Túpac Amaru II
|Túpac Amaru II|
March 19, 1738|
Surimana-Canas, Cuzco, Viceroyalty of Peru
|Died||May 18, 1781
Cuzco, Viceroyalty of Peru
|Other names||José Gabriel Túpac Amaru, José Gabriel Condorcanqui Noguera|
José Gabriel Túpac Amaru (March 10, 1738 – May 18, 1781) — known as Túpac Amaru II — was the leader of the massive Andean uprising, often called the Túpac Amaru rebellion, against the Spanish in Peru. Although unsuccessful, he was martyred in the struggle. He later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for independence and indigenous rights movement, as well as an inspiration to myriad causes in Spanish America and beyond.
Túpac Amaru II was born José Gabriel Condorcanqui in Surimana, Tungasuca, in the province of Cusco to Miguel Condorcanqui Usquionsa Tupac Amaru, kuraka of three towns in the Tinta district, and María Rosa Noguera. His parents died when he was 12 and he was raised by an aunt and uncle. He received a Jesuit education at the San Francisco de Borja School, founded to educate the sons of kurakas. The Jesuits "impressed upon him his social standing as future kuraka and someone of royal Inca blood." On his father's death, José Gabriel succeeded as kuraka, giving him rights to land. As with his father, he was both the head of several Quechua communities and a regional merchant and muleteer, inheriting 350 mules from his father's estate. His regional trading gave him contacts in many other indigenous communities and access to information about economic conditions and other concerns. His personal contacts and knowledge of the region were later to aid him during the rebellion of 1780-81.
His status in the colonial Spanish racial hierarchy has been discussed by scholars, whether he was of "pure indigenous blood" or a mixed-race mestizo. He was recognized as an elite Quechua from a kuraka family and was educated at a school in Cuzco for sons of indigenous leaders. He spoke Quechua and Spanish, and learned some Latin from the Jesuits. He was upwardly social mobile and in Cuzco had connections with distinguished Spanish and Spanish American (creole) residents. "The upper classes in Lima saw him as a well-educated Indian," whatever European ancestry he might have had.
Condorcanqui married Micaela Bastidas on May 25, 1760.
Between 1776 and 1780 Condorcanqui went into litigation with the Betancur family over the right of succession of the Marquisate of Oropesa and lost the case. In 1760, he married Micaela Bastidas Puyucahua of Afro-Peruvian and indigenous descent. Tupac Amaru II inherited the caciqueship, or hereditary chiefdom of Tungasuca and Pampamarca from his older brother, governing on behalf of the Spanish governor.
The Corregidores and the Exploitation of the Natives
Although the Spanish trusteeship labor system, or encomienda had been abolished in 1720, most natives at the time living in the Andean region of what is now Ecuador and Bolivia, who made up nine tenths of the population were still pushed into forced labor for what were legally labeled as public work projects. However, most natives worked under the supervision of a master either tilling soil, mining or working in textile mills. What little wage that was acquired by workers was heavily taxed and cemented Native-American indebtedness to Spanish masters. The Roman Catholic Church also had a hand in extorting these natives through collections for saints, masses for the dead, domestic and parochial work on certain days, forced gifts, etc. Those not employed in forced labor were still subject to the Spanish provincial governors, or corregidores who also heavily taxed any free natives, similarly ensuring their financial instability.
Condorcanqui's interest in the Native-American cause had been spurred by the re-reading of one the Royal Commentaries of the Incas, a romantic and heroic account of the history and culture of the ancient Incas. The book was outlawed at the time by the Lima viceroy for fear of it inspiring renewed interest in the lost Inca culture and inciting rebellion. The marquis's native pride coupled with his hate for the Spanish colonial system, caused him to sympathize and frequently petition for the improvement of native labor in the mills, farms and mines; even using his own wealth to help alleviate the taxes and burdens of the natives. After many of his requests for the alleviation of the native conditions fell on deaf ears, Condorcanqui decided to organize a rebellion. He began to stall on collecting reparto debts and tribute payments, for which the Tinta corregidor and governor Antonio de Arriaga threatened him with death. Condorcanqui changed his name to Túpac Amaru II and declared his lineage to the last Inca ruler Felipe Túpac Amaru.
The Túpac Amaru rebellion was an Inca revival movement that sought to improve the rights of indigenous Peruvians suffering under the Spanish Bourbon Reforms. The rebellion was one of many indigenous Peruvian uprisings in the latter half of the 18th century. It began with the capture and killing of the Tinta Corregidor and Governor Antonio de Arriaga on November 4, 1780, after a banquet attended by both Túpac Amaru II and Governor Arriaga.
When Arriaga left the party drunk, Túpac Amaru II and several of his allies captured him and forced him to write letters to a large number of Spaniards and curacas. When about 200 of them gathered within the next few days, Túpac Amaru II surrounded them with approximately 4,000 natives. Claiming that he was acting under direct orders from the Spanish Crown, Amaru II gave Arriaga's slave Antonio Oblitas the privilege of executing his master. A platform in the middle of a local town plaza was erected, and the initial attempt at hanging the corregidor failed when the noose snapped. Arriaga then ran for his life to try to reach a nearby church, but was not quick enough to escape, and was successfully hanged on the second attempt.
