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Marina Ortiz de Gaete


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Marina Ortiz de Gaete Gonzalez (c. 1509 - April 1592) was the wife of Pedro de Valdivia, and played an important role in the politics of the conquest and early history of the Kingdom of Chile.


Marina (sometimes Maria) Ortiz de Gaete was born around 1509, in Zalamea de la Serena, Spain, the daughter of Francisco Ortiz de Gaete and of Leonor Gonzalez Gutierrez. In 1527, she married Pedro de Valdivia, but he departed in 1535 to search for fortune in the new world. They would never meet again, though he always kept in touch and sent her money until the end of his days.

Once in Peru, Valdivia became attached to the widow Ines de Suarez, who was to accompany him to Chile as his mistress. Nonetheless, a discontented faction from Chile managed to have him tried in Lima in 1548, accused of tyranny, malfeasance of public funds and public immorality. One of the charges levelled against him was that he, being married, openly lived with Ines de Suarez "...in the manner of man and wife and they sleep in one bed and they eat in one dish...". In exchange for being freed, and for his confirmation as Royal Governor, he agreed to relinquish Suarez and to bring to Chile his wife. He was also ordered to marry Ines off, which he did upon his return to Chile in 1549, to one of his captains, Rodrigo de Quiroga. As recognition for his services Valdivia was finally appointed as adelantado and won the royal assent to his coveted title of Governor of Chile, returning to the settlement with his position and prestige considerably strengthened.

In America

Marina was sent for, and left Spain in November, 1553, in the nao of Juan de Mondragon. A large retinue of family travelled with her, including at least a brother and two nieces. As she arrived to Peru in 1554, she discovered that Valdivia had died the previous year after being captured by the Mapuche. She was also detained in Lima by Viceroy Andres Hurtado de Mendoza, who offered her a large sum in gold in exchange for her not continuing the journey to Chile, agreeing to return to Spain and renouncing all rights to her husband's inheritance. She refused and after further delays, she finally arrived to Chile in 1555. She lived the rest of her long life between Santiago and Concepcion and died at the age of approximately 83; between March 30th and April 12th, 1592.

Additional information

See also

Pedro de Valdivia

Ines de Suarez

Arauco War

Mapuche people



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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Marina Ortiz de Gaete

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