to which they deemed their lives as valuable to the overall mission of Catholicism and to imperial Spain Perhaps the most unbiased view of the secular clergy comes from the two reports (informes) written in 1690 and 1725 by Bishop Queipo de Llano ValdP.s and Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo respectively Unfortunately however Bishop Queipo de Llano ValdP.s limited his informe to only the top thirty-five parish priests, and while Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo reviewed the accomplishments of fifty-five priests it is obvious when comparing both bishops' accounts that they relied heavily on the priests' relaciones for their i nformation Indeed a thorough reading of the reports gives the impression that personal preferences and friendships rather than educational qualifications or dedication to one s job made the difference between priests listed first or last among personas benemeritas (praiseworthy people) Another problem of sources stems from the fact that biographical data for the eighteenth century a r e more complete than those for the seventeenth century This is possibly a result of better bookkeeping but more likely attributed to population growth professionalization of the ecclesiastical bureaucracy over time and increased acti vi ty and competition within the diocese for Church jobs No statistical study has been done for the territory which comprised the Diocese of La Paz during these years, but Herbert Klein claims in his general study of Bolivia that while many of the other regions in Charcas faltered demographically in the eighteenth century the region around La Paz actually prospered and grew in population Klein states : "the one hundred fifty or two hundred

PAGE 73

65 thousand campesin o s of its [La Paz ] hinterland converted the city into the administrative and mercantile center [thus] making it the most densely populated zone of the altiplano 13 Indeed the number of submitted petitions for orders reflected this growth of population and religious activity over time. Records from the Archive Central in La Paz indicate that from 1680 to 1700 seventy-one young boys and seminary students applied for minor or major orders compared with one-hundred and twenty seven for the first three decades of the eigh t eenth century Likewise and in part due to the tragedy of the general epidemics of the late 1 700s and 171 Os which took the lives of several eighteenth-century priests Bishops Queipo de Llano Vald~s (1680-1694) and Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra (1695-16 9 7) oversaw only twelve job competitions (oposiciones) while the bishops of the last thirty years of this study supervised twenty one Of the one hundred and seventy-eight clerics who held the title of cura in cities and villages throughout the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 good biographical records exist for only eight y -seven priests Of the one hundred and ninety-eight candidates for ordination I have located satisfactory data for only fifty men Thus, the following study draws together data from one-hundred thirty-two men most of whom went beyond the request for orders to become fully ordained priests 14 It is important to mention that this sample is representative because all five decades of the study are equally covered and 13 Klein Boli v ia : The Evolution of a Multi-ethnic Society, 91 1 4 A few men who were assistants to the parish priests (usually called ayudantes but also sometimes t enientes de cura) and a fair number of priests who served as either cura interin or cura c oadjutor are also represented in this analysis albeit to a significantly lesser extent.

PAGE 74

both men of high achievement and those who may have been unemployed ( at least as priests) for a majori t y of their lives are part of this survey Priests as Members of Colonial Andean Society 66 With the exception of an Indian from Chucuito named Joseph Julian Y nga Charaja all applicants for orders and parish priests of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1 730 claimed Christian heritage and Spanish ancestry_ is Juan Feliz de Vargas y Villagomez' description of his ancestry was identical nearly to the word to statements made b y other priests regarding their family backgrounds In his response to the question concerning his legitimacy 16 and the racial purity 17 of his ancestors, Don Juan commented : i s A relativel y small number of Indians managed to enter into the priesthood as ordained priests and those who did had to prove their aristocratic origins In his study of priests in Mexico William Taylor reports, however "There were few Indian curas in Guadalajara but in the archdiocese perhaps 5 perj:ent of the parish priests in the late colonial period were identified as Indians All had demonstrated to the satisfaction of the examiners that they w ere men of noble ancestry and legitimate birth and most were from one of the Indian barrios of Mexico City or a pueblo in the Valley ofMexico Ta y lor Magistrates of the S a cred 8 7 1 6 Nearly all candidates for orders and jobs in the Diocese of La Paz claimed legitimacy meaning that they were the sons of a married Christian couple Francisco Lopez de la Vega a presbyter from Oruro applying for residency in the diocese was the only example of a pr i est who acknowledged his parents were single (solteros) at the time of his birth Nevertheless he claimed purity of blood and mentioned his parents Don Antonio Lopez de la Vega and Dofi.a Leonor de Balboa by name ACCFLM Torno 9 fol. 94 17 1n a few ca s es such as the ordination trial of Juan Francisco de Herrera t he status of the candida t e's purity of blood was in question since he was abandoned (exp6sito) as a child Don Juan appealed to Bishop Queipo de Llano y Vald~s in 1685 : as I have always been known as an orphaned child without knowledge of my father or mother ACCFLM Torno 9 fol. 115 Although bishops did call a few extra witnesses to testify to the good behavior of those whose parents were unknown not once did any bishop deny ordination based on this uncertainty

