Inquisition, The: The Inquisition in the New World

views updated


The institution developed by the Roman Church to combat heresy in the Old World operated in several forms in the New World. Initially organized under papal authority in Italy, France, and Germany during the thirteenth century, inquisitions emerged under royal auspices in the Iberian kingdoms of Castile, Aragon, and Portugal in the late fifteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries. They became part of the colonial apparatus in Spanish and Portuguese America from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth century. Although its procedures and goals were essentially the same in both hemispheres, the institution confronted several unique and changing circumstances in the New World and adapted its organization, jurisdictions, and operations accordingly. Beginning with the delegation of authority to a series of bishops and missionaries, the Holy Office of the Inquisition (as the institution was known in both Spain and Portugal and their dominions) expanded its presence with periodic visitations, networks of operatives, and, in Spanish America, autonomous tribunals, alongside related episcopal activity that addressed heterodoxy among the indigenous inhabitants. Over the course of three centuries, the institution went from being a modest instrument for rooting out heresy to facilitate evangelization, to an elaborate bureaucratic organization attempting to control moral, spiritual, and intellectual life in the colonies. But it experienced a long period of decline before its final dissolution in the face of Enlightenment ideas and independence movements.

Old World Origins

Although the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions functioned as separate entities in the New World, they shared similar and somewhat related origins. The Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, initially brought the institution to the Iberian peninsula to help effect the political and religious consolidation of what would become Spain, an area in which three faithsChristianity, Judaism, and Islamhad co-existed for several centuries. Responding to growing public anti-Semitism and allegations that certain "New Christians" or conversos (recent converts to Roman Christianity from Judaism or Islam) were still practicing their old religion, the monarchs secured a series of papal bulls, between 1478 and 1483, authorizing the appointment of inquisitors and the establishment of tribunals and a Supreme Council (known as the Suprema) under royal control. By the summer of 1492, the Inquisition had executed many wealthy conversos and confiscated their assets, while Isabella and Ferdinand had given Jews the ultimatum of conversion or expulsion. Tens of thousands went to Portugal, only to face a similar order to convert in 1497 from King Manuel. After a series of negotiations and papal concessions between 1531 and 1547, the Portuguese Holy Office came into being, along the lines of the neighboring Spanish model, with regional tribunals and a General Council under the monarchy's control. Both countries would integrate the institution into the ecclesiastical and political machinery of their colonial empires.

The inquisitorial procedures employed in the New World had already taken their general form in the peninsula before crossing the Atlantic. When an inquisitor first came to an area or embarked upon a new campaign, the populace was assembled in the main church for a solemn ceremony. In a display of unity between the temporal and spiritual realms, the civil and ecclesiastical authorities offered their deference and support to the inquisitor, who issued an "edict of faith" or monitory, warning of the iniquities of heresy and outlining the various offenses that the Holy Office then considered to be heretical or otherwise unorthodox or immoral. Confessions and denunciations were solicited and duly recorded during a prescribed grace period, after which the inquisitor summoned additional testimony about those implicated in the information gathered.

Three credible denunciations judged sufficiently culpable by examiners (theologians and canonists) could lead to an individual's arrest and the initiation of proceedings. The identity of accusers and witnesses was kept secret, although a list of enemies provided by a suspect could bring about the nullification of denunciations thought to stem from enmity. Defendants had the benefit of legal counsel and the opportunity to address the charges and testimony against them. Those who confessed to offenses were assigned penance, while those who denied the charges were incarcerated and often had their assets sequestered to cover their maintenance while in custody. Inquisition officials sometimes employed prison informants and torture to obtain additional information or confessions before or after conviction or sentencing. Penalties for minor offenses included fines, flogging, and various lighter forms of penance aimed at publicly humiliating the offender. Those convicted of major heresies usually had their assets confiscated and could receive exile, imprisonment, galley service, or even death in the case of an obstinate or repeat offender. The Inquisition's goal was to get convicts to admit their guilt, receive absolution, and then be reconciled with the Church. Unreconciled heretics were turned over or "relaxed" to the secular authorities for civil execution, usually by fire at the stake, although last-minute confessions normally entitled the condemned to strangulation before burning.

