Sebastián de Belalcázar

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article
views updated

Sebastián de Belalcázar

1495-1551

Spanish explorer and conquistador, also known as Sebastián de Benalcázar, who founded settlements throughout Nicaragua, Ecuador and southwestern Colombia. Belalcázar accompanied Christopher Columbus on his third voyage, then assisted Francisco Pizarro in conquering Peru. In 1533, he set out from his base in Piura, Peru and defeated the Incas, taking over command of Quito. There, he founded the settlement of Quayaquil. Two years later, he went in search of the fabled city of gold, El Dorado. Along his journey, he established the Colombian cities of Pasto, Cali, and the Popayán province, over which he became governor in 1541. In his latter years, Belalcázar was involved in struggles with several Spanish leaders, and was eventually convicted of murdering Jorge Robledo, the head of a neighboring province.