Re: [Generation-Mixed] Vicente Ramon Guerrero: Mixed-Race Historic Figure
- Thank you Multiracialbookclub,For bringing light to this mixed race historical figure,Vicente Ramon Guerrero, in reading of his life suchas freeing people out of slavery, and magnificentlycommanding the Mexican Liberation Army" thenassuming his countries presidency fighting offforeign invaders.I was never taught this in school` sadly i never knewof this great leader` sadly i feel he was censoreddue to the fact he was of mixed race, being ofAfrican and Americanindian heritage.And all of the othe contributions he made during hislife time was unbelievable.But truth is coming more and more to the surface! thosewho have tried to cover up these great figures and movethem into the back of the library in hard to locate books,those efforts can no longer conceal the contributions manypeople of color and mixed race have given to the world.When one race tries to take all the credit` for inventions..leadership..knowledge..ect` that in its self is absolutelyuncomprehending and wrong.Thank you for posting this information about him` I'm sureit will be appreciated and read by many seeking Truth:Thank you Pierre
multiracialbookclub <soaptalk@...> wrote:THE LIFE OF MEXICAN PRESIDENT
VICENTE RAMÓN GUERREROBy William Loren Katz*Vicente Guerrero was a Mixed-Race man whose
lineage included African, Amerindian and European
ancestry and who became one of the presidents of Mexico .
Vicente Guerrero has been a towering figure in
the Americas , masterfully commanding Mexico 's
liberation army during much of its independence
movement, and later assuming his country's
presidency where he again fought off foreign invaders.
Born poor to a Black-Indian family and growing up without
formal schooling, he taught himself to read and write as
he trained his troops in the Sierra Madre mountains.
He was able to help write Mexico's constitution;
free those people who were being held in
chattel-slavery there; take steps to educate
and elevate its poor and people-of-color;
and to also serve as his country's first
president whose full lineage included
both African and Amerindian ancestry.
Guerrero at 27 was a hard-working mule driver until
the spirit of freedom moved him to action along
with tens of thousands of other men and women
of his 'racial and economic background'.
In 1810 he cast his skills and offered his sacred
honor in the struggle against a Spain that at the time
dominated his country and also most of Latin America .
Historian, J.A. Rogers called Guerrero 'the George
Washington and Abraham Lincoln of Mexico' --
an assessment that indicates the man's stature.
Author, Theodore G. Vincent has written a thorough
study of this important figure, The Legacy of Vicente
Guerrero, Mexico's First Black-Indian President
( University of Florida Press , 2001, 336 pages).
More than just the biography of a public figure, Vincent
weaves an inspiring addition to the freedom-fighting
heritage of the Americas and also uncovers the
untold story of "Mexican cultural nationalism. "
In 1810 Guerrero joined the struggle in which
he would fight in "491 battles without a defeat"
and began his rise from the ranks of other
"Pardos" (i.e. people-of-mixed-"races").
His attributes included an ability to
speak many indigenous languages
and a command of military tactics.
When first given command, Guerrero had 500
unarmed troops, but he soon remedied this with a
midnight cavalry attack on a Spanish fortification
that gained his men guns and ammunition.
In his first year when he was elevated to Captain,
he was able to convince many Amerkindian men
of military age to support the revolution.
The Mexican Independence war was one
of the first modern guerrilla wars against
an imperialist army that burned villages.
It was also one of the first instances where guerrilla
fighters without an urban base maintained a political base.
The revolutionaries lacked enough guns and
ammunition, and had to battle against local
militias determined to settle old scores.
Roadsides were marked by crucifixes bearing
the rotting bodies of bandits and insurgents.
Guerrero had to make it up as it came along.
Guerrero's humanitarian impulses, close identification
with his soldiers and public speaking skills helped
cement a relationship with his "Pardo" army.
When he won a victory he would claim
he was a soldier in the ranks and,
"It wasn't me ... but the people
-- who fought and triumphed."
He appointed Pedro Ascencio Alquisiras to be
the first Amerindian General in Mexico 's army.
Vincent is carefully tuned to the complicated racial
structure of Mexico caused by the Spanish invasion,
and he paints a vivid and sharp picture of the
changing social relations caused by the revolution.
He points out that the great liberator, Jose Maria
Morelos y Pavon who mentored Guerrero, was also
a Black-Indian as were many other high officers.
By 1800 people of some part-African lineage were
a majority of settlers in Durango , Sinaloa , Sonora ,
and California and Acapulco was 95% Pardo.
By 1820 the Independence movement boasted
only one standing army, the "dark" freedom-fighters
-- who were under the command of Guerrero.
Spain 's obsession with "race" led to laws
that denied people-of-color advancement.
Even the first revolutionary Constitution of 1812
included article #22 that excluded people of any
part-African lineage from benefiting from many
reforms such as political rights and freedoms.
But this only mobilized Guerrero and others to
see that the overthrow of Spanish officials also
included an agenda of freedom and equality for all.
Guerrero also had to defeat efforts of the White
elite of Mexico to highjack the revolution
won by his dark-skinned soldiers.
In 1823 he declared "We have defeated the colossus,
and we bathe in the glow of new found happiness."
True freedom, he declared is
"living with a knowledge that
no one is above anyone else,
and that there is no title more
honored than that of the citizen"
and this applies equally to soldier,
worker, official, cleric, landowner,
laborer, writer and craftsman.
On April first, 1829 Vicente Guerrero assumed
the presidency of Mexico and his partisans
riotously celebrated this "father of his people."
Decades before Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg
Address spoke of a democracy of, by and for the
people, Guerrero promised to be guided always by
"that important truth that those in office are for the
people, and not the people for those in office."
In his first address to the Mexican Congress, Guerrero said:
"The administration is obliged to procure the widest
possible benefits and apply them from the palace of
the rich to the wooden shack of the humble laborer.
If one can succeed in spreading the guarantees of the
individual, if the equality before the law destroys the
efforts of power and of gold, if the highest title
between us is that of citizen, of the rewards
we bestow are exclusively for talent and virtue,
we have a republic, and she will be
conserved by the universal suffrage
of a people solid, free and happy."
On his third day in office, the president invited
people of all "races" to his 47th birthday
party, a fiesta held on the city outskirts.
On the fourth day he addressed a letter to his constituents
in the "land of the Pintos" (meaning "darker people"),
commending their 33 martyrs in the fight for liberty.
At the same moment, Guerrero was being roundly
denounced by conservative and liberal politicians for being
`of a lower class and lower caste' and was snidely called
"the commoner" as though this made him unable to lead.
He rejoiced in his own `common' touch.
In Oaxaca he was supported by a 23-year old Indian
campaign worker, Benito Juarez, who would become
the first Amerindian president and drive out the
last foreign invasion of Mexico in the 1860s.
Guerrero sought out the wisdom of his wife Maria
Guadalupe Hernendez de Guerrero who became
an important advisor known as "La Generala."
She later became the leader of his movement.
Guerrero began his term by ending the death penalty
by edict, and also commuted all death sentences.
Next he raised taxes to pay for
improvements in the lives of the poor.
Then he proclaimed "Slavery is abolished in the
Republic" on Independence Day, September 16, 1829.
However, the rich staged a tax rebellion against his policies
and as his army went unpaid units became mutinous.
Some of Guerrero's officials were
assassinated, and army desertions rose.
The Mexican Congress finally declared by a vote
of 23 to 17 he had abused his presidential power.
His foes wanted to have him declared morally
unfit and "crazy" but this did not happen.
However, his foes had him kidnapped at a dinner
party aboard an Italian ship in Acapulco and
assassinated by a firing squad in February, 1831.
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