PAGE 75

I am the legitimate son of Don Bernardo Feliz de Vargas y Villagomez and of Dona Ynez Fabiana de Roa y Espinosa .. .. My grandparents have never been believers accomplices followers, or defenders of heretics and . [I] am not and never have been a slave, an Indian, a mestizo or offspring of the recently converted to the faith 18 67 Technically Indians and mestizos could enter the priestly vocation The Third Ecclesiastic Council of Lima held in 1582-83 issued the following decree which was later summarized in the Recopilaci6n de las Leyes de Jndias (Book 1, Title VII, Law 7) : "the Bishops of these Indies [can] ordain as priests mestizos from their districts if they possess the qualities and credentials of priests. 19 But the difference between policy and practice, at least in the Diocese of La Paz was profound, as illustrated by the distance which candidates for ordination and jobs uniformly placed themselves away from any ma/a raza or racial taint. Gaspar de Herrera, using language typical of his peers, began his ordination request in 1686 by declaring: "we [ members of my family] are Old Christians, free of all racial tain t s and known publically as such 20 Joseph Julian Ynga Charaja's case, obviously was the exception and reflected the crown's active promotion oflndians for ordination which began after the promulgation of a royal decree issued in March 1696 whereby Indians techni~ally could be ordained and ascend to the status of presbyter 21 18 ACCFLM Torno 15 fol. 8. 19 Monsefior Severo Aparicio Quispe, O M "Estudio Prelimar," in La Evangelizaci6n de/ Peru en /os siglos XVI y XVII (Arequipa : Actas del Primer Congreso Peruano de Historia Eclesiastica, 1990), 62. 20 ACCFLM Torno 9 fol. 81. 21 The cedula real (royal decree) referred to here is entitled "Decree issued by the Council of the Indies concerning the promulgation of the general law which confirms that Indians and mestizos can ascend to high positions within the Church and as ecclesiastics

PAGE 76

68 Born in the second most important urban center of the diocese the city of Chucuito which is situated on the southern banks of Lake Titicaca, Joseph Julian Ynga Charaja's father had formerly served as the region's cacique gobernador (governor chief) His mother according to his relaci6n was a member of the city's most prosperous ayllu the Guagi In his application for minor orders, Don Joseph expressed himself much like his creole peers: I appear humbly at the feet of Your Most Excellent Majesty .. and say that in order to serve better our God .... I have decided to follow the ecclesiastical path, continuing with my studies of grammar and moral theology undertaken from my earliest years until the present time, always giving proper attention to my personal behavior and comportment. 22 Witnesses brought in to testify on Don Joseph's behalf attested to the young man's noble heritage: "he is from Indian nobility on account of the honorific positions they [his ancestors] have held in that province 23 The crown and Church's preoccupation with purity of blood apparently did not end with those of Hispanic descent; at one point in the interrogation of witnesses, the applicant's pure Indian blood was questioned 24 For their and located in Richard Konetzke, Colecci6n de documentos para la historia de la formaci6n social de Hispanoamerica (Madrid : Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas 1962) vol. 3 64 For a comparison of how this decree was handled in Mexico see Taylor Magistrates of the Sacred 568 22 ACCFLM, Torno 27 fol. 45. 23 ACCFLM Torno 27 fol. 46 24 1n a cedula real dated 12 March, 1697, King Philip IV declared "that Indians of high nobility such as caciques and their descendants, will be considered to have purity of blood to be nobles and capable of redemption in all functions and professions that require such prestige Vicente G Quesada, La vida intelectua/ en la America Espanola (Buenos Aires : La Cultura Argentina 1917), 224.

PAGE 77

part, none of the witnesses were willing to state definitely that Don Joseph's was "pure blooded They uniformly remarked : "I do not know ifhe has any mixture of black, mulato or mestizo [blood]. 25 69 In all other ordination procedures, applicants underwent a series of standard examinations designed to prove their Christian ancestry, and to test their competency in Latin, the Indian languages and Church doctrine 26 In the case of Don Joseph, Bishop Morcillo Rubio y Auii.6n, in addition to the exams, sent the young man to the Convent of San Francisco for a probationary period of service In the opinion of the prior of the convent, Fray Juan Martinez Xua.rez, Don Joseph possessed all the necessary qualities to become a good priest. [ the candidate] has worked in this convent for eight continual days in various exercises in fulfillment of your Lordship's mandate .. and he has participated in all of the acts of the community, the choir, and other exercises of humility culminating with the administration of the Sacred Sacrament of penance and [thus he was] received by Our Lord to attain with cleanliness of his soul the Sacred Orders he seeks. 2 7 25 ACCFLM Torno 27 fol. 46 Reflecting the growing intolerance of Spanish policies towards people of mixed blood Quesada comments on the crown's reluctance to admit people of color and mixed-bloods into American schools and other organizations "From these teachings mestizos, mulatos, cuarterones and by all means, blacks were excluded ... the Viceroy ... ordered that zambos, mulatos and cuarterones shall not be admitted as students and if they obtained a degree, it shall by nullified Quesada La vida intelectual en la America Espanola, 222 26 The Third Ecclesiastical Council of Lima recommended that all bishops "appoint in their dioceses examiners who will test those curates who will work with Indians They will be tested to see if they have sufficient knowledge of the Arts and also if they are proficient in the language of the Indians Aparicio Quispe, "Estudio Prelimar in La Evangelaci6n de/ Peru en los siglos XVI y XVII, 59 2 7 ACCFLM Torno 27 fol. 47

