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However, it was only in 1572 that the Spanish were able to defeat the Incas decisively, and claim the riches of the New World for themselves. The natives were now left to the mercy of their conquerors, who viewed them as heathens, but saw no harm in using native labor for agriculture, mining, and construction of public projects. Over time, the native inhabitants worldwide colonized America would face a big decline; by the 17th century, that of Mexico alone would have lowered by about 90%. One of the largest threats faced by the natives, at the side of the firearms that settlers introduced with them, were illnesses like cowpox and measles, towards which that they had no insurance. Such epidemics ravaged the native populations; the settlers were lined by drug cures they’d introduced with them. However, an trade reason behind this drastic decline was the horrible stipulations that the natives were forced to toil in, because of the encomienda system of the Spaniards.