The procedural process culminated with another solemn ceremony, in this case an auto-da-fé (act of faith), in which the authorities announced and implemented the sentences of all the recent offenders, who appeared in penitential garb before the entire community. The public humiliation of penitents in these elaborate and dramatic affairs served as a deterrent against heterodoxy and an effective form of social control. Although these general procedures stayed remarkably constant throughout the colonial period, several changes in terms of organization, jurisdiction, and the delegation of authority occurred during the early decades of colonization, as the Holy Office experimented with ways to extend its reach across the Atlantic.

Early Development in the Americas

Inquisitorial activity initially arrived in the Americas to assist in Spain's evangelical mission. From the Church's perspective, Spanish dominion in the New World derived from a papal donation that required the monarchs of Castile to oversee the conversion of the indigenous population to Christianity. When Columbus returned to the Caribbean in 1493 on his second voyage, he brought a missionary contingent led by Bernardo Buyl, an apostolic delegate who, some have speculated, may have possessed and exercised inquisitorial authority during his brief stay in the hemisphere. In 1510, Columbus's son Diego Colón, as governor of Hispaniola, asked the king for the authority to name an inquisitor on the island. Bartolomé de las Casas, in turn, called for the introduction of the Inquisition to help protect Indian neophytes and mentioned that two heretics already had been burned in a report he addressed to Cardinal Francisco Ximénez de Cisneros in 1516. Ximénez, who was then inquisitor general as well as regent of Castile, responded the following year with an order granting bishops "in the Indies" apostolic powers to deal with heretics and apostates observing the "sects of Moses and Muammad." Many years later, Henrique, the king and inquisitor general of Portugal, would likewise extend apostolic authority to the bishop of Salvador da Bahia in Brazil.

These delegations of apostolic inquisitorial authority to bishops in the Americas were expressly granted in addition to the episcopal authority they already held, as ecclesiastical judges or ordinaries, to conduct inquisitions within their own dioceses. Along with bishops, the Holy Office also selected monastic superiors to be inquisitors, thus the first two appointed in the New World in 1519 were Alonso Manso, the bishop of San Juan (Puerto Rico), and Pedro de Córdoba, the Dominican vice-provincial in Hispaniola. In 1522, as the activity of Spanish conquistadores and missionaries moved farther away from the established dioceses and sees in the Caribbean, Charles V obtained the Omnímoda, a papal concession extending episcopal powers to monastic prelates more than two days' travel from a bishop, which allowed them to try inquisitorial cases as ordinaries. These apostolic, episcopal, and monastic forms of inquisitorial authority and jurisdiction would be variously combined at different times and places, as the Holy Office and church officials tried to adapt to rapidly changing developments in the New World.

Regarding the first two inquisitors, Córdoba died in 1521, but Manso continued to execute his charge in the Caribbean until 1539. In 1524 the Holy Office attempted to erect a Tribunal of the Indies under the San Juan bishop. It was expected to support itself, as the peninsular tribunals did, from penitential fines and the assets confiscated from heretics, which in the Americas then, and for some time to come, were meager at best. Manso nevertheless managed to appoint auxiliaries in the islands and conduct various cases against the colonists, although contemporaries complained to the Crown that the activities of the bishop and his delegates were often arbitrary, despotic, and in excess of their authority.

As the Spanish colonial project advanced onto the continent, inquisitorial activities expanded alongside the conquest and conversion effort. After the 1521 fall of Tenochtitlan, the great Mesoamerican urban center in the Basin of Mexico, priests accompanying the conquistador Fernando Cortéstried various cases, the earliest known involving an Indian accused of concubinage. A short time later, Franciscan missionaries began arriving to convert the millions of native inhabitants in what would become the viceroyalty of New Spain. Their superior Martín de Valencia served as inquisitor and apparently was the first to condemn Indians to the stake for practicing idolatry. Beginning in 1526, a series of Dominican prelates exercised the charge, including Domingo de Betanzos, who tried several cases of blasphemy among the conquistadores and settlers, and Vicente de Santa María, who held the first auto-da-fé in Mexico and relaxed two New Christians for "Judaizing."

