As the pagan locals’ beliefs proved not incompatible with Christianity, the church’s attention turned to Africans – and backsliding conversos
Haaretz.com–On November 4, 1571, the Inquisition began to operate in Mexico, with the authority to seek out and prosecute religious heresy of any kind. The Inquisition in New Spain, as Mexico was then called, remained active until 1820, shortly before Mexico gained full independence.
The Roman Catholic Church established the Inquisition in Spain and Portugal in 1480 and 1497, respectively. And as these nations created overseas empires, the offices of the Inquisition also expanded to encompass their colonies too. In Spain’s empire in the New World, separate institutions were set up in Mexico, Colombia and Peru. As the Spanish conquered territory in Central and South America, the indigenous peoples they encountered became prime targets for conversion.
Read more on Haaretz.com: The Inquisition Reaches Mexico