The King Philip III introduced in 1610 the Tribunal de Penas del
Santo Oficio de la Inquisición in the city.
The Inquisition was created during the Middle Ages (1223); it was a religious tribunal dedicated to "rescue" from the claws of the furious people all those persons that attempted against the Catholic faith (heretics) to judge them as they deserved. From the ample expansion in all the christian countries in Europe, the Inquisition in Spain had somehow deviated from the primary objectives.
Apart from applying the justice in religious terms, it was an instrument of the Spanish Crown to exert political pressure and influence in all the sectors, almost independently from the Vatican.
Due to the particular way of judging and sentencing of the accused (torments, tortures), a wrong concept of the mentality of the inquisitors was formed, who were not only very passionate about their job, but also very convinced with what they were doing and abused their appointment and committed cruelties in pro of religious ideas.
Many torments to draw out a confession were applied in Cartagena, among them were the water pitcher, the water drop, the colt, the cord,etc. One of the most prosecuted crimes was witchcraft, which was widely practiced.
The Inquisition worked in Cartagena de Indias until the revolution on November 11th of 1811, coming back in 1816 with the pacifier Pablo Morillo and then was finally exiled in 1821 when Cartagena de Indias was liberated by the patriot army.