Statue of El Pipila in Guanajuato, Mexico
A large stone statue is seen from the bottom looking up. The statue depicts a man moving forward holding a torch.
This statue celebrates the actions of one of the earliest heroes of Mexico’s movement for independence, Juan José de los Reyes Martínez, or “El Pipila”. In 1810, Miguel Hidalgo led his ragtag peasant army to the rich city of Guanajuato. The undermanned Spanish garrison was routed and the surviving soldiers and many wealth citizens barricaded themselves in the granary. “El Pipila” rushed to the granary door with a torch and lit it on fire, killing all the occupants. Ironically, the granary fire at Guanajuato may have actually slowed down the independence movement because many moderate Mexicans feared the violent insurgents more than the corrupt colonial officials. At the base of this statue is the quotation “there are still other Alhóndigas [granaries] left to burn”