PAGE 78

70 Accordingly on the 14 of March 1710 Bishop Morcillo Rubio y Aufi6n conferred minor orders upon Don Joseph Julian Ynga Charaja, who thus became the first "pure-blooded native American to enter the secular clergy in the Diocese of La Paz Except for h i s Indian blood Don Joseph had many of the same qualities and credentials as his Spanish colleagues including his birthplace and residence Indeed an overwhelming majo r ity of the members of the secular clergy who worked and lived in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were American-born creoles (criol/os) whose parents lived within the territorial confines of the diocese Of the one hundred thirty-two parish priests in the sample group only thirty were born outside the region and many of these men had lived as domiciliarios (residents) of the diocese for many years Twenty three priests professed to be born and raised in La Paz while twenty-one men defined themselves somewhat ambiguously as originarios or natives which may indicate the y were from the capital city or its environs (Calacoto and Palca for example) but certainly meant that they were born in the diocese Thirty men of the sample group were from smaller towns of the diocese growing up on haciendas near provincial villages like Sorata Mocomoco Moho Achacache, or Chuma Four were from Don Joseph s hometown Chucuito and the Villa de Puno another important colonial village was home to three men 2 8 The birthplace of twenty-three priests from the sample group is unknown It was not un c ommon for priests who were originarios of the Diocese of La Paz 2 8 Both Chucu i to and Puno are now cities in Peru but until the 1780s when the new episcopal boundaries were drawn, were a part of the Diocese of La Paz

PAGE 79

71 to return eventually to their hometowns as parish priest, and the record shows that many curas at least applied for jobs where they grew up, even if they did not ultimately get the position The tragic case of Gonzalo de la Cueba and Antonio de V ald~s illustrates the efforts of two priests who sought to return home only to have nature step in the way De la Cueba ( cura of Sorata) and V ald~s ( cura of Asillo, Bishopric of Cuzco) signed a mutual agreement in March of 1694 to exchange curatos : "we have made an agreement to exchange, one for the other, our respective benefices of Sorata and Asillo 29 Each of these priests had left the diocese of his birth and now wished to return to his hometown for several reasons but most importantly because of poor health. De la Cueba wrote in his appeal to the bishop : I suffer from illnesses and discomfort while urinating and other internal diseases which are exacerbated by the weather of Sorata on account of that town's heat and humidity The town of Asillo is much more favorable [for me] because of its moderate climate and dryness. 30 Maintaining residence in either location, the men emphasized was a risk to their lives an accurate premonition since Don Gonzalo died before the transfer took place Two clerics from the sample group were from the capital of the Audiencia of Charcas and the home of the archdiocese, the city of La Plata, and one cochabambino Pedro Alvarez de Ayora y Estrada, applied for orders from the bishop of La Paz 31 Three 29 ACCFLM, Torno 15 fol. 175 31 Don Pedro's career, parenthetically is typical in some ways of the mobility of clerics Born in Cochabamba, he attended the Real Seminario de San Christ6bal in La Plata, where he attained his bachelor's degree and for four years taught grammar before moving to the Diocese of La Paz where he worked for eighteen years in various parishes

PAGE 80

72 candidates for ordination were originally from Oruro including Nicolas P~ez de la Mata Paton who referred to himself as a relative of Nicolas Urbano Mata y Haro who served as bishop of La Paz from 1702 to 1704 No applicants with any experience or background in Potosi appeared in the archival record of the Diocese of La Paz perhaps indicating the desirability of working near or in the richest and most populated city in Alto Peru at that time Looking outside the territorial boundaries of modem Bolivia eighteen of the one hundred thirty-two priests were from Peru : four from Arequipa two from Cuzco one from the town of Azagara and the rest from Lima The fact that so many clerics from the sample group were limenos might be attributed to the fact that a majority of bishops who came to serve in the diocese from 1680 to 1730 held prominent positions in the viceregal capital before being promoted to La Paz. Juan Queipo de Llano Vald~s was a.fiscal of the Inquisition in Lima i n the 1670s Nicolas Urbano Mata y Haro held the position of theological canon in Lima's cathedral before coming to La Paz and Fray Alejo Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo was a limeno by birth. 3 2 In addition, Fray Diego Morcillo Rubio y Aui'i6n who served as bishop from 1709 to 1711 before his promotion to Archbishop of La Plata brought wi t h him at least six male relatives, three of whom were originally from Lima ( the other thre e were men from Honduras and Guatemala and worked for him there during his tenure as Bishop ofLe6n [Nicaragua] prior to coming to South America) One cleric the well-traveled Juan de Mosquera was born and raised in the Kingdom of Santa F Pde Bogota, and served as cura in the dioceses of Cuzco and 32 L6pez MenP.ndez Historia de la Di6cesis de La Paz, 10-13