After the execution of de Arriaga, Amaru II continued his insurrection. Releasing his first proclamation, Tupac Amaru II announced, "that there have been repeated outcries directed to me by the indigenous peoples of this and surrounding provinces, outcries against the abuses committed by European-born crown officials... Justified outcries that have produced no remedy from the royal courts" to all the inhabitants of the Spanish provinces. He went on in the same proclamation to state, "I have acted ... only against the mentioned abuses and to preserve the peace and well-being of Indians, mestizos, mambos, as well as native-born whites and blacks. I must now prepare for the consequences of these actions." Tupac Amaru II then went on to quickly assemble an army of 6,000 natives who had abandoned their work to join the revolt. As they marched towards Cuzco, the rebels occupied the provinces of Quispicanchis, Tinta, Cotabambas, Calca, and Chumbivilcas. The rebels looted the Spaniards' houses and killed their occupants. The movement was supremely anti-royalist since, upon arriving at a town the rebels would upturn Spanish authority.
On November 18, 1780, Cuzco dispatched over 1,300 Spanish and Native loyalist troops. The two opposing forces clashed in the town of Sangarará. It was an absolute victory for Amaru II and his Native rebels; all of the 578 Spanish soldiers were killed and the rebels took possession of their weapons and supplies. The victory however, also came with a price. The battle revealed that Amaru II was unable to fully control his rebel followers, as they viciously slaughtered without direct orders. Reports of such violence and the rebels' insistence on the death of Spaniards eliminated any chances for support by the Criollo class. The victory achieved at Sangarará would be followed by a string of defeats. The most critical defeat came in Amaru II’s failure to capture Cuzco, which was fortified by a combined troop of loyalist natives and reinforcements from Lima. After subsequent skirmishes around the surrounding region, Amaru II and his rebels became surrounded between Tinta and Sangarará. A betrayal by two of his officers, colonel Ventura Landaeta and captain Francisco Cruz, sealed Amaru II's defeat and capture. When his captors attempted to procure the names of his rebel accomplices from him in exchange for promises, Amaru II scornfully replied "There are no accomplices here other than you and I. You as oppressor, I as liberator, deserve to die." 
Amaru II was sentenced to be executed. He was forced to bear witness to the execution of his wife Micaela Bastidas, his eldest son Hipólito, his uncle Francisco Tupa Amaro, his brother-in-law Antonio Bastidas, and some of his captains before his own death.
The following is an extract from the official judicial death issued by the Spanish authorities which condemns Túpac Amaru II to torture and death. It was ordered in sentence that Túpac Amaru II was condemned to have his tongue cut out, after watching the executions of his family, and to have his hands and feet tied... 
...to four horses who will then be driven at once toward the four corners of the plaza, pulling the arms and legs from his body. The torso will then be taken to the hill overlooking the city... where it will be burned in a bonfire... Tupac Amaru's head will be sent to Tinta to be displayed for three days in the place of public execution and then placed upon a pike at the principal entrance to the city. One of his arms will be sent to Tungasuca, where he was the cacique, and the other arm to the capital province of Carabaya, to be similarly displayed in those locations. His legs will be sent to Livitica and Santa Rosas in the provinces of Chumbivilcas and Lampa, respectively.— Sarah C. Chambers, Latin American Independence: An Anthology of Sources
After the failed dismemberment by the four horses, his body was quartered, and he was then beheaded on the main plaza in Cuzco, in the same place his apparent great-great-great-grandfather Túpac Amaru I had been beheaded.
When the revolt continued, the Spaniards executed the remainder of his family, except his 12-year-old son Fernando, who had been condemned to die with him, but was instead imprisoned in Spain for the rest of his life. It is not known if any members of the Inca royal family survived this final purge. Amaru's body parts were strewn across the towns loyal to him as ordered, his houses were demolished, their sites strewn with salt, his goods confiscated, his relatives declared infamous, and all documents relating to his descent burnt.
At the same time, on May 18, 1781, Incan clothing and cultural traditions, and self-identification as "Inca" were outlawed, along with other measures to convert the population to Spanish culture and government until Peru's independence as a republic. However, even after the death of Amaru, Native revolt still overtook much of what is today southern Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, as Native revolutionaries captured Spanish towns and beheaded many inhabitants. In one instance, a Native-American army under rebel leader Túpac Katari besieged the city of La Paz for 109 days before troops sent from Buenos Aires stepped in to relieve the city.
Although Túpac Amaru II's rebellion was not a success, it marked the first large-scale rebellion in the Spanish colonies and inspired the revolt of many Natives and mestizos in the surrounding area. The rebellion took on important manifestations in "Upper Peru" or what is today modern Bolivia including the region South and East of Lake Titicaca. Indeed, Túpac Amaru II inspired the indigenous peoples to such an extent that even the official document wherein he is condemned to death, it is remarked that "the Indians stood firm in the place of our gunfire, despite their enormous fear of it" and that despite being captured, his followers remained steadfast in their beliefs of his immortality and heritage.
