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Adrián de Moxica was a Spanish nobleman and explorer who is also the primary antagonist of the 1992 Ridley Scott film 1492: Conquest of Paradise.

He was portrayed by Michael Wincott.


Biography

A very religious and harsh noble, he accompanied Italian explorer Christopher Columbus to his later voyages to the New World. He quickly interpreted the indigenous people's culture as primitive and pagan, and remained suspicious of them as Christopher constructed the city of La Isabela. He also seemed to think himself above them, as seen by his frustration with Columbus' equal treatment of the indigenous and the Spanish. One day, while collecting taxes, Moxica accused the natives of concealing the wheareabouts of the island's gold after an individual claimed to have not found any. He cut off the man's hand, angering many of the natives and greatly disrupting the relative peace the settlers had with the natives before then.

These events worry Columbus greatly, and the already shakey relationship between Moxica and Columbus turns into a bitter rivalry. Moxica eventually leads a violent rebellion against Columbus' authority, and although the resulting conflict ends with Moxica's defeat and death, it shocks other nobles back in Spain and Columbus is forced to surrender his New World government and exploration to another explorer. Columbus is even accused of nepotism and imprisoned.

Legacy

Moxica's actions in both the film and the events it was based on are only the first in what would be centuries of atrocities against Native Americans. This, in a sense, places him among the people most responsible for these hardships.

Trivia

In the film, Moxica kills himself by jumping off a balcony while surrounded by Columbus' soldiers. According to historical sources, however, he was captured and hanged by Columbus' followers.

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