Home > Tupac Amaru, the Invincible

PER - Tupac Amaru
Inca tupac amaru Inca tupac amaru diapo_608

| Tupac Amaru, the Invincible |

Túpac Amaru II was the leader of an indigenous uprising in 1780 against the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire. Although unsuccessful, he later became a mythical figure in the Peruvian struggle for Independence and indigenous rights movement and an inspiration to a myriad of causes in Peru.

Tupac Amaru II was born José Gabriel Condorcanqui in Tinta, in the province of Cuzco, and received a Jesuit education at the San Francisco de Borja School. In 1760, he married Micaela Bastidas Puyucahua of Afro-Peruvian and Indigenous descent. Condorcanqui inherited the Caciqueship of Tungasuca and Pampamarca from his older brother, governing on behalf of the Spanish governor. But he sympathized with the plight of the native people and petitioned the Spanish government to improve conditions in the textile mills, the mines, and the villages. Unsuccessful, he adopted his great-grandfather’s Incan name and a more native style of dress, and organized a rebellion, seizing and executing Governor Antonio de Arriaga of Tinta in 1780.


The rebellion

Túpac Amaru II ´s rebellion was one of many indigenous Peruvian uprisings in the last fifty years of Bourbon control. It was suppressed after some successes like the Battle of Sangarara and he was soon captured. He was sentenced to witness the execution of his wife, his eldest son Hipólito, his uncle Francisco, his brother-in-law Antonio Bastidas, and some of his captains before his own death. He was sentenced to be tortured and put to death by dismemberment, in which four horses would have to tear apart each limb from his body, one limb tied to each horse.

When the horses proved unable to accomplish this execution, he was later drawn and quartered on the main plaza in Cusco, in the same place his great-grandfather 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. At the same time, 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.



Legacy of Túpac Amaru II

The Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (Spanish: Movimiento Revolucionario Túpac Amaru (MRTA)) was a communist guerrilla movement active in Peru from 1984 to 1997 and one of the main actors in the internal conflict in Peru. The MRTA took its name in homage to Túpac Amaru II. MRTA was considered a terrorist organization by the Peruvian Government. At the height of its strength, it had several hundred active members. Its stated goals were to establish a communist state and rid the country of all imperialist elements. Peru’s counterterrorist program diminished the group’s ability to carry out terrorist attacks, and the MRTA suffered from infighting as well as violent clashes with Maoist rival Shining Path, the imprisonment or deaths of senior leaders, and loss of leftist support. Its major action resulted in the 1997 Japanese Embassy hostage crisis. In December 1996, fourteen MRTA members occupied the Japanese Ambassador’s residence in Lima, holding 72 hostages for more than four months. Under orders from then-President Alberto Fujimori, armed forces stormed the residence in April 1997, rescuing all but one of the remaining hostages and killing all fourteen MRTA militants.

By continuing your visit to this site, you must accept the use of cookies. Those help us to improve your navigation experience. For more information, click here