Enslavement befell the extravagant wife and unfilial children.
The discovery of rich deposits of gold and silver, together with the coveted commercial products of the country, created an urgent demand for labourers and led to the enslavement of the natives.
Accordingly in June 1654 he set sail for Lisbon to plead the cause of the Indians, and in April 1655 he obtained from the king a series of decrees which placed the missions under the Company of Jesus, with himself as their superior, and prohibited the enslavement of the natives, except in certain specified cases.
The colonial period was marked by the destruction of the ancient Indian civilization, the extermination of many entire tribes, and the enslavement of the survivors, who were exploited to the utmost for the benefit of Spanish officials and adventurers.
They were an energetic people, were never subdued by the Aztecs, and are now recovering from their long subjection to Spanish enslavement more rapidly than any other indigenous race.