The next apostolic inquisitor was Juan de Zumárraga, a Franciscan who became the first bishop of Mexico and whom the Holy Office authorized to organize an episcopal tribunal. Between 1536 and 1543 he conducted at least 152 cases involving European, Indian, black, and mestizo (mixed European and Indian) men and women, whose range of offenses included blasphemy, bigamy, heretical propositions, Judaism, Protestantism, idolatry, sorcery, and superstition. He initiated several proceedings against Indian practitioners and elites he considered impediments to the evangelization campaign. The most notable of these cases culminated in the 1539 execution of Carlos Ometochtzin, a prominent native leader accused of being a "dogmatizing heretic," and earned Zumárraga a reprimand from the Suprema and the removal of his inquisitorial authority.

Visitations and Autonomous Tribunals

The activities of both Zumárraga and Manso prompted a reexamination of inquisitorial organization in Spanish America at a time when the Crown was attempting to implement the reforms lobbied for by Las Casas in the "New Laws" of 1542. Faced with these excesses and economic realities in the New World, the Holy Office abandoned the idea of tribunals in favor of the inquisitorial visita, an official visitation or inspection conducted for a given amount of time. In 1544, the Spanish crown sent Alonso López de Cerrato to the Caribbean and Francisco Tello de Sandoval to New Spain to inspect all colonial institutions and enact various reforms. The Holy Office made them both apostolic inquisitors and assigned Tello, who had served as an inquisitor in Toledo, to review the finances and cases of Zumárraga's tribunal (especially the trial of Carlos Ometochtzin), and Cerrato to do the same with Manso's record. In 1546, Pedro de la Gasca, of the Suprema, was sent to the new viceroyalty of Peru to put an end to the civil unrest among the colonists and to reassert royal authority. While the institution clearly had become an important tool in the monarchy's strategy to consolidate colonial rule, it would be nearly another quarter-century before the Inquisition would achieve its definitive form and presence in Spanish America.

Within a few years, the visitadores had left and inquisitorial authority reverted back to the bishops and monastic prelates acting as ordinaries. In New Spain, at least, it seems that the Crown made a conscious effort to avoid further abuses when appointing the Dominican theologian Alonso de Montúfar, who had been an examiner for the Holy Office in Spain, as the new archbishop of Mexico. For the next two decades episcopal activity increased throughout Spanish America, but during these years of the Counter-Reformation and the Council of Trent (15451563), it focused primarily on the growing presence of Protestants and on maintaining orthodoxy among the clergy, leaving the Indians relatively unmolested.

This was not the case, however, in the wave of monastic activity in New Spain during the 1560s that climaxed with a brutal inquisition directed by Diego de Landa in Yucatan. Claiming authority from the Omnímoda, the Franciscan provincial unleashed a reign of terror upon thousands of Maya Indians after finding some "idols" in a cave. Many were tortured, harshly disciplined, or committed suicide to avoid interrogation, before the first bishop of Yucatán, Francisco de Torral, intervened and sent Landa back to Spain to answer for his actions. Although Landa eventually was exonerated, this episode was influential in Philip II's decision to establish permanent tribunals of the Holy Office in Spanish America and to remove the Indians from its jurisdiction.

In 1569, after an accumulation of petitions complaining of abuses against both Spaniards and Indians, increased penetration of foreign Protestants and Protestant literature, and a general concern about unorthodox and immoral behavior in the colonies, the Crown authorized the creation of two autonomous tribunals, directly subordinate to the Suprema, in the capitals of the American viceroyalties. The Mexico City tribunal had jurisdiction over all of New Spain, from New Mexico to Panama to the Philippines, while the Lima tribunal in the viceroyalty of Peru covered all of Spanish South America until 1610, when a third tribunal was established in Cartagena to monitor New Granada (roughly Colombia and Venezuela) and the Caribbean islands.

