Did the Jesuit missions in New Spain coerce native labor?

Did the Jesuit missions in New Spain coerce native labor?


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Several Catholic orders operated missions in colonial Mexico; Dominicans, Franciscans, and Jesuits (before their expulsion) all had their own strategies. Alejandro Murguía in The Medicine of Memory differentiates them thus (the bolding is mine):

The Jesuits are teachers and scholars; the Franciscans, missionaries and colonizers. Whereas the Jesuits oppose enslavement of the Indians, the Franciscans are enemies of the flesh and firm believers in punishment.

Is this claim true? Jesuits in South America used indigenous labor that is easily compared to enslavement, just as the Franciscans did in the California missions (both examples of reducción). Were local conditions different and Murguía correct, or did Jesuit missions in New Spain also coerce native labor?


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