By Federico Garza Carvajal
As Spain consolidated its Empire within the 16th and 17th centuries, discourses in regards to the excellent Spanish guy or "Vir" went hand-in-hand with discourses approximately one other type of guy, one that engaged within the "abominable crime and sin opposed to nature"--sodomy. In either Spain and Mexico, sodomy got here to rank moment in basic terms to heresy as a reason for prosecution, and hundreds of thousands of sodomites have been tortured, garroted, or burned alive for violating Spanish beliefs of manliness. but actually, as Federico Garza Carvajal argues during this groundbreaking booklet, the prosecution of sodomites had little to do with problems with gender and was once even more a concomitant of empire development and the necessity to justify political and monetary domination of topic peoples.Drawing on formerly unpublished documents of a few 300 sodomy trials carried out in Spain and Mexico among 1561 and 1699, Garza Carvajal examines the sodomy discourses that emerged in Andalucía, seat of Spain's colonial gear, and within the viceroyalty of recent Spain (Mexico), its first and biggest American colony. From those discourses, he convincingly demonstrates that the idea that of sodomy (more than the particular perform) was once the most important to the Iberian colonizing software. simply because sodomy hostile the correct of "Vir" and the Spanish nationhood with which it was once in detail linked, the prosecution of sodomy justified Spain's domination of foreigners (many of whom have been represented as sodomites) within the peninsula and of "Indios" in Mexico, a unconditionally topic humans depicted as effeminate and at risk of sodomitical acts, cannibalism, and inebriation.
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Additional info for Butterflies Will Burn: Prosecuting Sodomites in Early Modern Spain and Mexico
The documents include some three hundred procesos, or the recorded legal proceedings by a scrivener of sodomy trials prosecuted by the Andalusian and Mexican secular Royal Courts. These manuscripts are kept in dark boxes, stored within the conﬁnes of archives in Austin (Texas), Mexico City, Seville, Granada, Valladolid, Simancas, Madrid, and Burgos. A proceso varied in length from some one hundred to ﬁve hundred folios in total and consisted of the telling denunciations of the accused, the Varied Textures [ 11 ] graphic charges put forth by the prosecuting attorneys, the arguments for and by the defense, confessions by the accused and accounts by eyewitnesses, lengthy descriptions of the tortures inﬂicted upon the accused, sentences or appeals, and, ﬁnally, the justiﬁcations and descriptions of the sentences carried out by the different tribunals.
The ensign’s shenanigans ﬁnally caught up with him. In Chile, as in Peru, Alonso had enjoyed an infamous reputation as a reckless, brawling gambler. In 1620, while he was in Peru, local ofﬁcials arrested him and charged him with murder. Alonso, ﬁnding himself in quite a bind, summoned his confessor and simply revealed himself to the priest. In his defense, Alonso ingeniously argued that a secular court could not pass sentence in his case, for he professed to be “a nun,” moreover a “virgin,” actually named Catalina de Erauso, and as such, his case fell under ecclesiastical and not secular jurisdiction.
And what, if anything, accounts for the similarities or differences? To do so is to avoid the conﬂation of European cultures at any historical juncture and to reject the notion of a privileged narrative of sexuality emanating from any one culture. If, as Bhabha has suggested, one should not advocate a privileged narrative of the nation, then, by extension, one should debunk a privileged narration of homosexuality. ” 52 If one attempts to resist homogenizing interpretations of sodomies, sodomy prosecutions in Spain– New Spain should be analyzed in relation to one another and not within the context of English or Dutch early modern histories.
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