A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies
Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias (A Short Account of the Destruction of the Indies) by Bartolomé de las Casas, are an allegation in favor of the Indians; the best known of these, the very brief account of the destruction of the Indies, was not published until 1552. De las Casas is interested in the conditions of the autochthonous inhabitants of the New World and describes their wonders. Thus he writes, for example, about tobacco: «they are dried herbs stuck in a certain leaf, dry too, like a musket made of paper, of which the boys make the Passover of the Holy Spirit; and, ignited by the one part of him, by the other they suck or sip or receive with the breath inside that smoke, with which they numb the flesh and almost drunk».
Along with passages like the previous one, with passionate descriptions of the New World, Bartolomé de las Casas reflects on the Conquest and its aftermath. Since then, «genocide» was the reference idea when thinking about the American experience.
(Description has been translated into English, Book edition is in Spanish)