On 28 April 1598, Juan Bautista, slave of Regidor Cristóbal Jiménez, denounced himself to the commissary of the Inquisition in Puebla, Bartolomé Márquez de Amarilla.1 In his testimony, Juan recounted the events of the previous day: Around 4 PM, his master harshly beat him in the stable of his textile workshop (obraje) because Juan had not finished the work he had been assigned. Unhappy with his slave’s pace, the master applied hot pitch to Juan’s wounds and continued to beat him while two other men firmly held Juan down. In an attempt to appease Jiménez, Bautista begged him to stop “for the sake of the love of God and Holy Mary.” His torturer replied, “I beat you for the sake of God and Holy Mary!” and forced a firebrand into his mouth. Seeing himself so afflicted, Juan shouted, “I renounce...

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