I am surprised that the extreme brutality that the Spanish used against the Indians was considered normal and done according to the God’s will. The Indians were expected to welcome strangers without launching any form of resistance. Their reaction to the Spanish intruders was not abnormal, as any other society could have acted in the same way of its land was invaded with strangers, speaking an unfamiliar language and yielding swords. The criticisms that were raised by the friar touched on some critical issues that needed the attention of the kings. From this critique, it is evident that not all the Spanish Dominican frias supported the actions of the government, especially those that used Christianity to justify brutality and oppression of other people. The Spanish government’s response to the critique simply made up an illogical pretext to justify the atrocities it committed in the territories.
After the king learned of Montecino’s critiques, the Spanish government responded on behalf of the king by explaining why the actions of the Spaniards were justifiable. The government stated that Spain was the king’s chosen nation and that the king had been granted divine powers to conquer the whole world. In light of spreading the gospel, the natives in foreign lands were obligated to receive the Spaniards and allow them to spread God’s message. The conquest was only to respond to resistance. According to the Requerimiento, all Indians who resisted peaceful conquest deserved to die. However, the Spanish narrated the Requerimiento to them before attacking them. Thus, the Spanish government claimed that those Indians who were brutalized or killed had resisted the conquest. Ironically, the Requerimiento was read in Spanish, a language that none of the natives understood. The justification for the conquest lacked sufficient evidence to prove that the Indians had resisted the conquest.
A native person likeMontezuma could have challenged the Requerimiento on grounds that the Spanish government had not considered the needs of the natives nor given them any bargaining power. Similarly, Montecino would have argued that the propositions in the Requerimiento were inconsistent with Christianity beliefs and, thus, unjustified. In addition, the absence of an interpreter implied that none of the Indians comprehended the content of the Requerimiento. The Requerimiento was just a justification of the inhuman acts that were committed by the Spaniards.