Although numbers varied over time and by location, the bureaucracy of these tribunals consisted of inquisitors, prosecutors, secretaries, notaries, examiners and consultants, defense advocates, constables, jailers, and guards, as well as treasurers and accountants to manage the revenue and property acquired in fines and confiscations. The vast territorial jurisdictions of the American tribunals also required establishing provincial branches, each run by a commissary, who initiated investigations and proceedings, transferred serious cases to the main tribunal, and was assisted by a notary, a constable, and a jailer. Inquisitors and commissaries additionally relied on a network of lay officials known as familiars, dispersed throughout the empire, who supplied intelligence and assisted in investigations and arrests. The Holy Office also maintained inspectors in the ports to prevent prohibited books and suspected heretics from entering the colonies and fugitives from leaving.

In contrast to the experience in Spanish America, the Portuguese never created an autonomous tribunal in the New World. Although the Crown in 1560 established an overseas tribunal at Goa (India) whose jurisdiction extended from the Cape of Good Hope to the Far East, Portugal's Atlantic holdings, including Brazil, remained under the authority of the Lisbon tribunal. In 1579, Cardinal-King Henrique invested apostolic inquisitorial authority in the bishop of Salvador da Bahia, António Barreiros, to act in consultation with a group of Jesuit theologians, just one year before Philip II consummated his claim to the Portuguese throne and ushered in sixty years of Spanish rule. Although the Holy Office of both countries maintained their autonomy in the "Iberian Union," the Spanish Crown nevertheless pressured the Portuguese institution to proceed against conversos suspected of "Judaizing" in the colonies. Until that time inquisitorial activity in Brazil had been minimal and many New Christians and Jews emigrated there to avoid persecution in Portugal, or paradoxically were exiled there by the Holy Office. From the very beginning of colonization, they had been instrumental in providing capital and developing enterprises, first in brazilwood, then sugar production, and finally gold mining in the eighteenth century. In 1591, the General Council of the Inquisition appointed Heitor Furtado de Mendonça to conduct the first Holy Office visitation (visitação ) and he spent five years dispatching cases in the northeast provinces. In 1622, Philip IV ordered the creation of an autonomous tribunal in Brazil that never materialized, most likely because of opposition from Flemish interests in Pernambuco and Bahia, the Jesuits, and even the Holy Office itself, which preferred to maintain peninsular control over inquisitorial activity in the colony. Thus the Lisbon tribunal continued its vigilance through a combination of periodic Holy Office visitations, diocesan visitations conducted by bishops and ordinaries, and a network of commissaries and familiars, who identified and forwarded suspects to Portugal. Although inquisitors investigated a wide variety of offenses, most of the cases originating in Brazil involved New Christians, many of whom were denounced by "Old Christians" for purely economic or political reasons.

Inquisitional Activities and Offenses

Pursuing "Judaizing" conversos was also a priority for the new tribunals in Spanish America, as many Portuguese New Christians had entered Peru, New Spain, and New Granada during the period of the Iberian Union (15801640). In Mexico, there were two periods of heightened activity against conversos. The first came between 1585 and 1601, and was dominated by the prosecutions of members and associates of the Carvajal family. The second occurred from 1642 to the great autos-da-fé of 1647 and 1649, when the Holy Office arrested and tried hundreds of New Christians, fearing their subversion after Portugal's extrication from Spanish hegemony in 1640. In Peru, such activity steadily increased until peaking with the "Great Conspiracy" and the extraordinary 1639 auto-da-fé in Lima.

Protestantism, since the beginning of the Counter-Reformation, was considered especially dangerous and had been one of the primary reasons for establishing the American tribunals. Generically referring to it as the "heresy of Luther," the inquisitors made little distinction between Lutherans, Anglicans, Calvinists, and other sectarians and usually dealt with them all quite harshly. The condemned offenders included pirates, smugglers, and shipwreck victims captured on Iberian-American shores, French Huguenot interlopers (notably in Florida and Brazil), and English and German merchants who ventured, legally or illegally, into Spanish and Portuguese ports and cities in the New World. By the mid-seventeenth century, however, prosecutions of foreign Protestants had declined because of treaty obligations and pragmatic commercial concerns.

