Capture of Cotubanama

While the process of implementation of the encomiendas was being organized, the men Esquibel had left in the fort in Higuey were killed by they natives in the area, seemingly, for the usual reasons in this type of incident. Once more a large amount of men from all the villages were gathered under the orders of Juan de Esquivel with Juan Ponce de Leon as second.

The gangs of Spanish initiated their routine attack from village to village, making the majority of the population seek shelter in the jungle. When they intersected a native, they would obtain information about their refuge through torture. Although many died without betraying their chief until “con cordeles al pesquezo atados, desde que llegaban a algún despeñadero, por llevar tras si al español que lo llevaba del cordel, se despeñaba, porque se lo había el señor o cacique mandado”.17

Arriving to the locations where the population had taken refuge, the Spanish would stab to death everyone in general, children, women, the elderly, since the "main objective was to inflict as much cruelty and pain to establish fear and make them surrender."18

The Christians finally headed for Cotubanama's village, principal chief and guaitiao of Esquivel, who, according to Las Casas, "was the most beautiful and resolved man that if set within a thousand men of any nation, I think would stand out... was of such a striking standing that any Spanish or anyone who saw him would admire him."19 The Indians tried to confuse the Christians by changing the trails to no avail, simple measure with no effect, and in no time the gang of Christians attacked the village initiating another bloody battle that lasted from the afternoon when they arrived until the night stopped them."20

Many died and the rest fled to the jungles, being hunted by the Spanish experts at tracking. Cotubanama was able to escape to the Saona island where he hid in a cave with his family.

Juan de Esquivel sent an expedition to capture the cacique and even though the chief had lookouts, the captain and 20 or 30 Spaniards landed at dusk. There they trapped the lookouts, killing one and taking the other as guide in search of Cotubanama.

The Christians took separate paths, the majority in one with one man named Juan Lopez in the other. In his trajectory Juan Lopez finds 12 Indians armed with bows and arrows, with which is Cotubanama. The Indians thought the Spaniard was accompanied by the other men and afraid fled. The cacique tries to set and arrow in his bow but Juan Lopez doesn't let him cutting his hand with his sword; Cotubanama exclaims “Mayanimacaná, Juan Desquivel daca; “don't kill me because I am Juan de Esquivel”.21 Apparently he is able to distract Lopez enough and pushes him into rocks where he almost chokes him if it wasn't for the arrival of the rest of the Spaniards.

His guaitiao Esquivel captured Cotubanama and his family, and after considering burning him alive like was accustomed, was given preferential treatment being taken in a caravel to Santo Domingo, where the governor Ovando in a less cruel manner had him hanged.

This war lasted about 8 to 10 months and would be the last armed movement of this kind, since the island's inhabitants were finally rendered "pacified" and totally subjugated into servitude of the Spaniards. Two villages were founded in Higuey: Salvaleón de Higüey, near the sea, and Sancta Cruz of Aycayagua, in the interior of the region.