Riaño y Bárcena, Juan Antonio (1757–1810)

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Riaño y Bárcena, Juan Antonio (1757–1810)

Juan Antonio Riaño y Bárcena (b. 1757; d. 28 September 1810), intendant of Guanajuato and defender of the Alhóndiga in the Hidalgo revolt (1810). A native of Santander, Spain, Riaño served as a frigate captain in the Spanish navy. In 1792, he was appointed intendant of the important Mexican mining province of Guanajuato, a position he held until his death in defense of the alhóndiga (granary) against the rebel forces of Father Miguel Hidalgo. A true product of the Spanish Enlightenment, Riáno studied mathematics, astronomy, literature, languages, drawing, and architecture. Unlike many other intendants, he surveyed his province thoroughly and sought to introduce new industries and agricultural crops. He stimulated the planting of olive groves and vineyards.

Despite his popularity and recognized honesty, Riaño was ineffective in defending Guanajuato against Hidalgo's Indian and mestizo rebels. Convinced that the city was indefensible, he moved valuables and members of the Spanish elite into the fortified granary. The populace felt abandoned, and many from the lower classes joined the rebel assault. When Riaño was killed by a musket ball, the defenses collapsed and the garrison of the granary was massacred.

See alsoGuanajuato .


Lucas Alamán, Historia de México desde los primeros movimientos que prepararon su independencia en el año de 1808 hasta la época presente, 5 vols. (1849–1852; repr. 1942).

José María Luis Mora, México y sus revoluciones, 3 vols. (1965).

Hugh M. Hamill, The Hidalgo Revolt: Prelude to Mexican Independence (1966).

Additional Bibliography

Rionda Arreguín, Isauro. Hidalgo en la intendencia de Guanajuato. Guanajuato: Archivo General del Gobierno del Estado de Guanajuato, 2003.

                                     Christon I. Archer