Inés de Suárez
, also called Inés Suárez, (c. 1507–1580) was a Spanish conquistadora
(female conquistador) and mistress to Pedro de Valdivia
who participated in the Conquest of Chile, successfully defending Santiago
against a Mapuche
attack in 1541. She was eventually married to Rodrigo de Quiroga
, Royal Governor of Chile
Suárez was born in Plasencia
, Spain in 1507. She came to the Americas
approximately in 1537, around the age of thirty. It is generally assumed that she was in search of her husband Juan de Mélaga, who had left Spain to serve in the New World with the Pizarro brothers. After a long time of continuous searching in numerous South American
countries, she arrived in Lima in 1538.
Suárez's husband had died before she had reached Peru
(she told a compatriot that he died at sea) and the next information that is known of her is in 1539, when she applied for and was granted, as the widow of a Spanish soldier, a small plot of land in Cuzco
rights to a number of Indians.
Shortly afterward, Suárez became the mistress of Pedro de Valdivia
, the conqueror of Chile
. The earliest mention of her friendship with Valdivia was after he returned from the Battle of Las Salinas
(1538). Although they were from the same area of Spain and at least one novelist relates a tale of long-standing love between them, there is no real evidence that they had met prior to her arrival in Cuzco.