The reason the Christians have murdered on such a vast scale and killed anyone and everyone in their way is purely and simply greed.— Bartolome de las Casas
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What we committed in the Indies stands out among the most unpardonable offenses ever committed against God and mankind and this trade [in Indian slaves] as one of the most unjust, evil, and cruel among them.
The reader may ask himself if this is not cruelty and injustice of a kind so terrible that it beggars the imagination, and whether these poor people would not fare far better if they were entrusted to the devils in Hell than they do at the hands of the devils of the New World who masquerade as Christians.
I write ... in order to help ensure that the teeming millions in the New World, for whose sins Christ gave His life, do not continue to die in ignorance, but rather are brought to knowledge of God and thereby saved.
The main goal of divine Providence in [allowing] the discovery of these tribes and lands . . . is . . . the conversion and well-being of souls, and to this goal everything temporal must necessarily be subordinated and directed.
The Christians seized all the maize the locals of Nicaragua had grown for themselves and their own families and, as a consequence, some twenty or thirty thousand natives died of hunger, some mothers even killing their own children and eating them.
The one and only method of teaching men the true religion was established by Divine Providence for the whole world, and for all times: that is, by persuading the understanding through reasons, and by gently attracting or exhorting the will.
Later, a large band of Christians mounted an attack on this native lord, butchering him along with vast numbers of his people and taking all the survivors into slavery, where they duly perished, so that today not a trace remains of what was previously a community with dominion over an area of some thirty leagues.
Island of Hispaniola once so populous (having a population that I estimated to be more than three million), has now a population of barely two hundred persons.
It clearly appears that there are no races in the world, however rude, uncultivated, barbarous, gross, or almost brutal they may be, who cannot be persuaded and brought to a good order and way of life, and made domestic, mild and tractable, provided . . . the method that is proper and natural to men is used; that is, love and gentleness and kindness.
"The pattern established at the outset has remained to this day, and the Spaniards still do nothing save tear the natives to shreds, murder them and inflict upon them untold misery, suffering and distress, tormenting, harrying and persecuting them mercilessly." According to Las Casas, atrocities continued unabated in the Americas, even half a century after the discovery.