Sent out by Hernán Cortés with 120 horsemen, 300 footsoldiers and several hundred Cholula and Tlascala auxiliaries, Pedro de Alvarado was engaged in the conquest of the highlands of Guatemala from 1523 to 1527. He left Tenochtitlán, with 120 Cavalry units, 160 crossbowers and riflemen, 4 heavy artillery pieces, 300 infantry men, and 20,000 tlaxcaltec, cholulas, and mexicas. He entered Guatemala from Soconusco on the Pacific lowlands, headed for Xetulul Humbatz, (Zapotitlan). Alvarado at first allied himself with the Cakchiquel nation to fight against their traditional rivals the Quiché nation.
Alvarado started his conquest in Xepau Olintepeque, defeating the Quiché's 72,000 men, led by Tecún Umán (now Guatemala's national hero). Alvarado then went to Gumarcaj, (Utatlan), the Quiché capital, and burned it on March 7, 1524. He proceeded to Iximche, and established near there in Tecpan on July 25, 1524, to launch several campaigns to other cities, as Chuitinamit, the capital of the Tzutuhils,(1524), Mixco Viejo, capital of the Pokomams, and Zaculeu, capital of the Mams, (1525). He was named Captain General in 1527.
Feeling his position secure, Alvarado turned against his allies Cakchiquels, meeting them in several battles until they were subdued in 1530. Battles with other tribes continued up to 1548, when the Kek'chí in Nueva Sevilla, Izabal where defeated, leaving the Spanish in complete control of the region.
It should be noted that not all native tribes were subdued by bloodshed.Fray Bartolome de las Casas, pacified the Keck'chí in Alta Verapaz without violence.
See Alson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q20YxkM-CGI]
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