Bartolomé de Las Casas
(1484 - 1566)
When he was eighteen years old, Bartolomé de Las Casas left Spain for Santo Domingo, becoming, during his time in the New World, a rare Spanish-born advocate for the rights of indigenous people. In 1515 Emperor Charles V appointed him priest-procurator of the Indies. After his attempt to establish a joint community of both natives and Spanish civilians failed in 1522, Las Casas joined the Dominican order and became prior of the Convent of Puerto de Plata.