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435px-Pedro de Alvarado

El Capitan Pedro de Alvarado y Contreras (Badajoz, Extremadura, Spain, ca. 1485 or ca. 1495 – Guadalajara, New Spain, 4 July 1541) was a Spanish conquistador and governor of Guatemala. He participated in the conquest of Cuba, in Juan de Grijalva's exploration of the coasts of Yucatan and the Gulf of Mexico, and in the conquest of Mexico led by Hernan Cortes. He is considered the conquistador of most of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras). Although renowned for his skill as a soldier, Alvarado is known also for the cruelty of his treatment of native populations, and mass murders committed in the subjugation of the native peoples of Mexico. Historiography portrays that indigenous people, both Nahuatl-speakers and speakers of other languages, called him Tonatiuh, meaning "sun" in the Nahuatl language. Yet he was also called "Red Sun" in Nahuatl, which allows a variety of interpretations. Whether this epithet refers to Don Alvarado's red hair, some esoteric quality attributed to him, or both, is disputed.

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