Didem Doğan

Museo de la Inquisición: The Inquisition Museum, a shameful page of colonial history

This Palace is situated at the Plaza de Bolivar, its doors is maybe one of the most beautiful doors of Cartagena and one cannot stop and think how come such an elegant building was used as a place of tortures and executions; it is a real irony! 

The Inquisition Tribunal was founded in Cartagena in 1610 as the third Tribunal following the ones in Mexico City and Lima. Some numbers: the Tribunal lasted some 211 years, more than 800 people were arrested, 56 of them were executed (some of them publicly). 

But who were these people seen as a threat to the new rule of Christianity? The ones who were seen as ‘other’ to Catholic faith? The witches, ones who try to heal illnesses by witchcraft, Jews, Lutherianists, ones who believe in Mohamed, one who read the forbidden books, shortly those who did not obey the Catholic rule. 

The museum is quite educational, I finish reading the informations and reach to the garden. A peaceful place with huge trees, but it makes me sick to see some tools that are exhibited: a guillotine, a place to hang people. I go inside again, they show a video, and some examples of the people who were arrested: a 20 year old girl, guilty of cursing the God; a 38 old woman guilty of collaborating with the Devil; a 41 old woman guilty of witchcraft. In fact, the beliefs of thousands of years of the indian people, and a way of solving their own problems, these were may be seen as a threat because of the fear to the ‘unknown’. 

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