"Don Oñate ordered that every male above the age of twenty-five would have his right foot cut off and be enslaved for a period of twenty years. However, only twenty-four men actually received amputations. Males between the age of twelve and twenty-five were also enslaved for twenty years along with all of the females above the age of twelve. Many of these natives were dispersed among the residences of government officials or at Jesuit missions. Sixty of the youngest women were deemed not guilty and sent to Mexico City where they were "parceled out among Catholic convents". Two Hopi men were taken prisoner at the pueblo; after each had one of his hands cut off, they were released to spread the word of Spain's resolve."But it was not just these Indians who were enslaved. It was common practice for the Spanish, Mexicans, and New Mexicans to raid Indian tribes and capture slaves. These slaves were set to work in Mexican mines and on farms and in Haciendas. Of course the Indian women were raped—which is why so many Hispanic New Mexicans who claim to be pure descendants of the Conquistadors, are actually part Indian—a race many of them despise.
Although Mexico passed a law outlawing slavery, if you read New Mexican history, you will find that many Hispanics retained their Navajo slaves as late as 1900—not surprising seeing how laws are commonly ignored by these people. While peonage was abolished by law in New Mexico by an Act Of 1867, there was a case reported as recently as 1967.
In spite of the Spanish history of cruelty against relatively peaceful Indians such as the Pueblo, the more warlike tribes such as the Navajo, Comanche, and Apache were too much for the Hispanic colonists. It took Americans to subdue these tribes and although people were killed on both sides and the Indians came out the worst, Americans did not amputate limbs or enslave these people as the Spanish did.
It wasn't just the Indians who suffered under Hispanic governance. Under the patron-peon system, common peasants were not much better off than the serfs of the Middle Ages. Frequently they were heavily in debt to a local patron or strongman who could dispose of their lives—for example sending off them on a long trading journey from which they might not return.
As for lawlessness, take the city of Espanola, New Mexico—which is over 88% Hispanic Espanola,known locally as the low-rider capital of the world, has the highest crime rate in New Mexico. The state of New Mexico has the highest burglary rate in the country and is and among the worst in other crimes.
Of course it could be the Amish doing all these crimes, but I can't recall seeing any low-rider buggies with Amish in Espanola. New Mexico, of course, is a majority minority state—compare the crime rate with an “Anglo” state such as Vermont.
Still, Mr. Rivera is lucky that Americans conquered New Mexico—otherwise he would be living in a part of Mexico, a country rife with poverty, corruption, and cartel violence. He then would probably be trying to sneak across the border into the United States.