In early 1515, a small Spanish expedition set sail for the province of Cumaná, located along the coast of what was then called Tierra Firme (an area spanning much of present-day Central and South America). Nominally, the squadron, led by Spanish scribe Gomez de Ribera, was sent to punish a group of “Carib” Indians who had recently attacked and killed two Spaniards on the small island of San Vicente. Once caught, these “Caribs” would be enslaved and sold in the markets of Española, Puerto Rico, or Cuba. Caribs, though speakers of the Arawakan language, were inhabitants of the Lesser Antilles and were likely culturally and politically distinct from the Taíno of the Greater Antilles. Inhabitants of the Lesser Antilles first received the ethnic label of Carib during Christopher Columbus's second voyage in 1493. Over time, Europeans exacerbated the pre-Columbian divide between Caribs and Taínos, creating a colonial dichotomy that helped the Spanish to expand the indigenous slave trade. By the third decade of colonization, or the time of Ribera's expedition, the Spanish had begun labeling all rebellious Indians as Caribs or cannibals so as to legally enslave them.