comuneros (kōmōnāˈrōs) [key], in Spain and Spanish America, citizens of a city or cities when organized to defend their rights against arbitrary encroachment of government. The first great revolt of comuneros in Spain was the uprising (1520–21) of the comunidades (autonomous cities) of Castile against the measures of Emperor Charles V. In Spanish America, the revolt of the comuneros of Paraguay, led by Antequera y Castro against Gov. Diego de los Reyes Balmaseda and continuing against viceregal and Jesuit opposition from 1723 to 1735, was one of the first considerable democratic uprisings of Latin America. In the comunero insurrection of New Granada (1780–81), 60 cabildos rejected new taxes and sought reforms.
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