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Mounting fiscal exactions by the Bourbon Crown in the 1770s generated escalating unrest in the southern Andes among Indians, mestizos, and creoles. One of the most resented reforms was the introduction of customs houses designed to control trade more strictly and to levy higher commercial taxes. Recurrent conspiracies and revolts broke out in Cochabamba, Arequipa, Cuzco, and La Paz and were often accompanied by public pasquinades that lampooned, often in crude verse, the colonial authorities. In La Paz in March 1780, the unfortunate customs-house offcial was Bernardo Gallo. He came in for fierce invective and ridicule from the anonymous authors...

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