Rodríguez Freile, the author of El carnero, a seventeenth- century
satirical chronicle of Santafé de Bogotá and Tunja, provokes his read-
ers with his recounting of the fate of Inés de Hinojosa, the beautiful and
treacherous Tunja adulteress who murdered two husbands and was ul-
timately hanged for her crimes.1 Inés— who Rodríguez Freile identifies
as a “doña” (noblewoman) and as a “criolla” (American- born woman of
Spanish descent) from Carora, in what is modern- day Venezuela— was
beautiful and wealthy, but she was imprisoned in a demoralizing mar-
riage to the gambler and heavy drinker don Pedro de Ávila, a rogue
who swiftly devoured her assets while pursuing not- so-secret affairs
with other women. In Rodríguez Freile’s telling, Inés schemes with her
dance instructor and lover, the Spaniard Jorge Voto, to kill Ávila, and
after doing so, the two move to Tunja as a married couple. Once again
Inés found matrimony too constraining. Don Pedro Bravo de Rivera,
a well- placed Spaniard who lived across the street from Hinojosa, fell
for the Venezuelan woman, and the two embarked on an affair, meet-
ing clandestinely by way of a tunnel excavated between their houses.
Bravo de Rivera’s mestizo half- brother Hernán (the son of Bravo’s fa-
ther with a native woman) lent Inés a hand in plotting and carrying
out the death of Voto so that she could once again free herself from
an unwanted husband. That time, however, Inés de Hinojosa’s scheme
was discovered, and the two Bravo brothers and Inés were caught and
condemned to death by Andrés Díaz Venero de Leiva, president of
the Audiencia of Santafé (the judicial representatives of the Spanish
Crown in the region that today is Colombia). Inés and Hernán were
hanged. As befit his higher social status, don Pedro Bravo de Rivera
was condemned to the garrote and died by strangulation.
Something of a colonial backwater, the Nuevo Reino de Granada
(the New Kingdom of Granada) was an Audiencia that did not achieve
autonomous status as a viceroyalty until the eighteenth century. Its
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