Bartolome de las Casas

Later, a large band of Christians mounted an attack on this native lord, butchering him along with vast numbers of his people and taking all the survivors into slavery, where they duly perished, so that today not a trace remains of what was previously a community with dominion over an area of some thirty leagues.

The reader may ask himself if this is not cruelty and injustice of a kind so terrible that it beggars the imagination, and whether these poor people would not fare far better if they were entrusted to the devils in Hell than they do at the hands of the devils of the New World who masquerade as Christians.

It clearly appears that there are no races in the world, however rude, uncultivated, barbarous, gross, or almost brutal they may be, who cannot be persuaded and brought to a good order and way of life, and made domestic, mild and tractable, provided . . . the method that is proper and natural to men is used; that is, love and gentleness and kindness.

“The pattern established at the outset has remained to this day, and the Spaniards still do nothing save tear the natives to shreds, murder them and inflict upon them untold misery, suffering and distress, tormenting, harrying and persecuting them mercilessly.” According to Las Casas, atrocities continued unabated in the Americas, even half a century after the discovery.