Guadalupes, Los

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Guadalupes, Los

Los Guadalupes, one of the first secret political societies established in New Spain. (The other was the Sociedad De Caballeros Racionales.) Los Guadalupes was founded in Mexico City in 1811 by a group of autonomists and persons disaffected with the colonial regime who were convinced that aiding the insurgent movement by establishing an alternative organ of government was the best way to foster their interests. They were devoted to the Virgin of Guadalupe, whose image the insurgents placed on their banner. The society first aided the insurgents Ignacio Rayón and later José María Morelos, with whom they corresponded and to whom they sent information, arms, money, men, and a press. Based on a small group of leaders, and composed at the beginning of lawyers united by professional ties, friendship, and Compadrazgo (tie between a godfather and a father), the society expanded to include nobles, property owners, clergymen, merchants, several women, and even an Indian official. Besides aiding the insurgents, the Guadalupes took advantage of opportunities for political action within the system. Thus, they participated in the constitutional elections of 1812–1813, in which they joined forces with other autonomists to secure the victory of their candidates. The society's existence was discovered by the authorities in 1814, and several of its members were prosecuted and exiled. Shortly thereafter, the society ceased to function, but many of its former members continued their efforts to promote Mexican autonomy.

See alsoMexico City; New Spain, Colonization of the Northern Frontier.


Wilbert H. Timmons, "Los Guadalupes," in Hispanic American Historical Review 30 (Nov. 1950): 453-479.

Ernesto De La Torre Villar, Los Guadalupes y la independencia, con una selección de documentos inéditos (1985).

Virginia Guedea, En busca de un gobierno alterno: Los Guadalupes de México (1992).

Additional Bibliography

Archer, Christon I. The Birth of Modern Mexico, 1780–1824. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources Inc., 2003.

                                           Virginia Guedea