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Mariano Matamoros
1770-1814
Mariano Matamoros.jpg
A painting of Mariano Matamoros.
Allegiance Mexico
Service/branch Revolutionary army
Rank Lieutenant general
Commands held Mexican War of Independence
Battles/wars Siege of Cuautla

Mariano Matamoros y Guridi (August 14, 1770 – February 3, 1814) was a Mexican Roman Catholic priest and revolutionary rebel soldier of the Mexican War of Independence, who fought for independence against Spain in the early 19th century.

Matamoros was born in Mexico City in 1770, where he studied art and theology during his youth. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest in 1796 and served in several churches around the city. During this time, he started to sympathize with rebellious issues and, for this reason, he was jailed by the Spanish colonial authorities shortly after the war started. He managed to escape from prison and eventually joined the revolutionary army of José María Morelos in 1811.

During the Siege of Cuautla in 1812, Morelos recognized Matamoro's ability in the battlefield and promoted him to the rank of lieutenant general, effectively becoming second on command of the army. Once the siege was lifted, the campaign continued in Oaxaca and Chiapas, where he achieved several victories over the Spanish army.

On December 23, 1813, Matamoros was captured during the Battle of Valladolid near Valladolid (present day Morelia, Michoacán). Allegedly Morelos offered 200 Spanish prisoners in exchange for Matamoros, but was turned down by the Spanish colonial authorities. Matamoros was removed from the priesthood and tried for treason. He was executed by firing squad in Valladolid on February 3, 1814.

In 1823, Matamoros was honored as "Benemérito de la Patria". His remains now rest in the Independence Column of Mexico City.

Legacy

Matamoros is a national hero of Mexico. In his honour, the Cuernavaca International Airport in Cuernavaca, Morelos, is named after him, as well as the cities of Izúcar de Matamoros, Puebla, and Matamoros, Tamaulipas.

See also

External links

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