As well, multi-ethnic elements and utilization of Incan history within Túpac Amaru II's rebellion reflect the first appearance of large-scale counter-hegemonic political initiative in the Andes. The rebellion gave indigenous Peruvians a new state of mind, a sort of indigenous nationalism that would re-emerge and change shape over the course of the country's future. They were now willing to join forces with anyone who opposed the Spanish. By contrast, the Peruvian creoles would prove to be South America's most conservative in the independence movement due to the fear that independence would leave them at the mercy of the Native populations. As well, other Peruvian creoles had prosperous co-owned businesses and land with the Spaniards, and as such did not want to lose those interests in the event of a revolution. While Jose Gabriel Candorcanqui (Túpac Amaru II)'s revolt was spawned in the Vilcanota Valley and ended in the city of Cuzco, the legacy and ideology of his revolt had echoes throughout the Andean region.
Querrán volarlo y no podrán volarlo ("They will want to blow him up and won't be able to blow him up").
Querrán romperlo y no podrán romperlo ("They will want to break him and won't be able to break him").
Querrán matarlo y no podrán matarlo ("They will want to kill him and won't be able to kill him").
Al tercer día de los sufrimientos, cuando se creia todo consumado, gritando: ¡LIBERTAD! sobre la tierra, ha de volver. ¡Y no podrán matarlo! ("On the third day of suffering, when it was believed everything was finished, screaming: FREEDOM! over the earth, he shall be back. And they won't be able to kill him!")
— Alejandro Romualdo
- During the Revolutionary Government of the Armed Forces (1968–1980), Túpac Amaru was selected by military leaders as the symbolic representation for the ideals behind the Peruvian Revolution.
- The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) is a Peruvian Marxist-Leninist insurgent group, which became known worldwide for their involvement in the Japanese embassy hostage crisis.
- Means, Philip A. "The Rebellion of Tupac-Amaru II, 1780-1781." The Hispanic American Historical Review 2.1 (1919): 1-25
In the book, Inca Gold, by Clive Cussler, one of the main villains named himself Tupac Amaru and claims to be a descendant of the real Túpac Amaru.
In the beginning of the book, The Book of Human Skin, Túpac Amaru II's death is described, and a book said to be a bound in his skin plays a major role in the plot.
Around the world
- The Tupamaros (also known as the National Liberation Movement), was the informal name of an urban guerilla that was active in the 1960s and early 1970s in Uruguay. The name was also direct influence of Túpac Amaru II and its ideals.
- American rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur (2Pac) was named after him.
- Polish reggae music band NDK in their song Mafija mentions Túpac Amaru II's death as an example of Catholicism's cruelty.
- Operation Tupac was launched by Pakistan against Indian Kashmir.
- Chilean poet Pablo Neruda wrote a poem about Túpac Amaru II, titled "Tupac Amaru (1781)". The poem can be found in the Canto General.
- Argentinian jazz musician Gato Barbieri's Fenix album begins with a song titled "Tupac Amaru".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Túpac Amaru II.|
- Brown, Kendall W. "Túpac Amaru (José Gabriel Condorcanqui)" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 5, pp. 279-280.
- Fisher, Lillian Estelle, The Last Inca Revolt, 1780-1783 (1966)
- Robins, Nicholas A. Native Insurgencies and the Genocidal Impulse in the Americas
- Charles F. Walker: The Tupac Amaru Rebellion. The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2014. ISBN 978-0-674-05825-5 (Print); ISBN 978-0-674-41637-6 (eBook)
- Kendall W. Brown, "Túpac Amaru (José Gabriel Condorcanqui)" in Encyclopedia of Latin American History and Culture, vol. 5, p. 279. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons 1996.
- Charles F. Walker, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion. Cambridge MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 2014, p. 18.
- Walker, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion, p. 19.
- Walker, The Tupac Amaru Rebellion, p. 20.
- First among Incas: The Marquesado de Oropesa Litigation (1741–1780) en route to the Great Rebellion, David Cahill
- John Crow, The Epic of Latin America ( California: University of California Press Berkeley), p. 404
- John Crow, The Epic of Latin America, p. 405
- John Crow, The Epic of Latin America ( California: University of California Press Berkeley), p. 406
- Native Insurgencies and the Genocidal Impulse in the Americas, Nicholas A. Robins
- The Epic of Latin America, Fourth Edition, John A. Crow
- Sarah C. Chambers; John Charles Chasteen (2010). Latin American Independence: An Anthology of Sources. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. pp. 33, 34. ISBN 9780872208636.
- Daniel Valcarcel. La rebellion de Tupac Amaru (Mexico, 1947)
- Sarah C. Chambers; John Charles Chasteen (2010). Latin American Independence: An Anthology of Sources. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. pp. 36, 37. ISBN 9780872208636.
- John Crow, The Epic of Latin America, p. 407
- Sarah C. Chambers; John Charles Chasteen (2010). Latin American Independence: An Anthology of Sources. Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. p. 35. ISBN 9780872208636.
- John Crow "The Epic of America" p. 408