Valdivia, Pedro de
Category: Business and political leaders
Pedro Gutiérrez de Valdivia or Valdiva (April 17, 1497 – December 25, 1553) was a Spanish conquistador and the first governor of Chile. The city of Valdivia in Chile is named after him.
Why is he on the site?
Well, he documented both a vision seen by the Mapuche Indians, and a UFO sighting and encounter.
As it was strictly speaking the Mapuche Indians who had the vision, we will not dwell too much on Pedro de Valdivia himself, just enough to show the account was likely to have been an accurate one.
Extracted from Wikipedia
Pedro de Valdivia is believed to have been born in Villanueva de la Serena …. to an impoverished hidalgo family. In 1520 he joined the Spanish army of Charles I and fought in Flanders in 1521 and Italy between 1522 and 1525.
He reached America in 1535, spent an uneventful year in Venezuela, and then moved on to Peru in 1537. …………… He accompanied Hernando and Gonzalo Pizarro to conquer both the province of Collao and las Charcas in High Peru - currently Bolivia….
………Valdivia then asked governor Francisco Pizarro for permission to complete the conquest of the lands to the south of Peru. ….The expedition was fraught with problems from the beginning. Valdivia had to sell the lands and the mine that had been assigned to him in order to finance the expedition. A shortage of soldiers and adventurers was also problematic since they were not interested in conquering what they were sure were extremely poor lands. The small expedition finally left Cuzco, Peru in January, 1540 …... The party consisted of almost a thousand native Indians and about 150 Spaniards. Only one woman was among the travelers, Valdivia had married Marina Ortíz de Gaete in Spain, but in Peru he became attached to the widow Inés de Suárez, who became his mistress and she joined the expedition.
Right: Pedro Lira's 1889 painting of the founding of Santiago
Valdivia carved a route through the Atacama Desert, and after a march of five months, they arrived at the Copiapo valley, where Valdivia “took possession of the land in the name of the Spanish king”. Soon thereafter they continued south and in December 1540, eleven months after they left Cuzco, Valdivia and his expedition reached the valley of the Mapocho river.
On February 12, 1541, Valdivia officially founded the city of Santiago de la Nueva Extremadura. The Spaniards' greed quickly surfaced and rumors of gold at the Marga Marga mines, in the vicinity of Valparaiso arose. The settlers began forcing the natives to work there. On learning of Francisco Pizarro's murder in 1541, Valdivia had himself appointed governor of the territory and removed Chile from Peruvian control.
The Indians began to resist the invaders. Valdivia marched against the tribes and defeated them at Cachapoal. While away, on September 11, 1541, however, local Indians led by Michimalonco attacked Santiago. By the time the battle ended the entire town had been destroyed and burned to the ground. For the next two years, there were men always armed, ready to fight in case the Indians ‘posed a threat to Spanish authority’ [sic].
Between 1549 and 1553, after his arrival back in Santiago, Valdivia again undertook the conquest of southern Chile, but faced heavy resistance from the indigenous population. Valdivia had a clash with the Araucanians beyond the Bio-Bio River in 1550 in which he defeated them, but by no means broke their will to resist, a will that grew stronger when the conquistador established settlements in their territory!
In spite of the fierce resistance at the Battle of Penco, he founded Concepción in 1550. Later he founded the more southern villages of La Imperial, Valdivia, Angol and Villarrica, in 1551 and 1552. After a brief stay in Santiago, Valdivia returned to the south again in December 1552. Valdivia moved against the Araucanians again in 1553.
On the advice of the cacique Colocolo, the Araucanians united their efforts choosing as toqui (general-in-chief) the famous warrior Caupolicán.
Toward the end of 1553, the Araucanians revolted and fell on the Spanish forces in the south, managing to destroy a fortress on December 2, 1553. Near the ruins of the fortress Valdivia gathered the remnant of the garrison. He was ambushed. As each successive wave of attackers was wiped out or beaten off by the Spaniards, the indigenous people sent another, until the entire Spanish company was massacred.
We can thus see that Valdicia is about the last person likely to be graced with any spiritual experience, however, the accounts of the Mapuche Indians were documented and are likely to be accurate. And we have this as an observation.
For iPad/iPhone users: tap letter twice to get list of items.