A Nahua slave who became the interpreter, intelligence chief, and mistress of Cortés. Known to the Spanish as "Do?a María",? La Malinche became the interpreter, intelligence chief, and mistress of Cortés. Originally a Nahua slave sold to another indigenous group, and later to the Spanish, she maneuvered herself into a position of power and authority with the conquerors. Reviled by most modern Mexicans as a betrayer of her people, La Malinche possibly sought to revenge herself on the Mexica who sold her into captivity. She remains a very enigmatic figure.