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Lautaro(loutä`rō), c.1533–57, leader of the AraucaniansAraucanians
, South American people, occupying most of S central Chile at the time of the Spanish conquest (1540). The Araucanians were an agricultural people living in small settlements.
..... Click the link for more information. in their nearly successful attempt to reconquer S central Chile from the Spanish. He was captured by the Spanish conquistador, Pedro de ValdiviaValdivia, Pedro de
, c.1500–1554, Spanish conquistador, conqueror of Chile. One of Francisco Pizarro's best officers in the conquest of Peru, educated, energetic, somewhat less cruel and avaricious than his fellow conquerors, Valdivia obtained permission from Pizarro to
..... Click the link for more information. , but escaped and returned to his people in 1553, when they began the struggle for freedom. In a memorable battle in Dec., 1553, near Tucapel, Lautaro sent one band after another against a force under Valdivia. Not one Spaniard escaped death. Aiming at nothing less than the reconquest of Chile, he won several more battles, destroyed cities such as ConcepciónConcepción
, city (1990 est. pop. 306,464), capital of Bío-Bío region, S central Chile, near the mouth of the Bío-Bío River. It is an industrial and commercial center and Chile's third largest city.
..... Click the link for more information. , and finally advanced on Santiago, the capital. Lautaro was betrayed by one of his own people and surprised in his encampment; he fell in battle. Resistance continued under CaupolicánCaupolicán
, d. 1558, leader of the Araucanians who fiercely resisted the Spanish conquest of Chile. He attempted to carry on the reconquest begun by Lautaro and won a victory over the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Valdivia.
..... Click the link for more information. . Lautaro, who figures in Alonso de Ercilla y Zúñiga's epic, La Araucana, later became the symbol of Chilean independence.