Biography of Javier Mina Larrea (1789-1817)

Spanish guerrillero, born on 1 July 1789 in Otano (Navarra) and shot the 11 November 1817 in Guanajuato (Mexico).


He led University of Zaragoza against Godoy uproar in 1808. In the war of independence he/she served in the army of the left, Areizaga and Blake orders and participated in the battles of Alcañiz, María and Belchite, during the months of May and June 1809. Commander of the guerrillas, in the autumn of that same year the Central Board gave a battle flag. Over seven months developed numerous actions which hindered the deployment of the French armies in Navarre and Aragon. The Emperor Napoleon ordered his capture and destined a significant contingent of soldiers and gendarmes to their persecution, which finally succeeded in Labiano at the end of March 1810. He/She had come to organize a division, the terrestrial Corso of Navarre, it consists of more than thousand two hundred soldiers of on foot and on horseback. Among his lieutenants were as well known as Gregorio Cruchaga and Félix Sarasa (Cholin) guerrillas. At age twenty-one he/she was a young robust, attractive and courageous, endowed with a great sense of discipline, chivalry, and honour.

Falling prisoner of the French, Napoleon decided to shoot it immediately, but the clemency petitions of the French officers who had released several times prevented their execution. It was decided to keep it alive and was sent to Paris as a "prisoner of the State", in France stayed in the castle of Vincennes until the spring of 1814. During the time he/she was prisoner lived with Victor Lahorie, general Republican enemy of Napoleon, who made him a radical liberalism and taught her French, mathematics and military art, while they frequented the Castle Library and read the Greek and Latin Classics.

Defeated Napoleon, returned to Spain in May 1814 and was reunited with his uncle Francisco Espoz, become Marshal of the Division Navarra. Espoz, better known as "Espoz and Mina" or as the "general mine", had adopted the surname of nephew when he/she succeeded him in the command of the guerrillas in 1810. In the company of his uncle, which exerted a remarkable ideological influence, Francisco Javier visited Madrid in July 1814; together they met and conspired with some generals, most of origin guerrilla, Porlier, Lacy, Juan Martín Díaz, the Empecinado, Villacampa, saplings and others. In Madrid has had liberal uprisings which, between 1814 and 1820, clashed with fernandino absolutism.

To fail the pronouncement of Pamplona, in September 1814, Javier Mina went into exile in France and later in England, where it arrived at the end of April 1815. In London he/she met White and was related to the Liberals Spaniards (Flórez Estrada, Puigblanch, Isturiz, Gallardo, Cabarrus and Sardino), Americans (Bello, López Méndez, Sarratea, Fajardo, Mier y Fagoaga) and the whig Englishmen (Lord Holland and Lord Russell) and got the British support the lifting of Porlier in Galicia (1816), but knowing his failure, he/she accepted the offer of leading an international expedition, in support of the cure Morelos and the Mexican Congress, in the struggle for the emancipation of the provinces of America.

The expedition was financed by merchants and British, American and Spanish politicians and enabled mine starting May 15, 1816, from Liverpool aboard the boat "Caledonia", English flag, filled with material and supplies of war. In the United States, where he/she arrived after a long and complicated journey on July 1, told with the help of general Winfield Scott, young hero of American war, as well as with the tolerance of the President James Monroe and the collaboration of the "patriots" Hispanic American Pedro Gual, representative of Bolivar in United States; the merchant Manuel Torres novogranadino; the official Mariano Montilla, who had served under the command of Bolívar; Santa María de Miguel, later Ambassador of Colombia in the Republican Mexico; the Cuban poet Joaquín Infante, and many others.

Between July 1816 and 1817 April was devoted to recruitment, organization and discipline of a force that was titled Division auxiliary of the Mexican Republic, as it moved through the cities of the East Coast and travelled to Port au Prince, to try to persuade Simón Bolívar that follow him to new Spain. In United States the Ambassador of Spain Luis de Onís succeeded in establishing a network of espionage, directed by Father Antonio Sedella and the newly developed Mariano Picornell, with the support of the Spanish consulates. Thanks to the betrayal of José Álvarez de Toledo, ex-Deputy in Cádiz, which had up to then the confidence of Morelos and the Mexican Congress, Onis displayed a broad effort to prevent the success of mine.

While preparing the expedition, wrote a proclamation in which he/she said: "I can't keep my glory of my homeland; I come to deliver it in the Americas. That everyone who loves his homeland I meet. "I don't do the war rather than the tyrant of the Spain... who wants to be faithful to his nation, God who vowed to save the Constitution, according to which sovereignty resides essentially in the nation, join me, we libertemos this part of the nation, vindicando their rights and the part of beyond will get what his".

Accompanied by three hundred officers and specialists, landed on the beaches of Soto la Marina April 21, 1817 without meeting resistance. Unfortunately arrived too late to Mexico: Morelos captured and executed and the Mexican Congress dissolved, announcing the failure of the independent movement. Meanwhile, the new viceroy Ruiz de Apodaca, newly installed, displayed an immense effort peacemaker. Despite so much adversity, connected with the most important centres of resistance, in the regions of Guanajuato and Michoacán (the Mexican Republic of Xauxilla provisional Government), brilliant victories over the realistic armies, deployed a strategy of guerrilla who remembered his youth triumphs and tried to the liberation of the city of Guanajuato, which was intended to become a bulwark of a liberated zone. Finally, he/she fell prisoner and it was passed by weapons of November 11, 1817.

In his last writings and political messages, largely aimed at the "Navarre and all Spaniards", said with great insight: "you must give up the hope of returning to the destroyed tiranizada Spain; reputar to America as to your birth ground; unite with their own children and give them the sonorosa voice of independence... This fair resolution saves the blood of men; ensure your life and interests; will give you the right to citizens; It will end the evils of war; It will knock the despotism of Fernando and then all, Europeans and Americans, we will contribute to the happiness of the Spain, we pluck it from the bondage of the Bourbons, and we put it in the hands of our compatriots... Assemble your arms and your spirit with the Americans and then all of Europe will say that you are worthy of the old Spain sons and that your name must be truly immortal."

White in 1824, reminiscent of mine in London, wrote: "so this magnanimous young [...] finished his brief but brilliant career Early and worthy of better luck were big merits which contracted to fight against tyranny. His name will be pleasant to lovers of freedom". The Mexican historian Lucas Alamán recalled years later that "mine was perky presence, pleasant treatment and possessed the art of winning the affection of the soldiers and all those who approached him in an eminent degree. It was lightning that lit up for a short time the Mexican horizon."


GARCÍA PÉREZ, Antonio. Javier Mina and Mexican independence. Madrid, 1909.

Martín Luis GUZMÁN. Mine the waiter, hero of Navarre. Madrid, 1932.

................................ Javier Mina, hero of Spain and Mexico [2nd ed.]. Mexico, 1955.

JIMÉNEZ CODINACH, Guadalupe. Great Britain and the independence of Mexico. Mexico, 1991.

MIQUEL I VERGÉS, José María. Mine, the Spanish from Spain. Mexico, 1945.

ORTUÑO MARTÍNEZ, O. Xavier mine, a Spanish liberal and his speech at the independence of Mexico. Madrid: Complutense University, 1998. [Doctoral thesis]. There is a summary of this work published by the Universidad Pública de Navarra, Pamplona, 2001.

THE Tower, Antonio RIBERA. francisco Javier Mina and Pedro Moreno, libertadores warlords. Mexico, 1917.

ROBINSON, Williams D. memoirs of the revolution in Mexico and the expedition of general f. Javier Mina. London, 1824.