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Martínez, Juan José (c. 1782–c. 1863)

Martínez, Juan José (c. 1782–c. 1863)

Juan José Martínez (b. c. 3 January 1782; d. c. 25 July 1863), a hero of Mexican independence whose existence has been widely questioned. When Miguel Hidalgo besieged Guanajuato in September 1810, the Spaniards fortified themselves in the Alhóndiga de Granaditas granary. According to the legend, Martínez, a miner nicknamed Pípila (Turkey), joined the insurgents in their attack on the Alhóndiga. In the heart of battle he reached the great door of the granary by crawling under the protection of slab and set fire to the building, thus allowing the insurgents to enter. Lucas Alamán, the greatest historian of the epoch, doubted that Martínez had existed, but his critic, José María de Liceaga, insisted on the veracity of the tale. In recent years, the Guanajuato historian Fulgencio Vargas has published articles claiming to possess documents that prove the existence of the hero.

See alsoHidalgo y Costilla, Miguel; Mexico: 1810–1910; Mexico, Wars and Revolutions: War of Independence.


Lucas Alamán, Historia de Méjico desde los primeros movimientos que prepararon su independencia en el año 1808 hasta la época presente, vol. 1 (1849), p. 430.

José María De Liceaga, Adiciones y rectificaciones a la historia de México que escribió D. Lucas Alamán (1868), pp. 113-114.

José María Miquel I Vergés, Diccionario de insurgentes, 2d ed. (1980), p. 364.

Additional Bibliography

Rionda Arreguín, Isauro. El Pípila, héroe popular de la insurgencia. Guanajuato, Mexico: Archivo General del Estado, 1995.

Van Young, Eric. The Other Rebellion: Popular Violence, Ideology, and the Mexican Struggle for Independence, 1810–1821. Stanford, CA: Stanford University, 2001.

                              Jaime E. RodrÍguez O.

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