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Arrival of the rebels, between pillages and chastisement

ENTRADA DE LOS INSURGENTES3

ENTRADA DE LOS INSURGENTES2

By Jesús Aguado

In a playful way, the Entrance of the Rebels to the Village of San Miguel el Grande—now San Miguel de Allende—will be represented on September 16 at 6pm by the group Aficionados al Teatro. They will play the insurgents following the cry for independence of Miguel Hidalgo, who said, “…I see that we are lost, and we have no recourse but to go grab the gachupines.”

After hearing Father Miguel Hidalgo’s famous “Cry of Dolores,” insurgents drawn to his speech left Dolores with Hidalgo in the direction of the village of San Miguel el Grande, carrying machetes, stones, sticks, work tools, and whatever else could be used as an improvised weapon. They passed by the Sanctuary of Atotonilco—the motive for this is unknown—and there they took an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe as an emblem of their cause. They continued on their way to San Miguel.

Traditionalist Eleazar Romero, who since 1982 has been in charge of the re-enactment of the arrival of the insurgent army, says that Hidalgo and the army remained on calle Vulcano (today calle Insurgentes) while Ignacio Allende went with a commission to ask Jose Loreto Narciso de la Canal to surrender the plaza. He searched for him in his house on calle Canal but did not find him. He then went to the town hall for the government of New Spain (today the historic town hall), where he was told that the doors would only be opened if he was accompanied by Jose Loreto Narciso de la Canal. Allende returned to the house of Narciso de la Canal and promised him that if he surrendered the plaza, all Spaniards would be respected and no harm would come to them. De la Canal accepted and took Allende back to the town hall to officially hand over the plaza. And thus was formed the first independent junta of New Spain not elected by Spaniards. Soon afterward, the mob entered the city.

Representation

In order to act out this story, a group of men on horseback dressed as insurgents in clothing of the era and armed with all types of work tools, sticks, and stones, will ride along calles Insurgentes and Hernandez Macias. From there, the character of Allende and men playing Allende’s commission will re-enact the request by Allende to hand over the plaza. After the plaza is surrendered, Allende and his commission return to Insurgentes. At a great speed, horses and their riders will come in from where they have been waiting. They will go around in a circular path three times, passing the Plaza Principal and calles San Francisco, Corregidora, Correo, and Portal Allende.

After that, characters on foot will follow the same circular path, stopping in front of the building of the old town hall. They will give the cry for independence. Later, actors and assistants will go toward the esplanade in the Jardin Principal, where all the heroes who participated in the beginning of the insurrection that started the war for independence will be named ceremonially.

BOX

“In the village of San Miguel, it was soon known what had happened in Dolores on the first day of the rebellion. And so, don Narciso de la Canal, decided to renounce his command of the regiment of the Queen’s dragoons and left it in the hands of a Spaniard born in Spain, Sergeant Major Francisco Camúñez.

For their safety, 32 Peninsulares were given refuge in the Royal Houses, the town hall [of the New Spain government]. Amid their screams, Allende went to them and asked them to surrender. Once they were apprehended, they were taken with other hostages to the school of a Francisco de Sales, which served as their prison. Among the hostages was Domingo de Berrio, administrator for the properties of the Allende brothers. The time of tears was beginning…” —from Mexico, Its Time to be Born by Jimenez Codinach, Guadalupe, Mexico 2001

 

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