The Inquisition was established to keep watch on the entire Christian population, first in the Peninsula and later in the colonies, but from its inception it operated under important constraints. First, its aim was not to imprison or eliminate large numbers of people but rather to eradicate certain practices considered heretical or unacceptable according to Christian religion and morality, and its hallmark was a clearly defined protocol. Second, there were significant external constraints in Lima, among them a chronic shortage of personnel and an inadequate number of cells for housing prisoners. These factors, along with the many regulations under which it operated, support the notion that the Inquisition, in spite of its potential reach, did not anticipate large numbers of detainees. The Lima tribunal operated between 1570 and 1820, and following modern scholarship, only forty-eight people died as a result of a trial of faith.
Ana Schaposchnik, The Lima Inquisition (2015)
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