Inquisition officials also worried about blasphemy and the spread of various "heretical propositions" associated with Protestantism or other Old World movements. Common examples were denying the virginity of Mary, criticizing the veneration of saints and images, questioning the existence of Purgatory or the notion of original sin, claiming that the Mass had no significance or that excommunication offended God, or rejecting the sacrament of confession or the Eucharist. Blasphemy cases, ubiquitous throughout the colonial period, also included slaves who renounced their faith in the heat of being punished or mistreated by their masters. In terms of Old World movements, in addition to Erasmians, the Inquisitors were especially concerned with adherents of Spanish Illuminism and Quietism, who aspired to spiritual perfection through mystical reflection and direct union with God, because they often counseled others to forsake the Church's intercessory role. Moreover, believing they were incapable of sin in that direct union sometimes led to sexual transgressions. These alumbrados, many of them pious women (beatas and nuns), included mystics and visionaries, who issued prophecies and claimed to receive divine revelations. They were steadily prosecuted well into the eighteenth century, along with their followers and supporters, many of whom were members of the regular clergy. Inquisitors also tried clerics for other theological errors and a variety of offenses related to church discipline and the sacraments, such as improperly celebrating the Eucharist, marrying while in the consecrated state, or soliciting sex in the confessional.

The Holy Office also began to monitor familial and sexual morality, especially after the Council of Trent's pronouncements upholding the dissolubility of monogamous marriage and the prohibition of deviant moral behavior that was quite common in the New World. Bigamy, for example, was one of the most frequently tried offenses, surely reflecting the long distances, poor communications, and personal mobility in the Americas. Concubinage also thrived in the colonial environment, between conquistadores and Indian women, masters and slaves, native elites and subjects, and others preferring cohabitation to marriage. Although jurisdiction over adultery, fornication, and sodomy (at this time meaning any sexual activity not destined for procreation) traditionally resided with the civil authorities, the Holy Office increasingly intervened in cases it deemed to have heretical implications because they contradicted Tridentine decrees. Thus inquisitors were often more interested in disciplining offenders for certain commonly held beliefssuch as fornication was not a sin, or living together was better than being in a bad marriagethan for the acts themselves.

Other inquisitorial activity related to the indigenous inhabitants and their Christian conversion. The evangelization of the Indians in the New World was uneven at best and often involved "guided syncretism," indigenization, and transculturation, which incorporated many native beliefs and practices, and "relapses" were common. When establishing the American tribunals, the Spanish Crown decided that the transgressions of these neophytes should not elicit the Holy Office's harsh sentences for heresy or apostasy, but rather more lenient responses from episcopal authorities acting as ordinaries. The Holy Office, nevertheless, continued to investigate Indian heterodoxy to gather evidence against the rest of the population who were under its jurisdiction. It turned its findings over to the episcopal courts, which had established their own special tribunals under various names (Provisorato de Indios, Tribunal de Naturales, Inquisición Ordinaria). Headed by the provisor or vicar general of the diocese, these Indian tribunals also employed inquisitorial methods, issued edicts of faith, held autos-da-fé, and meted out penitential sentences that included haircutting, flogging, incarceration, forced labor, and exile for offenses such as bigamy, concubinage, idolatry, superstition, and sorcery. In Peru, successive Lima archbishops, especially Pedro de Villagómez (16411671), augmented these tribunals with systematic extirpation campaigns in indigenous communities conducted by a visitador of idolatries. Throughout their existence, these episcopal tribunals often clashed with the Holy Office over jurisdictional matters, which became even more complicated when cases of Indian bigamy and polygamy were returned to its authority in 1766. In Brazil, baptized Indians had always remained under the Portuguese institution's jurisdiction. During the first visitation in Bahia, the visitador Furtado investigated a Tupi millenarian sect called Santidade that integrated elements of Catholicism, prophesied the end of slavery and the Portuguese, attacked colonial interests, and astonishingly enjoyed the protection of a powerful planter and sugar mill owner. In both Spanish and Portuguese America, however, the vast majority of inquisitorial cases concerned whites, blacks, mestizos, and other racial mixtures rather than the Indians.

