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Diego de Almagro

Almagro, Diego de (dyāˈgō dā älmäˈgrō) [key], c.1475–1538, Spanish conquistador, a leader in the conquest of Peru. A partner of Francisco Pizarro, he took part in the first (1524) and second (1526–28) expeditions and in the bloody subjugation of the Incas after 1532. He aided (1534) Benalcázar in thwarting Pedro de Alvarado in the conquest of Ecuador. No match for the Pizarro brothers, he lost out in the division of spoils but was granted the lands S of Cuzco. In 1535, Almagro set out on a march that was incredible in its hardships—south through the freezing cordillera of the Andes, probably as far as Coquimbo in present Chile, and then, after finding no gold, back north through the desert wastes of Atacama. He believed Cuzco was within his jurisdiction and so seized (1537) the city from Hernando Pizarro, whom he injudiciously set free. Civil war ensued, and Almagro's forces were defeated. Almagro begged for his life and was promised it, but he was garroted by orders of Hernando Pizarro. Almagro's half–Native American son, Diego de Almagro (d. 1542), inherited his rights. Later the youth nominally headed the revolt that began with the assassination of Francisco Pizarro, but in 1542 he was captured and executed by the new governor, Vaca de Castro.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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See more Encyclopedia articles on: Latin American History: Biographies

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