Honor y libertad tells the story of a mulatto slave woman from Guayaquil, María Chiquinquirá Díaz, who attempted to obtain her freedom and that of her daughter through the judicial system beginning in 1794. Whether she was ultimately successful is not known, because the detailed expediente on which this work (a doctoral dissertation undertaken at Göteborg University) is based does not specify the outcome. It is even possible that María Chiquinquirá died before her civil suit— undertaken on her behalf by the port city’s procurador de esclavos —ended, inasmuch as she was between 40 and 50 years old when the proceedings began. Her master, diocesan priest Alfonso Cepeda, inherited María Chiquinquirá from a sibling, who in turn had inherited her from their parents. María Chiquinquirá (named after the future patron of Colombia, the Virgin of Chiquinquirá) argued that she was born free because...

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