Vaca de Castro, Cristóbal (krēstōˈbäl väˈkä ħā käˈstrō) [key], fl. 1540–45, Spanish colonial administrator in Peru. A judge of the royal audiencia at Valladolid, he was chosen by Charles V to restore order between the Pizarro and the Almagro factions. He was a man of integrity, sagacity, and courage. Arriving in 1541 and learning of the assassination of Francisco Pizarro, he assumed the governorship. Supported by Francisco de Carvajal, he put down the uprising headed by Almagro the younger (son of Diego de Almagro), who was defeated in 1542. Vaca de Castro was succeeded by the first viceroy of Peru, Núñez Vela, in 1544. The viceroy, suspecting Vaca de Castro of sympathizing with the rebellion of Gonzalo Pizarro, had him arrested. Returned to Spain in disgrace, Vaca de Castro was imprisoned for 12 years before he was cleared of all charges and restored to his honors. He probably died at some time after 1571.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.