Daily Archives: April 17, 2013

What were really the living conditions, fairness under the Incas/Aymaras before Bolivia?!

An excellent article written by Juan Jose Toro Montoya. The interaction/behavior and development of the indigenous people of Bolivia is a fundamental cause to understand the politics of our Bolivia.

From Los Tiempos:

Privileged Indians

Juan Jose Toro MontoyaLike the majority of Bolivians and Peruvians, I was a fan of the Inca Empire, that form of Government which was established in a vast territory known as Tawantinsuyu and whose moral standards were repeated in schools and colleges as a paradigm of the perfect society.

My disappointment was progressive but less traumatizing. I can not point out when started – perhaps was when I found inconsistencies as the proclaimed balance between runes (men) and warmis (women) and the polygamy of the incas – but I do know that it was endorsed by, when I read these lines which were the summary of the first chapter of a book of Liborio Justo: “the Tahuantinsuyu: a horrific regime of slavery benefit, glory and splendor of a tiny dominant caste”.

The discovery of what was, in fact, the form of Government practiced by the Incas found that, indeed, that reading makes light in the darkness and allows that one is aware about his reality, even from his past. Perhaps that is the reason why it was an Inca, a ruler of Tawantinsuyu, who ordered the disappearance of [forms of] writing, long before the arrival of the Spaniards.

The reading that most opened my eyes was the Memorial of Charcas, the colonial document about which I wrote last week and whose mention prompted the curiosity of many of my readers, so I got several emails asking me to expand the topic.

What those questioning readers can’t understand is that there were Indians who, as revealed by the referred document, had privileges on a colonialist society which assumes that only had slaves and slavers. The answer is, in fact, the Spanish colonial society was oppressive in every sense of the word but not slavery.

When the Spaniards arrived, they found a State, the Tawantinsuyu, divided by a civil war led by two brothers, Waskar and Ataw Wallpa, but they also found various societies or cultures that were submitted by the Inca Empire that had been assimilated through military conquests.

Justo rightly points out that, Inca society was elitist since most of the product of the work on the land was destined to keep the Inca, his family – generally large in size by the effect of the polygamy – and the nobility.

The Inca nobility remained so even after the arrival of the Spaniards. Many of them, such as those mentioned in the Memorial of Charcas, agreed a pact with the conquerors in order of maintaining their privileges. Noble Indians had to pay tribute, as they did during the Inca Empire, but they were not subject to the European conquerors.

Moreover, there are many and famous cases of marriages between Indian and Spanish nobles such as, for example, the one by the daughter of Sayri Tupaj, Beatriz Clara Coya, with Martín García Oñez de Loyola, wealthy descendant of the founder of the Order of the Society of Jesus [jesuits], San Ignacio de Loyola.

Therefore, there were different types of Indians and those belonging to the nobility were the privileged. Their children were educated in special institutions called colleges of chieftains and even one of those was founded by Carlos IV, in 1792, in the very same Spain.

When the Spaniards failed commitments they had acquired with the Indian nobles, they react in different way, sometimes managing direct complaints to the King, as the Memorial of Charcas, or either promoting uprisings.

By the way, one of the figures of indianism, José Gabriel Condorcanqui, was an Indian noble descendant of Tupaj Amaru I and therefore, when he revolted, took the name of their ancestor. Gustavo Adolfo Otero wrote the following about this fact: “England would have stimulated this rebellion, including by means of using Masonic-type organizations”.

The author won the National Award in Journalism History


Thus, all the cheap propaganda that current central Bolivian government uses, is just plain demagogue. Misleading those people who for lack of information, education and with limited economic and social resources, grab this government’s paraphernalia as a utopia and continue to vote for them…