Lautaro was a Mapuche military leader and relevant actor in the War of Arauco. His tactics are today studied by many war academies in the world.
Lautauro was a son of a mapuche Lonco (chief). When he was young, he was captured by the Spanish colonizers and grew up as personal servant of the Spanish conqueror of Chile, Pedro de Valdivia. With him, he learned the military tactics of the Spanish army.
As he converted into an adult, he ran away from the Spanish captivity and went back with the mapuches. With the knowledge acquired, he introduced the horse into the mapuche people and designed new tactics to combat the conquerors militia. So, he attracted around him the dispersed mapuche warriors and formed a big native army to fight against the conquerors.
He obtained many military successes, destroying new founded cities and making big pression over the few Spanish men in the Chilean territory. After he got a substantial victory in the southern city (including the death of Pedro de Valdivia in the battle of Tucapel), he began the advance over Santiago, the capital and oldest Spanish founded city. Unhappily for him, he was murdered when he was only 200 km away from his destination.
He is considered an icon of the War of Arauco, due his revolutionary strategy and responsibility in the union of the disperse mapuche people. His tactical innovations are studied on many military schools around the world
His name was use by Francisco de Miranda, when he founded the Logia Lautaro an American-independist society of the end of 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century.