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José María Morelos y Pavón

(1765-1815) He was born into a poor family and most likely had Indian and African blood on his mother's side. He was a student of Hidalgo and joined rebel forces shortly after the Grito de Dolores and assumed the insurgent leadership after the execution of Hidalgo.

In 1813 Morelos convened the Chilpancingo National Assembly where he proclaimed Mexico’s independent from Spain. He was captured in November of 1815 and executed a month later after facing a military court and an Inquisition trial.

He is depicted here in the 1943 movie poster as the heroic Rayo del sur or Southern Thunderbolt.

El Rayo del Sur [Movie poster, 1943]. Stanford Manuscripts Collection: M0945 Box 6

Image of Morelos in battle with Lady of Guadalupe banner: a poster of the film "El Rayo del Sur"

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