PAGE 81

73 Arequipa before coming to work for the Bishop of La Paz as cura of Guancami in the 1690s It is curious that no ecclesiastics or seminarios from cities or towns in territories of modem day Paraguay or Argentina applied for orders or sought positions within the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730. Nine men from the sample group cited direct Spanish lineage Of these nine two curas were actually born in Spain. Lucas Bonilla y Portillo, a relative of Fray Diego, and that same bishop's younger brother Pedro Morcillo Rubio, were from Villarobledo and La Mancha, respectively Among those who claimed Spanish heritage, it was not unusual for them to be tied through patronage to the presiding bishops or one of his predecessors. The paceno Gabriel de Barroeta y GuillP.stegui, for example ( cura of Sapaqui, Guaqui, and Tiahuanaco and then rector of the Cathedral from the 1680s to the 1710s), was the nephew of Gabriel GuillP.stegui, bishop of La Paz from 1670 until his death in 1678 33 Don Gabriel's parents according to his job application of 1688 were "natives of the Villa Marquina Province of Cantabria, in the Kingdom of Spain 34 Clearly, candidates for orders or jobs saw any Spanish ties as beneficial and hastened to make hereditary connections to the metropolis to impress their superiors Often, these ancestral ties were to military men whose courageous exploits and acts of heroism were symbolic of the family's distinguished lineage and loyalty to the Crown In his relaci6n of 1692 Licenciado Dionisio Probincia de Peralta recalled the memory of his 33 Ibid 9 34 ACCFLM Torno 13, fol. 268

PAGE 82

famous uncle Luis de Peralta Cabesa de Vaca : "he was . [one] of the first conquistadores and pacifiers of this Kingdom 35 74 Among the many cases of priests recounting the legends of their ancestors the story of the pacerw Doctor Pablo Joseph Salgado y Araujo stood out. After introducing himself as the legitimate son of the Maestro de Campo Martin Salgado y Araujo and Doiia Lucia Diez de Medina Don Pablo proceeded to chronicle the noble and heroic deeds of his parents grandfa t hers grandmothers and other relatives on both sides of his family in vivid detail. Boasting of the political record of his Galician-bom great-grandfather Don Pablo contended that Payo Salgado y Araujo served as Governor of the cities of Aguila and Barleta in the Kingdom of Naples before coming to the Americas as a retainer of Viceroy of Peru the Count ofMontesclaros who served in that post from 1606 to 1616 36 Don Pablo s great-grandfather eventually settled in Arica becoming Commissary General of the Cavalry a charge quite apprec i able considering the circumstances of the time which immediately resulted in a appointment in the Royal Service of Your Majesty with the widely known dangers to life occasioned by the hostilities of the enem y 's invasions 3 7 This reference to enemy invasions probably referred to the continual Dutch attacks on coastal ports north and south of Lima in the seventeenth century 38 35 ACCFLM Torno 22 fol 87 36 1.H Elliott "Spain and America before 1700 in Colonial Spanish America ed Leslie Bethell (Cambridge : Cambridge University Press 1984), 66 37 ACCFLM Torno 30 fol. 181. 38 For a complete record of naval hostilities along the coast of Peru during the colonial period see JosP. Valdizan Gamio, Historia Naval de/ Peru (Lima : Direcci6n General de Intereses Maritimos 1984)

PAGE 83

75 Further, Don Pablo emphasized how his great grandfather also "gave donations of considerable quantity to the oidores (judges) who came to him to ask for them in Your [Magesty's] Name 3 9 Don Pablo's father, Martin Salgado y Araujo was also a soldier in Arica, and in addition to defending the coast from enemy aggression, took on the civic duty of a/ca/de ordinario (town mayor), "in whose ministry he dedicated himself with vigilance 40 Doctor Antonio de Zegarra de las Ruelas de la Cueba y Olea's description of his illustrious lineage while perhaps not as far-reaching as Don Pablo's family history was more typical of accounts priests told of their ancestors in hopes of gaining favor with the bishop In his bid for a canonship in the Cathedral in 1732, Don Antonio claimed his ancestors had descended from a mui exc/arecida (very distinguished) nobility and that his paternal great-grandfather, Juan Segarra abandoned an entailed estate (mayorasgo) which he possessed in Seville to come to this Kingdom of Peru to assume official duties in the corregimientos of "Condesuios, Aimaraes and Pacajes 41 Don Antonio's other great grandfather was Don Nufu de la Cueba of the prestigious Order of Santiago He was also a recipient of an early encomienda in Condesuios on account of the "heroic service of his ancestors in the Gerras de Flandes (sic) ( the wars of Flanders]" 42 39 ACCFLM Torno 30, fol. 181. 40 Ibid. 41 AGI, Charcas 389, 4 Julio 1732. The corregimientos of Condesuios, Aimarares, and Pacajes are references to three of the first corregimientos established in the mid sixteenth century in Alto Peru by Francisco Pizarro

