Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean

Portal of Culture of Latin America and the Caribbean

Uruguay - Quilombo, camp, community of runaway slaves

On 21 March 1803, the then governor of Montevideo informed of the flight of twelve slaves from the city, which had joined seven more and had taken refuge in the islands of the Santa Lucia River, to the north of Montevideo. The slaves were persecuted by Spanish troops who informed that they had found five huts, rests of fire, beef and many arrows near the Timote stream. This camp was in the middle of the woods, but they did not find the fugitives they were persecuting. It is not clear if the camp was a real “quilombo”. However, it was the first time that a Spanish official used the term “quilombo”- of Portuguese origin- to refer to what he thought to be a refuge of runaway slaves. The Spanish troops found the fugitives some days later, killing the leader and taking the rest in custody. These men and women remained in prison until 1805 when they requested the governor to be liberated.

Al this information was obtained from: Borucki, A (2016). “Across imperial boundaries: Black social networks across the Iberian South Atlantic, 1760–1810”, Atlantic Studies, pp. 11-36. Available in: 


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Other data of interest


Historical name

Quilombo, camp, community of runaway slaves

Founding Date

The progress of research up to the moment allows us to suppose that this “quilombo” or camp emerged after the flight of twelve slaves from Montevideo on March 1803. However, more historical and archaeological research is required.


Se desconoce su ubicación exacta. Las tropas españolas que perseguían a este grupo de esclavos fugitivos hallaron este campamento en las cercanías del arroyo Timote, más allá del Río Santa Lucía, al Norte de Montevideo / The exact location is unknown. Spanish troops in pursuit of fugitive slaves found this camp near the Timote stream, beyond the Santa Lucia River, to the north of Montevideo.


Human settlement


Refuge of runaway slaves Site of Rebellion

Access level


Current Use

Human settlement

Original use

Camp of runaway slaves.

Property kind