Abreu, Diego de (?–1553)

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Abreu, Diego de (?–1553)

Diego de Abreu (d. 1553), conquistador and early settler. Abreu was born in Seville, Spain, and came to the Río de la Plata with the expedition of Pedro de Mendoza in 1536. After the original settlement of Santa María del Buen Aire was abandoned, and after Mendoza's death earlier that year, Juan de Salazar y Ezpinosa founded Asunción in 1537. When Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, the second adelantado of the Río de la Plata, and the settlers of Asunción came into open conflict over how the settlement should be run, Abreu supported Nuñez. He later protested the naming of Domingo Martínez de Irala as governor and was sent to prison. He escaped, and led a group of loyalists against Martínez. When Martínez left Asunción on an exploratory trip in 1547, Abreu demanded that his successor, Francisco de Mendoza, surrender command. Abreu had Mendoza imprisoned and executed. When Martínez returned in 1549, Abreu abandoned the governorship he had assumed by force and fled inland. He wrote a detailed report of these disputes in 1548. Abreu never returned to Asunción and died in an Indian hamlet.

See alsoCabeza de Vaca, Alvar Núñez; Conquistadores; Irala, Domingo Martínez de; Mendoza, Pedro de.


Ricardo Levene, A History of Argentina (1963).

Additional Bibliography

Koebel, W. H. Argentina: Past and Present. Koebel Press, 2007.

                                     Nicholas P. Cushner