What does the world think of Indians

Jesuits in America: Whoever saves Indians is punished with death

Their success was also their undoing. The Jesuits were so missionary and economically efficient in Latin America that they aroused the envy of the conquerors. In Lisbon and Madrid, too, they were a thorn in the side of the court. Portugal's first minister, Sebastião Marquês de Pombal (1699–1782), opened Pandora's box in 1759. Other countries gratefully accepted the ball. Within a few years the Jesuits were expelled from Portugal, France and Spain. 250 years ago, on April 2, 1767, Spain's crown finally landed the knockout blow. The order was expelled from all colonies, including the so-called Jesuit reductions in Paraguay and Latin America.

The Spanish crown had justified its conquests in America, among other things, with wanting to spread Christianity. However, their on-site tools by no means acted accordingly. The indigenous people were forced to do hard labor. It was not the Jesuits who invented a remedy, the so-called reductions, but the Franciscan Luis de Bolaños (1550–1629). In Asunción, now the capital of Paraguay, he let locals live and work together to protect them from the seizure of secular conquerors.

The Jesuits, represented in Latin America since 1549, initially only carried out pastoral care among the new settlers and only did missionary work among the Indians since 1576. In 1603, a synod decided on measures against the enslavement and exploitation of the Indians, including the possibility of separation from direct Spanish access: the hour of birth of what was ridiculed by the conquerors as a sacred experiment.