Biography of El Pipila Juan Jose de los Reyes Martinez Amoro is better known to history by his nick “Pipila” (Reding 61). He was a local hero ofthe Guanajuato city in Mexico, who played a major role in Mexican Independence. He was a “miner” in a small mining city who later emerged as a great fearless warrior and inspired many others to participate actively in the “war of independence” (61). During the Mexicans war against Spain, the latter barricaded themselves in a most fortified building of the city which was the city’s grain store with solid stone walls and enough space for archers to repel attackers. Spaniards were safe and secure in that building, as the Mexicans were reluctant to attack being intimidated by defeat echoed through the powerful walls of the building.
However, El Pipila, regardless of his personal safety, rose to the occasion and answered head on to his call of duty. He strapped a large stone on his back, held a flaming torch in his hand and set on his mission to wreak havoc on the cruel oppressors. After he reached the building, he crawled towards its “wooden doors,” the only known weak spot of the building, and set it on fire allowing the insurgent army to enter the building and claim their first victory of the struggle for independence (61). Mexico was one of the richest and most important colonies of Spain’s kingdom during that time. Being under the territory of New Spain, Mexico was the main source of gold and silver for the Spaniards and contributed highly for
the emergence of Spain as the great power then.
During the Spanish rule, the people of Mexico were treated as slaves and third class individuals. The condition of the people influenced a number of progressive personalities to think about gaining independence from Spain and the “need for political reform(s)” to make the city a new free country (66). Amongst these people, was a non-traditional catholic priest, “Miguel Hidalgo,” who did a lot of work for the betterment of the native population (61). It was in the year 1810 that the struggle for independence was initiated. Hidalgo gathered people, mostly peasants and a few trained officials to form the “Insurgent Army,” which marched for a number of days through the region gaining more people and resources for the struggle (61).
Once they were all set, they planned to attack the biggest and the most crucial Spaniard post in the zone, the world famous mining town of Guanajuato, the city of the great El Pipila. The famous Mexican independence hero bravely helped his fellow members of the insurgent army to gain their first victory in their struggle for independence. On the streets of the colonial city of Guanajuato, stands the statue of El Pipila, built in the honor of this great Mexican who played a crucial role in the attainment of independence. With his “torch held high,” Pipila’s statue is “Mexico’s ‘Statue of Liberty,” a token of history that resonates the glorious triumph of Mexicans claiming their rightful freedom from Spaniards (61).
Reding, Andrew. The Next Mexican Revolution. 1996. World Policy Journal, 13/3. pp. 61-70. Web. 24 February 2013.