PAGE 84

76 Don Antonio's account of his family's prominent position in local society was probably accurate ; i f the archival record for the Diocese of La Paz is any indication, the Zegarra family is well represented in the early history of Alto Peru and specifically the region encompassed by the Diocese of La Paz Men with the surnames Olea de la Cueba, and Zegarra served i n the diocese in various priestly functions in four of the five decades covered in this stud y. In the 1720s alone priests of this lineage were parish priests in Palca Chulumani Caquingora San Antonio de Machaca Calacoto, and Caracato Indeed representation in the diocese of relatives whether cousins brothers or uncles and nephews was quite common between 1680 and 1730 and suggests that many of the region s prominent creole families intermarried to form a kind of socio-religious class of citizens 43 Furthermore and as might be expected given the importance of the parish priest in colonial Spanish American society many curas' families were among the most powerful and influential in the region To use just one example Bishop Queipo de Llano ValdP.s visitor-general throughout the 1680s Juan Antonio de Eguares y Pasquier, was the brother of the corregidor ofLarecaja in the 1690s Francisco Antonio de Eguares y 43 See Taylor Magistrates of the Sacred ; Draper, Archbishops Canons and Priests ;" and Schwaller The Church and Clergy in 16th-Century Mexico for an analysis of extended family net w orks and service in the secular clergy By far the best source on the social origins and family structures of parish priests in the colonial Andes is Paul Bentley Ganster A Social History of the Secular Clergy of Lima during the middle decades of the 18 th Century ," Ph.D diss ., University of California, Los Angeles, 1974 In this doctoral dissertation Ganster argues against the notion that rivalries invariably existed between peninsulares and creoles at the end of the colonial period. Among the secular priests of these backgrounds he points out, contestation depended more on socioeconomic factors rather than birthplace

PAGE 85

77 Pasquier 4 4 Bishop Guill~stegui who served in that post in the 1670s certainly left a legacy of collateral descendants active in secular and religious life for decades after his death in 16 78 Curas with the surname GuilMstegui worked in the diocese in all five decades of this stud y, highlighted perhaps by Gabriel Barroeta y Guill,istegui s service as vicar-general (provi s or) between Bishop Villafane Pandafio s and Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo's respective tenures in the 1720s In a final example, the Vivero brothers Luis and Antonio served in the diocese in the late seventeenth century and even had a familial hold on the benefice of Ancoraymes located on the northern shore of Lake Titicaca for nearly two decades in the 1680s and 1690s Martin de Vivero, incidentall y, assisted his brothers as a theniente de cura in Ancoraymes at least until 1687 The archival record for the Diocese of La Paz contains numerous appeals and recommendations written by prominent members of society on behalf of a young man seeking ordination o r a priest hoping for promotion A recommendation written by Francisco de Carrion y Caceres ( cura in Palca and Songo in the 1680s and 1690s ) for his nephew Pedro Lino de Montalbo was typical of how priests attempted to use their positions of authorit y to help relatives gain favor with the bishop Licenciado Carrion y Caceres appealed for Bishop Queipo de Llano Vald~s to focus not on the boy's obvious physical handicap which the priest acknowledged would have an impact on his ability to carry out his priestly duties but rather on his fine family lineage ("his parents are Old 4 4 ACCFLM Torno 8 fol. 52 Corregidores of the city of La Paz served five year terms starting in the seventeenth century and were paid a salary of two thousand pesos per year Corregidores of the other corregimientos within the jurisdiction of the Diocese of La Paz (Omasuyos Paucarcolla Larecaja and Sicasica) were paid at an annual rate of one thousand pesos per year. Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz: su historia su cultura 66.

PAGE 86

Christians" 4 5 ) and his (the uncle's) own proven service to the church and crown when deciding his nephew s fate In this odd recommendation which seemed to stress the negative rather than the positive credentials of the applicant the uncle beseeched : Have pity on him .... The affliction, my Lord of my nephew Don Pedro Lino de Montablo ... and excuse my ignorance of such matters [ causes him] an irregularity whereby he limps on one foot, and because of this impediment Y our Most Excellent Lord has every reason not to continue with the conferring of orders that has begun for this man .... This functional bodily defect is such that it makes the man useless . a deformity offensive to the sight of others . which necessitates some sort of . staff or a kind of wooden leg because excluding such a thing, he cannot rise to the pulpit to say mass without considerable indecency 46 78 For his part Don Pedro did not bother to mention his deformity to the bishop, noting only that his mother was the sister of the priest of Songo and that like his peers he "has studied and dedicated myself to the study of grammar and moral theology and I do not possess any defect outlined by the Council of Trent. 47 Familial favors and nepotism dominated Diego Morcillo Rubio y Aufi6n s tenure as bishop from 1709 to 1 711 As mentioned earlier Fray Diego brought with him from the Bishopric of Leon at l east six relatives, each of whom had considerable success in the several job competitions conducted from 1709-1712 48 this despite not having any 4 5 ACCFLM T orno 19 fol. 2 4 7 lbid 4 According to subsequent testimony two years after applying for minor orders on the 27th of December 1963, Pedro Lino de Montalbo was ordained a Presbyter by Bishop Queipo de Llano y V aldP.s although no records indicate if he ever served as priest or assistant in any parish in the diocese 48 There were nine concursos in the span of three years from 1709 to 1712 compared with only twelve for the first twenty years of this study The inordinate number

