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Mexico's Father Miguel Hidalgo, a 'father' in more ways than one

Miguel hidalgo epa photo

It may not be the best of times for Mexico, but the country is nonetheless facing an enormously symbolic signpost in its history today with a parade and massive public party in Mexico City to celebrate 200 years of independence from Spain. Celebrations are being held across the country and in Mexican communities around the world.

How did it all start? With Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, a priest in the tiny provincial town of Dolores, Guanajuato. In the early-morning hours of Sept. 16, 1810, he rang the bells of his parish and gave the "grito," or call to arms, unleashing a violent uprising against Spanish rule in Mexico that had been building up since 1808.

"Death to the bad government!" Hidalgo cried, in a call that is reenacted late on the night of every Sept. 15 but with less specific cries now of "Viva Mexico!" Today, the "grito" is considered the start of Mexico's 11-year war of independence, Sept. 16 is officially Independence Day, and Hidalgo is considered the "father of the fatherland."

It turns out the priest has more claims on the "father" appellation than is generally known.

Tracy Wilkinson has all the randy historical details, and more, in this feature on Mexico's bicentennial in The Times. Did you know that at least one Mexican "sexologist" has concluded that "Revolutionary icon Pancho Villa probably was impotent, while his cohort Emiliano Zapata just might have been bisexual"?

— Daniel Hernandez in Mexico City

Photo: A portrait of Father Miguel Hidalgo at the National Palace in Mexico City. Credit: EPA

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He also shouted, "death to the gachupines"- a derogatory term for Spanish born peoples.... As for his also using Ferdinand's name, he did so not because he was a monarchist, rather because it was tradition that rebellions (including the Thupac Amaru and Tomas Katari rebellions in the Andes in 1780s) were against bad government, not the Crown, since there were no guarantees they would be successful- thus leaders of rebellions stated their problem was not with the Crown but rather with the inept administrators in the colonies. Hidalgo's motivations for rebellion were more personal since Criollos (American born Spaniards) had lost a great deal of privileges and power after the second round of the Bourbon Reforms post 1750- he certainly was not a believer in social equity and wished to preserve his own position over others... so defining who exactly "his people" were might be useful. In addition, Jose Ma. Morelos was certainly a believer in liberty, but like Hidalgo, had absolutely no intention of carrying out social revolution... Hidalgo and Morelos were purely interested in political revolution, one which would serve their own interests.

As far as the theme for this article, about alleged impotence, bisexuality, and out-of-wedlock parenting -- why not 'give it a rest.' -- It's an important day to our neighboring country and if you want to focus only on smears why not start with the fact of Thomas Jefferson having sex with his slaves?

These 'smears,' have nothing to do with the ideals and actions people took to overcome oppression --

THE MORMONS ARE PEDOPHILES TOO?? Warrn jeff? memebres of the royal europeans families are also? The euopeans are spiritually dead. In europe being riliguous is primitive BUT spending days compeltely drugged is "exotic" "cool" the euripeans are like the walhing dead,zombies very prosperous people who like to kill themselves, with high divorce rates,euthanasia, they kill GOD and now idolized Nihilism,drugs,and soulless,unemotinal,uncaring sex

How sick can you liberals be? Pretty sick just to advance your sick homosexual agenda. Liberalism knows no boundries, obviouly.

Pancho Villa Impotent? You fools, he fathered a bunch of kids with more than seven women including a little girl with his first and legal wife named Luz Corral de Villa.
I met one of his sons that he had with Austraberta Renteria in the 1970's in Chihuahua and the likeness to his fahter was too strong be be mistaken as someone else's son. He had several kids with Renteria in Parral towards the end of his life. Luz Corral accepted and helped raise several of his children with other women. You fools, do some research before you write or quote such stupidities!

As for Zapata being bi...well pete and re-peat are just plain sick, stupid with nothing else to do but invent lies for liberals to repeat over thrie lates....

The article is a bit mystifying. Why would a serious journalist report on the strange accusations made in a ``history'' book that the author admits was fabricated? I'm disappointed the Times would publish an article that essentially takes the stance that ``we know this probably isn't true, but it's too good not to repeat.''


Can you just let the people celebrate? I am currently taking a History of Mexico class where I am reading on the Grito. Still all what we can go by is on what we read. I was not there nor was that other gentlemen in the previous e-mail. All we are going by is the literature and the stories told to us by family and the history books.

To the previous person who is bashing a traditional on the Grito. Ok the Grito has a few discrepancies,but it is tradition. Come on, it is that know it all attitude that never lets Latinos progress. Just kick back and celebrate that some one in history stood up and made a difference so that we may live here today. It is a celebration of 200 years in the making.

Hidalgo is in a way, also one of the founding fathers of California--much more so than George Washington ever was. If it weren't for Mexican independence, California would still be under Spanish rule.

As a History and Political Science major I learned that the Roman Catholic Church is a Conservative institution. In my History of Latin America class the church as represented by Father Hidalgo advocated Mexican independence from Spain which was very surprising!

Not only he cried "Que muera el mal gobierno" "Death to the bad government!" (Hidalgo), but he also yelled "Viva Fernando VII" praising the overthrown ruler of Spain. Hidalgo supported the Monarchy of Fernando VII which was taken from the Spanish by Napoleon Bonaparte. This is one of the many ironies that exist among us.

Hidalgo is considered the father of the nation of Mexico, because He was against injustice of his people not because he was in favor of a Republic. And Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon is considered "El Padre del Estado Mexicano" (Father of the Nation) because he believed that Mexico could be an independent nation.

Viva Mexico was never shouted by Hidalgo back then Mexico did not exist.

Carlos L.


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About the Reporters
Ken Ellingwood
Daniel Hernandez
Efrain Hernandez Jr.
Chris Kraul
Richard Marosi
Tracy Wilkinson