In 1665 a native man named Juan Gallardo joined a raiding gang near Granada, Nicaragua, and remained for the next five years among the most notorious English, Dutch, and French freebooters. He stayed in the raiding bases of Port Royal and Tortuga, he sailed with Henry Morgan and François L'Olonnais, and he took part in a remarkable series of assaults on Spanish targets. Gallardo's life during these five years provides a unique insight into cross-cultural relations involving multinational outlaw gangs at the height of Caribbean raiding. This article shifts the focus from a Eurocentric, often-romanticized image of the age of buccaneers to the contributions of indigenous people, not only as voluntary and forced participants in violent raids but also as defenders of Spanish colonies and, above all, as defenseless victims.

You do not currently have access to this content.