PAGE 87

knowledge at least initially, of the local languages of Quechua and Aymara Pedro Ygnacio de Foncueba was cura ofVilque, Mocomoco and Laza in the 1710s and 1720s; Y gnacio de la Rreta worked in the much sought after village of Coroico in the 1 71 Os; 79 Y gnacio Diaz procured the curato of Ambana in 1710 and served that post until 1716, when he followed Fray Diego to the Archdiocese of La Plata to become cura of the Indian town of Quillacolla ; Nicolas Mexia de Vargas worked in Sorata before moving on to Laza in the 1 720s ; Lucas Bonilla y Portillo probably worked in the village of Suri, but the archival record is ambiguous; and Pedro Morcillo Rubio, the bishop's brother, worked in the Indian parish of San Pedro Extramuros in La Paz in the 1710s Although not specified as relatives, at least two other retainers of Bishop Morcillo y Aufi6n also held important positions in the diocese Juan Manuel de Figueroa, born and educated in Guatemala, was still serving as parish priest in Sorata in 1730, and Francisco Coronado worked as rector of the seminary school in La Paz in the 1 71 Os, and for more than a decade from 1717 until at least 1728 was cura of the pueblo ofLaja, just west of the capital city. Most of these men, therefore, stayed in the Diocese of La Paz after their benefactor moved on to the Archdiocese of La Plata This suggests either that Fray Diego's retainers were either content with their employment in the diocese, or did not see much of a future in moving south Judging from the countless claims by parish priests of their overwhelming poverty perhaps the latter assumption was more accurate Indeed, Licenciado Francisco Coronado was one among a significant number of parish priests in of deaths among priests perhaps was a result of the general epidemic which plagued the area in the early 171 Os

PAGE 88

80 the Diocese of La Paz who complained incessantly of his financial woes More than half of the members of the sample group (sixty-nine, or 52 percent), either in their pet i tions for orders or professional resumes mention personal poverty as a significant quality of their lives. Of course it is impossible to discern the legitimacy of these claims, and the few records which exist on priests financial situation do not necessarily corroborate their collective testimony of poverty 49 To use just one example from literally hundreds of cases located in the Archivo de La Paz of priests engaged in civil litigation involving valuable estates and assets Presbyter Antonio Mafiueco complained in 1 720 that Lorenzo Parcel owed him the monetary equivalent of eight hundred fifty baskets of coca an amount allegedly advanced to Parcel from the cura's productive coca/es (coca farms) in the Yungas 50 In addition a review of several priests' final wills and testaments reveals that at least a few curas were considerably well off. For instance Doctor Pedro de Goizueta Brabo de Paredes who served as precentor (chantre) of the Cathedral in the 1670s and 1680s left an impressive quantity of riches to his relatives including a house full of European furniture a valuable wardrobe, several chains of pearls, and an assortment of silver rings "one filled with diamonds 51 49 Alberto Crespo Rodas contends that the city and region surrounding La Paz was thriving compared to other parts of the Audiencia of Charcas He bases his theory on the sizable population o f the area and the fact that "the agriculture farmed by the indigenous peoples of the pre-Columbian era (potatoes, quinua pinapple and a variety of fruits) was expanded by the Spaniards. Crespo Rodas, La ciudad de La Paz : su historia su cultura, 382 50 ALP Caja 5 2 Expedientes Coloniales Num 7, 1720 51 ALP Caja 28 Expedientes Coloniales Num 8, 1682 On the personal holdings and riches of priests Penaloza Cordero states accurately : "the personal belongings of

PAGE 89

81 In any case a significant number of priests invoked the bishops' sympathies for their impoverished condition usually supporting their claims with stories of poor relatives who relied on their assistance for survival Indeed some priests like Licenciado Martin de Sarricolea y Olea allegedly entered the priesthood not because of any religious calling, but rather to provide for the welfare of their families. It is worth noting that poorer candidates for orders and jobs frequently walked a fine line between on one the hand trying to convince their superiors of their prestigious Spanish lineage and purity of blood while at the same time seeking the bishop's pity for their families' financial difficulties Don Martin stated i n his application for a job in 1693 : I was born in the City of Kings [Lima] of such reputable parents . [but I cannot] . represent my nobility [hidalguia] to Your Most Illustrious Lord . [because] they left me so poor which was my reason for having applied myself totally to my studies, the only asset I have to help my three orphaned sisters ... [I] being [solely] responsible to relieve their suffering 52 Taking care of family members, in fact was the most common way for priests or prospective priests to bring up their privation Usually as in the case of Don Martin priests asked the bishop to consider the plight specifically of their poor sisters, some of whom were nuns or lay women housed in the nunnery of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception for lack of other alternatives for care Pleading for an appointment to one of the vacant posts in Songo and Caquiavire Santiago de la Torre began his relaci6n in priests were often sumptuous and the clergymen counted among their assets agricultural estates workshops manufacturing plants, etc ... In addition they made money from their endowments and for t he celebration of dedicated masses 11 Nueva Historia Econ6mica de Boli v ia 29 5 2 ACCFLM T orno 22 fol. 268.

PAGE 90

82 1710 : "I have four sisters who are nuns in this nunnery . and another one [outside the nunnery] and I cannot [because of unemployment] manage to relieve their suffering, so my father burdened by old age, is forced to work. 53 The obligation to support poor sisters and other family members was not the only method priests used to elicit compassion from the bishop for orders or employment. While impoverished family members certainly played a part in the desperate appeal of Doctor Diego Mexias Hidalgo, a prolonged drought left the priest unable to grow even the most basic foods on the family farm Moreover, Don Diego's mother invested the little money bequeathed by his recently deceased father on his education in Cuzco, which meant that the rest of the family was left penniless In one of the most descriptive accounts of poverty of all applicants for orders or jobs in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 Mexias Hidalgo wasted no time emphasizing the gravity of the situation. He began his relacion : The reasons that I find myself with many obligations include having a sickly mother (enfermissa) and a poor sister, who has been sick for more than ten years as well [constantly] collapsing and then [ struggling] to right herself for more than four of those years which required her to stay mostly in bed plus I have six orphaned cousins who are like sisters and then three [dependent] nephews .... because of the fact that our parents are all dead we have been left destitute, without any relief other than that provided by the small parcel ofland (chacracilla), which my parents gave to me upon ordination .... This chacracilla has not been able to provide even the slightest sustenance .... I have applied for jobs in the last four competitions not gaining employment in any of them . . I put myself at your feet . to favor me with a benefice so we can feed ourselves, for the few resources which my father left us my mother used to support me in the Real Colegio of Our Father San Bernardo de Cusco 54 53 ACCFLM Torno 32, fol. 133. 54 ACCFLM Torno 30, fol. 185.

