Historical Figures


Huascar Inca emperor. Son of Huayna Capac and Rahuac Ocllo , was born in the town of Huascarquiguar or Huascarpata. According to the version of some chroniclers, to celebrate his birth, his father had a gold chain made so large that two hundred people were needed to carry it and throw it into a lake near Cuzco. His original name was Topa Cusí Huallpa and he adopted that of Huáscar when he was proclaimed Inca. Eager to continue his father's expansive policy, he sent an expedition headed by his cousin Tito Atauche to subdue the towns northeast of Chachapoyas; and he tried to conquer the Moxos valley. But from the beginning he had to deal with overcoming seditions and intrigues that his closest relatives plotted against him:in one of them his brothers Chuquishuaman and Conono were involved, who tried to overthrow him to enthrone another brother of his, Cusi Atauchi. This sinister plan could not be carried out because Chuquishuaman himself, repentant and fearful, betrayed his brothers. Huáscar wasted no time and had them summarily executed.

Huascar and the civil war with his brother Atahualpa

Time later he had to face the uprising led by his brother Atahualpa in the Quito regions, supported by pastures and carangues. The belligerence intensified when Atahualpa, ignoring Huáscar's orders, refused to travel to his father's funeral, instead sending ambassadors bearing gifts for his brother. This ritual of initiation of reciprocal relationships through the delivery of goods was only reserved for the Inca. Huáscar then dispatched an army commanded by his brother Atoe, who despite having defeated Atahualpa's forces, was unable to take him prisoner. A second army under the command of another brother of Huáscar, Huanca Auqui, had no better luck. After several skirmishes, both troops clashed on the Bombón plateau and after three days of fighting the numerical superiority of the Quito troops prevailed. The shattered Imperial forces withdrew on the way to Jauja. In the llacta of Yanamarca, near Jauja, another battle was fought, which was perhaps the bloodiest of that war due to the enormous number of combatants on each side. In the end, the Cuzco army had to withdraw with its diminished ranks to the right bank of the Mantaro River, deploying a defense line of two thousand men there and resisting the attacks of Quisquiz and Calcuchimac Atahualpa generals. This time Huáscar prepared a third army with people from Contisuyo and decided to lead it personally, successively defeating the Quito people in Tahuaray and Cotabambas. Huáscar believing that the victory had been total, he ordered parties, without noticing that the best Quito men under Calcuchimac were camouflaged in the neighboring hills. While the Cuzco people were celebrating, they were surprised and defeated by the Atahualpist troops, and Huáscar was taken prisoner. The road to Cuzco was left open and they entered triumphantly, unleashing a terrible repression and murdering most of Cuzco's nobles. Huáscar had to witness the slaughter of his women and their born and unborn children (taken from their mothers' wombs and torn to pieces). Meanwhile in Cajamarca Atahualpa had been captured by the Spanish and had offered for his freedom to fill a room with gold and silver, asking that his brother be brought into his presence. Under strong Atahualpist custody, Huáscar was taken to Cajamarca, bumping into the procession of Spaniards and Quito en route to Cuzco to collect part of the treasure offered by Atahualpa. The dethroned monarch offered to cover the plaza of Aucaypata with gold and silver in exchange for his freedom. Aware Atahualpa of Huáscar's offer and fearing that he would reach an understanding with the Spaniards, he ordered his death. Huáscar was thrown into the Angasmarca River with his hands tied.

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