When the pirate Baal arrived, Cartagena de Indias was not yet fortified and was an easy target to the french.
On the eve of the marriage of Heredia's niece, early in the morning the pirates entered the city by surprise and started playing war instruments. The people in Cartagena thought it was the music of the feast and went to the wedding without weapons, to realize their mistake too late, when the city was completely occupied.
Don Pedro de Heredia fought with his sword at his own house, though the numerous advantage of the enemy forced him to flee and hide nearby with his relatives.
The price of the ransom for the city was 200.000 pesos in gold which were enough to satisfy the greed of the french who would then abandon the city.