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After the outbreak of the indigenous insurrection in 1780, the Spanish-born military offcer Sebastián de Segurola (1740–89) was transferred from Larecaja, where he was corregidor, to the city of La Paz. There he headed the defense of the city as it came under siege in 1781 and kept an informative and fairly sober diary of events. We include the diary’s opening and closing remarks, as well as the entry about one of his early sallies outside the city. His account reveals the violence deployed by both sides, the military superiority of Spanish forces in the field, and the suffering sustained by the city’s residents. He depicts his Indian adversaries as cruel and savage, yet cannot fail to marvel at their valor and tenacity in battle. After the protracted war, Brigadier Segurola was made the first intendant of the entire district of La Paz. A play in verse staged in his honor in 1786 praised Segurola as “that chief who freed you from disaster, when the infernal serpent of Catari and Tupac Amaru … infested this kingdom with their poison.”

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