Military Wiki
1712 Huilliche rebellion
Date10–18 February 1712
LocationCentral Chiloé Archipelago
Result Key encomenderos killed
Supression of the rebellion
Encomienda mildened
Spain Spanish Empire Chiloé Huilliches
Casualties and losses
30 Spaniards 400 Huilliches

The 1712 Huilliche rebellion was an indigenous uprising against the Spanish encomenderos of Chiloé Archipelago, which was then a part of the Captaincy General of Chile. The rebellion took place in the central part of the archipelago.[1]


The Huilliches of Chiloé had already in 1600 taken action against their Spanish lords. In that year a group helped the Dutch corsair Baltazar de Cordes attack the Spanish settlement of Castro.[1][2] Contrary to continental Chile the indigenous population of Chiloé grew from 1700 onwards.[2] By 1712 indigenous peoples made up around 50% of the population of the archipelago.[2] The encomiendas of Chiloé were the largest of Chile and the administration of this form of labour more abusive than in the mainland.[2] More on the encomenderos did not fulfil their obligations; they did not registered tributes nor salaries.[2] Encomenderos did often not paid legal salaries or salaries at all and did not observed the "free time" of Indians in the encomienda laws.[2] The encomienda activities in Chiloé included the Indians to travel to the continental coast to logge for alerce wood.[3]

In retrospective Huilliches considered the abuses of José de Andrade detonant of the rebellion and one of his abuses in particular: the whipping of Martín Antucan an Indian he tied to an apple tree and to then flog his genitals with nettles to be then covered in tow and set afire. According to testimonies gathered in 1725 José de Andrade judged wrongdoings himself, did not paid salaries and tortured those that did not worked because of illness. His son is reported to have had similar behaviours and his majordomo kidnapped children to send them to continental Chile.[4] During a meeting on the on January 26 of 1712 Huilliches set February 10 as the date of their uprising.[2][3] The objective of the rebellion was not the end of Spanish rule but vengeance for perceived injusticies.[2]

The rebellion

The strategy of the rebellion focused on attacking Castro, the political and economic centre of the islands that was also located in the place most Spaniards lived and most encomiendas were. The night of February 10 houses and haciendas of Spaniards in central Chiloé were attacked; Spaniards were killed and buildings set afire. Some Spaniards managed to fortify themselves in Castro while they were surrounded by rebels. Spanish women and children were taken as prisoners. In the first night of rebellion only notable Spaniards died, not so Spaniards of low social standing or mestizos, friars or priests. Other Spaniards survived hiden in the forests.[2]

The same day Spanish captains Juan de Aguilar and Diego Telles de Barrientos begun to crush the rebellion. They subsequently fought in different places of Chiloé for 8 days. Also on February 10 a Spanish militia begun to kill Huilliches and were only stopped by the intervention of Jesuits.[2]


Marín de Velasco, the Royal Governor of Chiloé, was suspended from his duties after the rebellion. However he later obtained the approval of the King of Spain and returned to rule Chiloé in 1715 aiming to put the encomienda system under the rule of law.[2] Indigenous complains to the Spanish authorities begun a period of increase after the rebellion.[1]

The encomienda system was abolished in 1782 in Chiloé and in 1789 in the rest of Chile and in 1791 in the whole Spanish Empire.[2][3][5][6]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 (Spanish) Rebelión huilliche de 1712 Memoria chilena. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 (Spanish) Urbina Burgos, Rodolfo. La rebelión indigena de 1712: Los tributarios de Chiloé contra la encomienda.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 (Spanish) La rebelión huilliche de 1712 El Llanquihue. Puplished in July 29, 2007. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  4. Urbina, Rodolfo (1990). "La rebelión indígena de 1712: los tributarios de Chiloé contra la encomienda" (in Spanish) (pdf). Chillán: El Departamento. pp. 73–86. 
  5. (Spanish) La encomienda. Memoria chilena. Retrieved 2012-05-26.
  6. Villalobos, Sergio; Silva, Osvaldo; Silva, Fernando and Estelle, Patricio. 1974. Historia De Chile. Editorial Universitaria, Chile. p 237.

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