In the Oaxaca area problems of idolatry and sacrifice continued to occupy the friars as the 1560s began. When the Dominicans punished Indians severely word reached Madrid. Philip II in October 1560 ordered the Audiencia to intervene in the proceedings. What we have known of the famous Teticpac autos de fe relied upon the chronicler Francisco de Burgoa who wrote in the seventeenth century. Two official letters in February 1560 from Archbishop Monttifar and his vicar general have sketchy details, but the archbishop’s bland description was designed to protect his Dominican compatriots from censure for their excesses.
Recent archival investigations have uncovered the Audiencia’s probe and will be summarized here. Indians from both Soli and Teticpac had complained to the Audiencia. Indians from Soli had been severely whipped and shorn of their hair for having offended the Dominicans. It seems that Indian alguaciles (sheriffs) had not furnished the proper food and lodgings to the friars and their retinue of retainers when they came to Solhi, district of Teticpac, as well as in Villa de las Zapotecas. The Indian officers were publicly whipped, shorn, and had their authority temporarily withdrawn by Fray Martin, lately vicar in Ocotlin. […] These scandalous occurrences, along with acelebrated series of Franciscan prosecutions of the Maya in Yucatin, began to condition attitudes at the Council of the Indies toward mendicant authority over Indian transgressions as well as the viability of episcopal Inquisitions in sixteenth-century Mexico.
Richard E. Greenleaf, “Persistence of Native Values: The Inquisition and the Indians of Colonial Mexico,” The Americas, vol. 50.3 (1994)