Baltasar de Zúñiga y Guzmán, duque de Arión y marqués de Valero (1658, Spain—December 26, 1727, Madrid) was Spanish viceroy of New Spain from August 16, 1716 to October 14, 1722 and later president of the Council of the Indies.
In 1717 Florida Indian chiefs meeting in Pensacola asked to come to Mexico City. Viceroy Zúñiga sent a ship from the Armada de Barlovento (coast guard) to pick them up and transport them to Veracruz. They traveled by stagecoach from there to the capital, where they were received with honors. They accepted baptism and promised friendship to the Spaniards, a promise which they kept.
In 1717 the Spanish Crown established its monopoly on tobacco in Cuba and New Spain, and the private factories disappeared. The export of tobacco to Peru was prohibited. The changes resulted in a large increase in royal revenue.
In 1718 rebel Lipanes Indians surrendered in the Sierra Gorda (Tamaulipas). Missionaries were sent, and the Indians accepted Christianity. Rich mines were subsequently discovered in the region.
The first feria (festival) organized by the merchants of Jalapa was celebrated in late 1720. In 1722 Juan Ignacio María de Castorena Ursúa y Goyeneche began publishing a newspaper in Mexico City. The Hospital Real burned in 1722. Also in that year a principal idol of the Indians was burned in an auto de fe in Mexico City. The convent of Corpus Christi was founded for Indian nobles.
On June 16, 1718 as the viceroy was leaving the procession of Corpus Christi with the Audiencia, he was attacked with a knife on the stairs of the palace by a man named Nicolás Camacho. Zúñiga escaped without injury. Camacho was arrested, judged insane, and committed to the Hospital of San Hipólito.
In 1716 the viceroy sent a Spanish fleet from Veracruz, under Alonso Felipe de Andrade, to reclaim the island. They took the English by surprise, and were successful. The precious woods and pirate booty they captured amply repaid the costs of the expedition. A Spanish garrison was established on the island, and Andrade was named governor. The Spanish fought off a return attack of 335 filibusters on July 16, 1717, but Andrade lost his life in the fighting. His descendants were honored with the hereditary position of capitain of dragoons.
Zúñiga also advanced the colonization of Texas and established four advance posts in the region to expel the French. In addition he conquered Nayarit and reconstructed the fortifications in Florida. On May 19, 1719, shortly after the declaration of war between France and Spain, the French disembarked in Pensacola. They were easily defeated and forced to surrender. However, the missionaries and soldiers in Texas returned to Coahuila, fearing French advances. The viceroy sent the Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo and 500 militiamen to expel the French from the Bay of Espíritu Santo, where they were established. Aguayo was named governor of Florida and Texas.
On December 21, 1720 the system of convoys was established to transport tribute and merchandise to Spain. On that date a fleet of merchant ships escorted by ships of war sailed from Veracruz to the Canary Islands. From the Canaries, another fleet escorted the merchant ships to Seville.