By the seventeenth century, the population was becoming more diverse with increasing European immigration, continued importation of African slaves, and a rising number of American-born whites, mestizos, and other miscegenational combinations. In this dynamic biological and social environment a vibrant and fluid popular culture emerged in which African, American Indian, and European beliefs and practices were creatively combined in ways that deviated from the orthodoxy that the Holy Office was entrusted to maintain. This was especially apparent in the genre of cases the inquisitors variably classified as superstition, sorcery (hechicería/feitiçaria ), or witchcraft (brujería/bruxaria ), which involved male and female practitioners of all racial backgrounds. This activity included astrology, fortunetelling, necromancy, and other forms of divination, the healing practices of curanderismo, the use of magic, spells, curses, charms, bundles, talismans, and potions for protection or to elicit desired effects, and the use of peyote, mushrooms, coca, and other psychoactive substances to induce visions, revelations, and prophecies. Early on, the inquisitors vigorously pursued such offenses as true heresies thinking they were dealing with supernatural powers linked to the devil, but years later when this activity had grown beyond all control, their interest waned as they increasingly attributed these cases to chicanery and ignorance among the lower classes.

By the late seventeenth century, inquisitional activity had already peaked and was in a state of decline. In Spanish America, a shift occurred around mid-century as cases of major heresies such as "Judaizing" and Protestantism gave way to lesser offenses among the clergy and the masses, resulting in diminishing revenue in fines and confiscations for the Holy Office and fewer and less elaborate autos-da-fé. During the eighteenth century, although bigamy and solicitation still dominated the docket, the institution started to take on a more political character as Spain's Bourbon monarchs sought to defend royal absolutism from liberal republicanism. The Index of Prohibited Books, begun in 1559, was now burgeoning with works from the Enlightenment, which inquisitors tried to suppress by monitoring imports, presses, booksellers, and private collectors. In the latter half of the century, cases citing "disloyalty to the Crown," sedition, Freemasonry, materialism, or republicanism as heretical offenses began to appear and during the turbulent years of popular uprisings and independence wars the Holy Office sided with the royalists. Nevertheless, after years of bitter financial and jurisdictional disputes, even the local royal authorities showed little sympathy when the Spanish Inquisition was suppressed in 1813 and definitively abolished in 1820. In Brazil, after some late activity involving conversos in Minas Gerais, the last Holy Office visitation occurred in 1763, several decades before the liberal Portuguese Constituent Assembly dissolved the institution in 1821.


There is no comprehensive, combined treatment of Spanish and Portuguese inquisitorial activity in the New World. Most scholarship, with the notable exception of The Inquisitors and Jews in the New World (Coral Gables, Fl., 1974) and other works by Seymour B. Liebman, focuses on one or the other empire.

For Spanish activity, the pioneering works of Chilean historian José Toribio Medina should still be consulted. His Historia del Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición de Lima (Santiago, 1887), en Chile (Santiago, 1890), de Cartagena de las Indias (Santiago, 1899), en las provincias del Plata (Santiago, 1899), and en México (Santiago, 1905) represent the first systematic treatments of the Inquisition in these areas and have reappeared in subsequent editions with useful retrospective introductions by leading scholars. Another important early synthesis is found in Henry Charles Lea's The Inquisition in the Spanish Dependencies (New York, 1908), which emphasizes the institution's jurisdictional conflicts, financial corruption, and inhibiting effect on intellectual development. The apostolic, episcopal, and monastic activities before the arrival of the first permanent tribunals are covered in Medina's La primitiva inquisición americana, 14931569 (Santiago, Chile, 1914), a topic that Álvaro Huerga has reexamined in "La pre-inquisición hispano-americana, 15161568," in Historia de la Inquisición en España y América, edited by J. Pérez Villanueva and B. Escandell Bonet (Madrid, 19842000), vol. 1, pp. 662700. This three-volume set contains other useful essays concerning general historiography, documentary sources, administrative and economic structures, and regional activities of the Holy Office in the Spanish colonies. Additional scholarship along these and other lines is found in Cultural Encounters: The Impact of the Inquisition in Spain and the New World, edited by Mary Elizabeth Perry and Anne J. Cruz (Berkeley, Calif., 1991), and Women in the Inquisition: Spain and the New World, edited by Mary E. Giles (Baltimore, Md., 1998).