PAGE 91

83 Some petitioners who claimed poverty recalled the memory of prominent past relatives usually former or current bishops of the Diocese of La Paz who either ordained them or awarded them for their faithful service with favorable positions and who certainly (at least in the view of the poor priest) would have worked to enable the petit i oner to avoid his current financial crisis Julian de Mendoza y Calatayud came to La Paz from Lima as a familiar of Bishop Bernardo Carrasco de Saavedra in the late 1690s In the job competition of 1728 Don Julian wrote briefly of his cortos meritos (few merits) before apprizing Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo of the tremendous arrears and miseries which I have suffered in the twenty four years I have served in this bishopric . having the responsibility for four poor sisters who continually ask me about my fortunes . and I always give them what I have so as to relieve their suffering 55 Juan Manue l de Figueroa one of Fray Diego's retainers from the Bishopric of Leon reminded the bishop in his relaci6n from 1710 : "I have worked for Your Most Illustrious Lord for more than three years ... [with] such decorated and praiseworthy service attending [to m y duties] with punctuality and [proper] conduct." Don Juan ended his the appeal by telling the bishop of his "seven poor and virtuous sisters back in Guatemala who rel y on my stipend for their survival. 56 Summary Almost all the boys and young men who applied for ordination in the diocese and a majority of parish priests who worked for the bishops of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 were creoles from local families All claimed illustrious and untainted Spanish ( or as in the ss ACCFLM Torno 30 fol. 274r 5 6 ACCFLM Torno 27 fol. 148

PAGE 92

84 case of Joseph Julian Inga Charaja Indian) heritage, and many had ties to former bishops or royal officials of some economic or political importance The fact that most priests from the Diocese of La Paz had local connections helps explain, to a certain extent, why many of them were involved in land and work-related disputes with their parishioners These men in other words, had important personal links to the secular world around them, and as many of the witness testimonies from the 1680s and 1690s prove, a fair number exploited these ties to their own advantage Claims to noble descent and connections with powerful members of local society, however did not translate if the priests' relaciones de meritos y servicios and the peticiones para 6rdenes are to be believed to a life of comfort and prosperity Indeed, priests from all five decades of this study complained constantly of the poverty and hardships of their positions, this despite contradictory evidence from other sources which suggests that many priests were well-endowed financially, some even aflluent As we will see in Chapter 4 moreover, a fair number of seminary students attended school in Cuzco, La Plata and even far off Lima, a fact which does not support the repeated claims of financial destitution In the broader picture of course these claims of poverty were a frank admission that obtaining a parish was seen, among other things, as an economic advantage Judging from the parishioner statements from the 1680s and 1690s, many beneficed priests active in the diocese during these years sought to parlay this advantage into an even more profound dominance over local resources labor, and ultimately, village politics In other words, a majority of priests employed at this time again, if witness testimonies are to be

PAGE 93

85 believed took full advantage of their positions of power and attempted to impose their will for financial gain or political power. Chapter 4 incidentally also discusses priestly performance, specifically which accomplishments priests routinely recognized as their most notable achievements in the line of duty As I point out in Chapter 5 however these accomplishments contrast sharply with the allegations of priestly neglect and abuse that plagued parish priests during the first two decades of this study

PAGE 94

CHAPTER4 PRIESTLY EDUCATION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS For young men dedicated to the priestly vocation ordination and formal educat i on usually went hand in hand It was not uncommon for priests oflow academic accomplishment to become ordained and have successful careers, 1 but an overwhelming majority of clerics who worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 held advanced degrees from either a colegio (secondary school) a university or both In large part colegios and universities founded in the Americas were designed to train professionals to service in essence, the Spanish crown and the Catholic Church Hence educators and educational curricula placed much emphasis on training individuals to become efficient doctors lawyers and priests, who in all likelihood would work for the state at some point i n their careers Education in the Americas was thus both practical and scholastic : practical in the sense that high marks and academic distinction usuall y translated to better j obs and professional success and scholastic since the structure of learning and teaching in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries still borrowed 1 Usually these priests were ordained a titulo de idioma (by title of competence in language) meaning i n the case of the Diocese of La Paz facility in Quechua or Aymara Many of the more educated priests were also wealthier, and in contrast were ordained a titulo de capellania ( by title of endowment) which guaranteed a usually modest yearly stipend tied to the commercial output of a particular estate or small farm. 86

