Arias de Ávila, Pedro (pāˈħrō äˈryäs dā äˈvēlä) [key], known as Pedrarias pāħräˈryäs, c.1440–1531, Spanish colonial administrator. He was sent (1514) as governor to Darién (now part of Panama), then under the rule of Vasco Núñez de Balboa. A long quarrel between the two ended with Balboa's execution. Pedrarias's administration was notoriously harsh and cruel, but he extended the Spanish dominions and founded (1519) Panama City; he first aided, but later hindered, Francisco Pizarro and Diego de Almagro in their conquest of Peru. His name also appears as Pedrarias Dávila.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.