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Gertrudis Bocanegra de Lazo de la Vega

Other names/titles:
Gender: F
Ethnic origin: White

Biographical details

From Michoacán, Mexico, she participated in the Independence movement together with María Luisa Martínez. They were both executed in 1817. (Knaster, 477.)

One of the main squares in Patzcuaro is named after her, and the tree where she was executed still stands. (Anna Reid)

She led a women's unit into battle and died in 1817 after being arrested and tortured. (Gendergap website)

Her husband and son were killed in battle (possibly the same battle). (Miquel i Vergés, 323)

She was born in Patcuarro, Michoac√°n, at the end of the 18th century. She married a lieutenant in the colonial army, Pedro Lazo de la Vega, and persuaded him to join the patriots. When the war of independence broke out her husband and their 17 year old son Manuel, took up arms to fight the national cause. She used their home as a centre of independence support and gave her considerable wealth to the independence cause. Her husband and son were killed in battle and Bocanegra then took a more active part in the independence struggles. She recruited soldiers, she nursed the wounded soldiers, she smuggled mail for the insurgents in Michoac√°n and Guanajuato. She was denounced by a servant, imprisoned and sentenced to death. But she was offered a pardon if she denounced her compatriots. She answered that she had no compatriots and that even if she had she would not denounce them. She was ordered to be shot and then hung; she replied that she was prepared to suffer the ultimate punishment for her "crime". On the day of her execution, 10 October 1817, in the main square P√°tzcuaro, she threw a gold coin to the soldiers in the firing squad saying that it was the last thing left to her. The priest who accompanied her gave an ornamental gold comb to her eldest daughter, a watch to the middle one and a silk shawl to the youngest. She then said to the priest: "Padre, digales usted a todas mis hijas que su madre desde el cadalso y ya pr√≥xima a expirar les envia como recuerdo estas pobres prendas; que les encarga que jam√°s se aparten de la virtud y que yo siempre velar√© por ellas." She was then shot. President L√°zaro C√°rdenas ordered a statue of her to be erected. (Mu√Īoz y P√©rez, 1)

She was the daughter of a rich Spanish merchant who persuaded her husband to join the independence troops. She assisted the troops enthusiastically and bravely. She was arrested and condemned to death. She was led to her execution blindfolded, but she removed it to address the crowd and to encourage them to follow the independence cause. To the priest she said, "Padre, digale a mis hijas que su madre, desde el cadalso y ya próxima a expirar les envia como recuerdo estas prendas. Que les encarga que jamás se aparten del camino de la virtud y que yo siempre velaré por ellas." (Carrera Stampa, 1)

She was born in Pátzcuarro, on 11 April 1765. She married a royalist creole, Lazo de la Vega, who became a patriot thanks to Bocanegra's persuasion, and so did their 10 year old son. Both were killed in battle. Bocanegra sent messages to the patriots. She was discovered and imprisoned, along with her daughters. Bocanegra was executed on 10 October 1817 in San Agustín Plaza. (Miquel i Vergés, 81)

She gave a sublime self-sacrifice for her country and was executed in Pátzcuaro on 10 October 1817. (González Obregón, 162)

She was born on 11 April 1765 in Villa de P√°tzcuaro, to a pur√©pecha mother and a Spanish father. She married a criollo man from Michoac√°n who was enlisted in the viceroy's army. She persuaded him to abandon the royalist cause and he and their 10 year old son joined the insurgent troops under Manuel Mu√Īiz. They travelled to Valladolid where they met up with Hidalgo. In 1811 Bocanegra's husband and son were killed in battle in Guadalajara. She continued to work for the independence cause and was later commissioned to persuade royalist soldiers to join the patriots in P√°tzcuaro. She was discovered and imprisoned along with her daughters, and was executed on 10 October 1817. (AGN, Mexico)

Life Events

Born 1765She was born on 11 April 1765.
Other 1811Her husband and son were killed in battle.
Died 1817She was executed on 10 October 1817.


Knaster, Meri, (1977), Women in Spanish America: An Annotated Bibliography from Pre-Conquest to Contemporary Times

www.gendergap, (2004),

Miquel i Vergés, José María, (1969), Diccionario de Insurgentes

Mu√Īoz y P√©rez, Daniel, (1961), Do√Īa Gertrudis Bocanegra y Do√Īa Mar√≠a Luisa Mart√≠nez

Carrera Stampa, Manuel, (1961), Heroínas de la guerra de independencia

Miquel i Vergés, José María, (1969), Diccionario de Insurgentes

González Obregón, Luis, (c1952), Los procesos militar e inquisitorial del Padre Hidalgo y de otros caudillos insurgentes

, (), Archivo General de la Nación (Mexico)


There is no writing by this subject in the database.


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