He­roes in the Fight for Mex­i­can In­de­pen­dence (Part 1)

The Playa Times Riviera Maya's English Newspaper - - Art & Culture - BY ALEJANDRA CAMPO ROMO,

Soon af­ter the be­gin­ning of the fight for Mex­i­can in­de­pen­dence, the “royal” army, which con­sisted of the Span­ish and some Cre­oles (those of Span­ish de­scent born in Mexico), cap­tured and shot in­sur­gent lead­ers Ig­na­cio Al­lende, Juan Al­dama, Mar­i­ano Jiménez. Later, Miguel Hidalgo y Cos­tilla met the same fate. Their heads were cut off and hung from the corners of the Al­hóndiga de Grana­di­tas, in Gua­na­ju­ato. They were made an ex­am­ple of in or­der to scare other in­sur­gents. Be­low is a brief bi­og­ra­phy of each of these heroic lead­ers.

Miguel Hidalgo y Cos­tilla (1753-1811)

Con­sid­ered the “Fa­ther of Mexico” for be­ing the first to take charge of the in­sur­gent move­ment. Born in Cor­ralejo, Gua­na­ju­ato, he en­tered the priest­hood in Val­ladolid and even­tu­ally be­came rec­tor of the Cole­gio de San Ni­colás. In the cu­rates where he was as­signed, he cre­ated a fine arts school for the na­tive pop­u­la­tion, teach­ing them to cul­ti­vate wine and silk. His rev­o­lu­tion­ary ideas were born from his lib­eral Euro­pean ed­u­ca­tion, lead­ing him to unite with the in­de­pen­dence move­ment.

Ig­na­cio Al­lende (1769-1811)

The child of Spa­niards, he was born in San Miguel el Grande, which is now named San Miguel de Al­lende in his honor. He was the head of the viceroy’s army in San Miguel, and par­tic­i­pated in con­spir­a­to­rial meet­ings for the in­sur­gent cause. As a mil­i­tary strat­egy, it was Al­lende who was called to be head of the in­sur­gent army, but he had shown signs of hes­i­ta­tion when he be­gan to be in­volved with the in­sur­gents, which lead Hidalgo to be the pro­tag­o­nist of the story. In­stead, he was named cap­tain of the army. Later, he would have dif­fer­ences of opin­ion with Hidalgo, due to Hidalgo’s in­ex­pe­ri­ence in mil­i­tary mat­ters, and for hav­ing per­mit­ted ran­sack­ing and a lack of dis­ci­pline within the in­sur­gent army.

Juan Al­dama (1774-1811)

Soldier in the viceroy’s army, born in San Miguel el Grande, co­op­er­ated with in­sur­gents. In San Miguel he was ad­vised that the in­sur­gent con­spir­acy had been dis­cov­ered. He rode to Dolores to warn Hidalgo and Al­lende. He then fought along­side Al­lende in the de­fense of Gua­na­ju­ato.

Josefa Or­tiz de Domínguez, “La Cor­regi­dora” (1773-1829), y Miguel Domínguez (1756-1830)

Mar­ried to Miguel Dominguez, mayor of Quere­taro, Josefa played a vi­tal role in the fight for in­de­pen­dence. She and her hus­band par­tic­i­pated in the con­spir­acy meet­ings against the Span­ish crown. Af­ter her hus­band dis­cov­ered her par­tic­i­pa­tion in these meet­ings, he locked her in her room for her own safety. This gave rise to the fa­mous pas­sage that she made ar­range­ments to send word to Hidalgo, Al­dama, and Al­lende that they had been dis­cov­ered. Be­cause of this, the date of the fight for in­de­pen­dence was be­gun ear­lier than planned. If this hadn’t hap­pened, history might not be the same.

Miguel Hidalgo y Cos­tilla

Ig­na­cio Al­lende

Juan Al­dama

Josefa Or­tiz de Domínguez

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