PAGE 95

heavily from medie v al codes dominated of course by the scholastic traditions of the Church .~ 87 For those clerics applying for the more lucrative or desirable positions (which included of course the Cathedral and the other parishes in La Paz) an impressive academic career was a considerable bonus, and parish priests did not hesitate to boast of their accomplishments in their petitions for orders and employment. 3 A statistical analysis of the different leve l s of education completed by members of the secular clergy is difficult to assemble because the data are incomplete and ambiguous and no comprehensive report of academic achievements of diocesan priests exists in the archival record Furthermore whereas bachelor li c entiate, master 4 and doctor are all distinguishing titles reflecting different levels of education, in many reports the bishops were seemingly uncertain of the academic accomplishments of a given priest and placed the honorific and indefinite "don" before his first name The title "don" was, in effect, no indication at all of one s educational level and thus could refer to a priest with no advanced degree as well as to a ~ Scholasticism is defined as "the search for devout contemplative understanding of the divine mysteries or as understanding the intellect sought within faith by using all the resources of human r eason The Enc y clopedia of Catholicism vol 1, s v "scholasticism 11 3 On the diffe r ence between creole and peninsular relaciones Mario Gongora writes "Creoles seek i ng ordination or a benefice in particular tended to highlight in their relaciones their prio r academic standing and achievements in an effort to distinguish themselves from peninsular rivals who emphasized social and familial background in their petitions for jobs 11 C olonial History of Spanish America, 187. 4 The title of maestro (master) was not an educational title per se since it refers not to an earned degree but rather to the appointment as an instructor at a colegio or university Quite a few men who eventually went on to become priests in the Diocese of La Paz served as tea c hers at schools in Cuzco La Paz and Lima before entering the priesthood and thus identified themselves in official documents as maestros

PAGE 96

88 bachelor or a docto r For example in a 1725 official report to the King, Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo referred to PedroYgnacio de Foncueba as simply "Don Pedro." In subsequent documentation however it is clear that the man graduated with a licentiate degree in Moral Theology from the Colegio de San Francisco de Borja in Guatemala City Notwithstanding th e confusion surrounding the title "don some conclusions can be made about the academic achievements of parish priests from the two reports filed by Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes in 1690 and by Bishop Fernando de Rojas y Acebedo in 1725 The 1690 report on thirty-five diocesan priests revealed a highly educated group of men surprising perhaps considering La Paz had no university and the fair distance of the capital city from the major colonial cities of Cuzco, La Plata and Lima Five curas held baccalaureate degrees and six parish priests were licenciados Five men identified themselves as masters and ten priests used the title of doctor. Of the nine men whose designation was simpl y don in the 1690 report further research revealed that one was a bachelor six were l i centiates and the educational levels of two men Juan de Mosquera and Juan Antonio de Eguares y Pasquier (Bishop Queipo de Llano Valdes' visitor general) cannot be ascertained In the 1725 report of fifty-fi v e priests employed in the diocese that year only fi v e men were identified as bachelors seven had licentiate degrees three priests used the title of master and thirteen were doctors Of the twenty-nine parish priests who received the ambiguous title of don further research revealed that four held bachelor s degrees three were masters fourteen were licentiates and one was a doctor The educational level of the remaining seven priests remains unknown This might reflect their relatively low academic accomplishments

PAGE 97

89 The 1690 and 1725 informes indicate, in sum, that many curas who worked in the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 held advanced university degrees, although having a doctorate was not always a ticket to better employment, as indicated, for example, by the career of the parish priest of San Antonio de Esquilache, Diego de Peralta y Ayala Doctor Diego was active in all twelve of the concursos of the 1680s and the early 1690s, yet was unable to land a new position before his death in 1693, which proved to be the only way out of working in San Antonio, a notoriously difficult and dangerous place to work according to various priests' testimonies 5 If the secular clergy of the Diocese of La Paz from 1680 to 1730 was, by and large, an educated g roup, what type of schooling did they receive in the Spanish American secondary schools and universities? No monographs have been written about the school most attended the Colegio de San Geronimo in La Paz, so it is difficult to state with full confidence the curriculum most future priests of the diocese followed But in all likelihood prior to the Bourbon reforms of the mid-eighteenth century, academic life and instruction varied little from one colegio or university to the next, and thus a student in the Andes received roughly the same training as his peers in other parts of Spanish America 6 5 See footnote number 25, Chapter 2, for an account of the inhospitality of San Antonio de Esquilache as a place to live and work. 6 See Taylor Magistrates of the Sacred; Ganster, "A Social History of the Secular Clergy of Lima during the middle decades of the Eighteenth Century;" and John Tate Lanning, Academic C ulture in the Spanish Colonies (London : Oxford University Press 1940) for an overview of academic life and priestly education during the colonial period For a complete review of all major universities founded during the colonial era in Spanish America, see Agueda Maria Rodriguez Cruz, Historia de las Universidades Hispanoamericanas (Bogota : Imprenta Patri6tica del Institute Caro Y Cuervo 1973)

PAGE 98

90 In his stud y of parish priests in Mexico Taylor contends that boys throughout the Americas typically began their formal education between the ages of ten and twelve 7 although most had some sort of private tutorial education at an earlier age The scant data from the Diocese o f La Paz on early education confirms this point as boys who applied for grants to attend the Colegio de San Geronimo were o