“The Last Conquistador”

On April 30, 1598, explorer Juan de Oñate forged the El Paso River  and claimed all of New Mexico beyond the river for Spain.  Oñate was born in Zacatecas, Mexico to Spanish-Basque colonists and silver mine owners.  He married Isabel de Tolosa Cortés de Moctezuma, the great granddaughter of the Aztec Emperor.  Oñate ruthlessly suppressed the uprisings of the Native Americans against their Spanish invaders.  He was tried, but eventually acquitted, for cruel conduct.  His horrific behavior was documented in the PBS POV series, titled “The Last Conquistador”.  Centuries after his death, Oñate’s behavior is still protested by Native Americans.