The Legend of Santo Cerro
Winners and losers write the history books, talking about heroic battles and extreme situations that trigger conquests. It is often difficult to find out the real facts but through the oral tradition it can get as close as possible to the truth, as the case of the first battle between Europeans and Amerindians in the battle of Santo Cerro in March 1495.
On March 14th, Christopher Columbus with two hundred Spanish infantry soldiers and countless taínos of Guacanagari chiefdoms came to a place known as Santo Cerro, slightly northwest of the current city of La Vega. They had left behind the town of La Isabela, on the north coast, to the Paso de los Hidalgos going to the chieftainship of Guarionex, in the heart of the Cibao’s central mountain.
The group led by Columbus look for stop the increasing Indian attacks against the Spaniards and establish a foothold in the auriferous region where until then, had only a small fortress.
The taíno cacique who had given them more problems to the date, Caonabo, had been captured and put in a ship to be tried in Spain. However, the attacks were not stopped and his brother, Manicaotex, railed against the Spanish structure.
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