Diego de Almagro

( ? - 1538)

He was a Spanish Adventurer, Explorer and Soldier of Fortune who explored and conquered Peru with Francisco Pizarro. Almagro was born in 1479 in the village of Almagro, Spain, and was in the Spanish navy and settled in Panama in 1519. In 1524, he became one third partner in the company headed by Francisco Pizarro to explore the Pacific coast south of Panama, in search of gold they had heard rumor about. Their first two expeditions (1524-26) were unsuccessful and they suffered from hunger and attacks by the natives, but acquired a lot of information on the wealth of the Incan Empire.

In 1529, King Charles V, gave Pizarro a charter to conquer and rule all lands and inhabitants that were to the south of Panama. By 1533, they had conquered the Incan Empire murdered of the Inca ruler Atahualpa. They divided up the region; giving Almagro the land south of Cuzco.

In 1534, Almagro was given a charter by King Charles to conquer the land that is now known as Chile. That expedition was unsuccessful and he grew jealous of Pizarro's success in Peru. When the Incas rebelled against the Spanish rule, and sized Cuzco, Almagro was responsible for stopping the insurrection and reclaiming Cuzco. He laid claim to Cuzco and arrested Pizarro's two brothers. Pizarro tried unsuccessfully to negotiate, with Almagro and they ended up fighting a battle where Almagro's forces were defeated. Pizarro, who had been given the title of Governor of Peru, by the King, sentenced Almagro to death and he was executed in 1538. In 1541, Pizarro was assassinated following an insurrection to his rule, which was lead by Almagro's son.

The power struggle between Pizarro and Almagro over the rich Incan lands started a civil war among the Spanish in Peru,  which lasted over 17 years.
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September 28, 2001
Bruce C. Ruiz