Within Spanish America, New Spain has received the most attention owing to the survival of nearly all the records generated by the Mexico City tribunal. Richard E. Greenleaf's "Historiography of the Mexican Inquisition: Evolution of Interpretations and Methodologies," in Cultural Encounters, pp. 248276, provides a good overview of this scholarship, and his Zumárraga and the Mexican Inquisition, 15361543 (Washington, D.C., 1961) and The Mexican Inquisition in the Sixteenth Century (Albuquerque, 1969) cover early activity. Inga Clendinnen examines Landa's monastic inquisition in Ambivalent Conquests: Maya and Spaniard in Yucatan, 15171570 (Cambridge, U.K., 1987). On Mesoamericans, the Holy Office, and the Provisorato, see Greenleaf's "The Inquisition and the Indians of New Spain: A Study in Jurisdictional Confusion," The Americas 22, no. 2 (1965): 138166. Solange Alberro offers a broad synthesis and statistical analysis of the most active phase of the Mexican tribunal in Inquisition et société au Mexique, 15711700 (Mexico City, 1988), also available in a Spanish translation of the same year. For the later period, see "The Inquisition in Eighteenth-Century Mexico," The Americas 22, no. 2 (1965): 167181, by Lewis A. Tambs, and Ruth Behar's "Sex and Sin, Witchcraft and the Devil in Late-Colonial Mexico," American Ethnologist 14, no. 1 (1987): 3454. The two-volume Inquisición novohispana, edited by Noemí Quezada, Martha Eugenia Rodríguez, and Marcela Suárez (Mexico City, 2000), presents a diverse sampling of research at the close of the millennium.

Concerning other Spanish-American areas, Carlos Esteban Deive studies Caribbean activity in Heterodoxia e inquisición en Santo Domingo, 14921822 (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1983). For the Cartagena tribunal, see Fermina Álvarez Alonso's La Inquisición en Cartagena de Indias durante el siglo XVII (Madrid, 1999) and Anna María Splendiani's four-volume Cincuenta años de Inquisición en el Tribunal de Cartagena de Indias, 16101660 (Bogotá, Colombia, 1997). On the Lima tribunal, see the three-volume La Inquisición de Lima, 15691820 (Madrid, 19891998) by Paulino Castañeda Delgado, Pilar Hernández Aparicio, and René Millar Carvacho. The extirpation campaigns in Peru are examined by Kenneth Mills in Idolatry and Its Enemies: Colonial Andean Religion and Extirpation, 16401750 (Princeton, N.J., 1997).

For Brazil, Sonia A. Siqueira's A inquisição portuguesa e a sociedade colonial (São Paulo, Brazil, 1978) provides a good institutional overview. Denunciations and confessions from the first visitation have appeared in several editions, the most recent being Denunciações e Confissões de Pernambuco, 15931595, edited by José António Gonsalves de Mello (Recife, Brazil, 1984), and Confissões da Bahia, edited by Ronaldo Vainfas (São Paulo, Brazil, 1997). Vainfas reconstructs a native millenarian movement from inquisition documents in A heresia dos índios: catolicismo e rebeldia no Brasil colonial (São Paulo, Brazil, 1995) and looks at sexual morality and the institution in Trópico dos pecados: moral, sexualidade e Inquisição no Brasil (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1997). Regional studies of New Christians and the Inquisition include José Gonçalves Salvador's Cristãos-novos, Jesuítas e Inquisição: aspectos de sua atuação nas capitanias do Sul, 15301680 (São Paulo, Brazil, 1969), Anita Novinsky's Cristãos novos na Bahia (São Paulo, Brazil, 1972), and Neusa Fernandes's A Inquisição em Minas Gerais no século XVIII (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2000). Geraldo Pieroni provides an interesting study of Portuguese penitents exiled to Brazil in Os excluídos do reino: a Inquisição portuguesa e o degredo para o Brasil colônia (São Paulo, Brazil, 2000).

Scott Sessions (2005)