1987: Eshan Nayeck, the last executed in Mauritius 1901: Johannes Lotter, Boer War “rebel”

1817: Gertrudis Bocanegra, Mexican independence heroine

October 11th, 2012 Headsman

On this date in 1817, Mexican War of Independence heroine Gertrudis Bocanegra was publicly shot in her native town of Pátzcuaro for treason.

Bocanegra (English Wikipedia entry | Spanish), a literate Enlightenment woman was already 45 years old when the rebellion against the Spanish empire broke out.

Her husband and son joined Hidalgo‘s forces, in which service they would lay down their own lives.

Gertrudis Bocanegra kept a safe house, gathered supplies and money, shuttled messages … until Spanish authorities arrested her in 1817 and tortured her for information. (Need one even ask if the noble Bocanegra informed on her compatriots?)

She’s known as La Heroína de Pátzcuaro and is the namesake for, among other things, a plaza in that city and the striking Biblioteca Gertrudis Bocanegra, where one can find this:


(cc) image from eperales depicts Juan O’Gorman‘s monumental Historia de Michoacan. We’ve seen this monument before, as it depicts the Spanish burning to death the last native Tarasco ruler.

Bocanegra’s own execution is also shown in the mural — in the lower right, obscured by the bookshelves in the photograph above, but captured in detail in this Spanish blog post.

On this day..

Entry Filed under: 19th Century,Arts and Literature,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Famous,History,Martyrs,Mexico,Occupation and Colonialism,Public Executions,Revolutionaries,Separatists,Shot,Spain,Torture,Treason,Wartime Executions,Women

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One thought on “1817: Gertrudis Bocanegra, Mexican independence heroine”

  1. Keri@AWH says:

    What a brave woman! I’d love to learn more about her. On wikipedia it says “she was betrayed and taken prisoner”, I wonder who betrayed her?

    It also mentioned a statue of her in town; I found a picture here: http://www.online-utility.org/image/ImageCache?file=7/7f/GertBocanegraStatue.JPG/800px-GertBocanegraStatue.JPG

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