Quevedo, Juan de

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Franciscan bishop in Panama; b. place and date unknown; d. Spain, Dec. 24, 1519. In response to the concern of King Ferdinand of Spain, Leo X in a bull dated Sept. 24, 1513, named Quevedo bishop of Darien, Panama, the first bishopric on Tierra Firme. This diocese was the fourth in the New World, preceded in 1511 by those of Santo Domingo and Concepción de la Vega on Hispaniola, and San Juan in Puerto Rico. Quevedo arrived in Darien with Gov. Pedrarias Davila in July 1514. He was accompanied by various other religious destined for the missions.

The episcopal see was established in Santa María la Antigua. His apostolic work was made difficult by the dissension between the two most famous caudillos of the conquest in Darien: Pedrarias and the Adelantado Vasco Núñez de Balboa, discoverer of the Pacific Ocean. The bishop was a consistent critic of the conduct of Pedrarias because of his cruelty to the natives. After Balboa was beheaded in 1519 on orders of Pedrarias, Quevedo returned to Spain where he engaged in a controversy with Bartolomé de las casas before the Emperor on the methods of the conquest in America.

[e. j. castillero]