The European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation organises the seminar “Pedro Cieza de León. Conquest and Evangelisation of Peru” in order to analyse and place value on this polyhedral character from Llerena on the commemoration of the 5th centenary since his birth.

This scientific and academic event opened this morning in Llerena, Pedro Cieza de León’s home town, and was attended by the General Secretary of Culture, Miriam García Cabezas; the Mayor of Llerena, Valentín Cortés, and the Academic Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation, César Chaparro.

The General Secretary of Culture pointed out that such initiatives place value not only on Llerena’s heritage and history, but also on the “stories of history” and on many characters who have contributed to local and global development, such as Pedro Cieza de León.

García Cabezas stated that focusing on Cieza de León “is taking notice of more than just discoveries, the foundation of cities and territorial expansion; it is to take notice of characters who contributed to the knowledge of Andean people with their chronicles for global history”.

The Head of Culture underlined that Cieza de León was not the only relevant character from Llerena in American history; she also wanted to highlight the role played by those who travelled with the discoverers: the “female conquerors of silence”. She claimed that there is also another relevant figure from Llerena: Catalina de Bustamante, “a teacher; a conqueror through teaching and through the spoken word” and pointed out the possibility to place value on her figure as has been done with Cieza de León.

The Academic Director of the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation highlighted that one of the aims of this seminar is to bring important characters from 16th century Extremadura to the present and to today’s reality.

César Chaparro stated that “Extremadura cannot be understood without its American dimension and the fact that we come across names that evoke characters related to America in towns and cities of Extremadura is proof of this, just as one may find names such as Trujillo or Medellín on the other side of the Atlantic”.

He pointed out, in this sense, that “this dimension of Extremadura and Ibero-America is vital in order to understand our present reality”. He added that “we shouldn’t remain in the past” and the European and Ibero-American Academy of Yuste Foundation seeks to “analyse the past in order to project it to the present and the future in a peer-to-peer cooperation with other entities and other regions on each side of the Ocean, respecting both identities”.

The Academic Director of Yuste Foundation assured that “esteem and self-esteem are achieved through the knowledge of things and that knowledge of History and of certain characters helps to remove clichés about Extremadura”; that is why it is “interesting to recover lesser-known characters, such as Cieza de León”, a character from Llerena who rightly coined the appellation “Prince of chroniclers”, stated Chaparro, and added that in spite of his short life, Cieza wrote the Chronicles of Peru, which “helped us to get better acquainted with the identity of the Incan Empire, as he described its geography, ethnography, the Incan dynasties, evangelisation, etc.”.

Chaparro claimed that the speeches of the seminar would be included in a publication arranged by Yuste Foundation so that “all reflections and analyses made in these sessions may always redound in society’s benefit”.

Academicians and experts who study the figure and work of this chronicler of the Indies, meet in this event that takes place this Wednesday and Thursday at the Cultural Centre “La Merced”. They belong to prestigious institutions, such as the Spanish National Research Council (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, CSIC) and universities, such as the University of León, Barcelona, the Complutense University of Madrid or the Pablo de Olavide University of Seville.