Juan Santos Atahualpa

Juan Santos Atahualpa

Juan Santos Atahualpa

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Juan Santos Atahualpa (also Atahualpa Apu-Inca) was a leader of an indigenous rebellion in the Andean jungle provinces of Tarma and Jauja, near what was then Spanish Peru in the mid 18th century.

What little that is known about Juan Santos is that he was from Cusco and had been given a Christian education by the Jesuits. Juan Santos himselft claimed to be descended from the Inca royal family. The name Atahualpa comes from the line of kings who ruled the Inca Empire (Tawantinsuyu) up until the Spanish Conquest of 1532.


Atahualpa's rebellion began in the jungle settlement of Quisopango in 1742. His first act was to expel all hostile Spaniards, blacks and mestizos from the area. As Atahualpa's rebellion began to grow in both numbers and support Spanish authorities in the Tarma and Jauja provinces attempted unsuccessfully to pacify the rebellion. Emboldened, Atahualpa ordered the eviction of all Franciscan missionaries from the land he controlled. This in turn led to the viceroy of Lima sending out General Jose de Llamas, a seasoned veteran, to crush the revolt. This too was unsuccessful and the general and his men suffered constant defeats at the hands of the rebels. In 1752 Atahualpa and his men left the lowlands and seized the mountain city of Andamarca in the highlands of Jauja province. Although he and his men retreated back to the lowlands three days later it seemed having frightened the viceroy. The assault on the highlands forced the viceroy of Lima to place...
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