A half-length, posthumous portrait by Anacleto Escutia (1850)
|2nd President of Mexico|
April 1, 1829 –December 17, 1829
|Vice President||Anastasio Bustamante|
|Preceded by||Guadalupe Victoria|
|Succeeded by||José María Bocanegra|
|Member of the Supreme Executive Power|
April 1, 1823 –October 10, 1824
|Preceded by||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Succeeded by||Federal Republic|
Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña
August 10, 1782
Tixtla, Puebla, New Spain
|Died||February 14, 1831 48) (aged|
Cuilapan, Oaxaca, Mexico
|Cause of death||Execution by firing squad|
|Spouse(s)||María de Guadalupe Hernández|
|Children||María de los Dolores Guerrero Hernández|
|Profession|| Military Officer |
|Years of service||1810–1821|
|Rank|| General |
|Commands||Mexican War of Independence|
|Battles/wars|| Battle of El Veladero |
Siege of Cuautla
Battle of Izúcar
Siege of Huajuapan de León
Battle of Zitlala
Capture of Oaxaca
Siege of Acapulco
Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña (Spanish: [biˈsente raˈmoŋ ɡeˈreɾo salˈdaɲa] ; August 10, 1782 – February 14, 1831) was one of the leading revolutionary generals of the Mexican War of Independence. He fought against Spain for independence in the early 19th century, and later served as President of Mexico, coming to power in a coup. He was of Afro-Mestizo descent, championed the cause of Mexico's common people, and abolished slavery during his brief term as president. His execution in 1831 by the conservative government that ousted him in 1829 was a shock to the nation.
Guerrero was born in Tixtla, a town 100 kilometers inland from the port of Acapulco, in the Sierra Madre del Sur; his parents were María de Guadalupe Saldaña, of African descent and Pedro Guerrero, a Mestizo. [ citation needed ] In his youth, he worked for his father's freight business that used mules for transport. His travels took him to different parts of Mexico where he heard of the ideas of independence.Guerrero was tall and robust, and dark complexioned, and he was at times called El Negro. The region where he grew up had a large concentration of indigenous groups, and as a young man he was more conversant in the local language than Spanish. His father's family included landlords, rich farmers and traders with broad business connections in the south, members of the Spanish militia and gun and cannon makers.
Vicente's father, Pedro, supported Spanish rule, whereas his uncle, Diego Guerrero, had an important position in the Spanish militia. As an adult, Vicente was opposed to the Spanish colonial government. When his father asked him for his sword in order to present it to the viceroy of New Spain as a sign of goodwill, Vicente refused, saying, "The will of my father is for me sacred, but my Fatherland is first."[ citation needed ]"Mi patria es primero" is now the motto of the southern Mexican state of Guerrero, named in honor of the revolutionary. Guerrero enlisted in José María Morelos's insurgent army of the south in December 1810.
He married María de Guadalupe Hernández; their daughter María de los Dolores Guerrero Hernández married Mariano Riva Palacio, who was the defense lawyer of Maximilian I of Mexico in Querétaro, and was the mother of late nineteenth-century intellectual Vicente Riva Palacio.
In 1810 Guerrero joined in the early revolt against Spain, first fighting in the forces of secular priest José María Morelos. Morelos described him as "A young man with bronzed (N.B. "broncínea", lit. bronze-colored, swarthy), tall and strong (N.B. "fornido", strapping, muscular), aquiline nose, bright and light-colored eyes and big sideburns." [ citation needed ] He joined the rebellion in November 1810 and enlisted in a division that independence leader Morelos had organized to fight in southern Mexico. Guerrero distinguished himself in the battle of Izúcar, in February 1812, and had achieved the rank of lieutenant colonel when Oaxaca was claimed by rebels in November 1812. Initial victories by Morelos's forces faltered and Morelos himself was captured and executed in December 1815. Guerrero joined forces with Guadalupe Victoria and Isidoro Montes de Oca, taking the position of "Commander in Chief" of the rebel troops. In 1816, the royal government under Viceroy Apodaca sought to end the insurgency, offering amnesty. Guerrero's father carried one appeal for his son to surrender, but Guerrero refused. He remained the only major rebel leader still at large, keeping the rebellion going through an extensive campaign of guerrilla warfare. He won victories at Ajuchitán, Santa Fe, Tetela del Río, Huetamo, Tlalchapa and Cuautlotitlán, regions of southern Mexico that were very familiar to him.When the War of Independence began, Guerrero was working as a gunsmith in Tixtla.
Hoping to extinguish the rebellion, the royal government sent Agustín de Iturbide against Guerrero's forces. Guerrero was victorious against Iturbide, who realized there was a military stalemate. Guerrero appealed to Iturbide to abandon his royalist loyalty and join the fight for independence.Events in Spain had changed in 1820, with Spanish liberals ousting Ferdinand VII and imposing the liberal constitution of 1812 that the king had repudiated. Conservatives in Mexico, including the Catholic hierarchy began to conclude that continued allegiance to Spain would undermine their position, and opted for independence in order to maintain their control. Guerrero's appeal to join the forces for independence was successful. Guerrero and Iturbide allied under the Plan de Iguala and their forces merged as the Army of the Three Guarantees.
The Plan of Iguala proclaimed independence, called for a constitutional monarchy and the continued place of the Roman Catholic Church, and abolished the formal casta system of racial classification. Clause 12 was incorporated into the plan. It read: All inhabitants . . . without distinction of their European, African or Indian origins are citizens . . . with full freedom to pursue their livelihoods according to their merits and virtues.The Army of the Three Guarantees marched triumphantly into Mexico City in September 27, 1821.
Agustín de Iturbide was proclaimed Emperor of Mexico by Congress. In January 1823, Guerrero, along with Nicolás Bravo, rebelled against Iturbide, returning to southern Mexico to raise rebellion, according some assessments because their careers had been blocked by the emperor. Their stated objectives were to restore the Constituent Congress. Guerrero and Bravo were defeated by Iturbide's forces at Almolongo (now in the State of Guerrero) less than a month later.When Iturbide's imperial government collapsed in 1823, Guerrero was named one of Constituent Congress's ruling triumvirate.
Guerrero was a liberal by conviction, and active in the York Rite Masons, established in Mexico after independence by Joel Roberts Poinsett, the U.S. diplomatic representative to the newly independent Mexico. The Scottish Rite Masons had been established before independence. Following independence the Yorkinos appealed to a broad range of Mexico's populace, as opposed to the Scottish Rite Masons, who were a bulwark of conservatism, and in the absence of established political parties, the rival groups of Masons functioned as political organizations. Guerrero had a large following among urban Yorkinos, who were mobilized during the 1828 election campaign and afterwards, in the ouster of the president-elect, Manuel Gómez Pedraza.
In 1828, the four-year term of the first president of the republic, Guadalupe Victoria, came to an end. Unlike the first presidential election and the president serving his full term, the election of 1828 was highly partisan. Guerrero's supporters included federalist liberals, members of the radical wing of the York Rite Freemasons. General Gómez Pedraza won the September 1828 election to succeed Guadalupe Victoria, with Guerrero coming in second and Anastasio Bustamante, third through indirect election of Mexico's state legislatures. Gómez Pedraza was the candidate of the "Impartials", composed of Yorkinos concerned about the radicalism of Guerrero and Scottish Rite Masons (Escocés), who sought a new political party. Among those who were Impartials were distinguished federalist Yorkinos Valentín Gómez Farías and Miguel Ramos Arizpe.The U.S. diplomatic representative in Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett was enthusiastic about Guerrero's candidacy, writing
....A man who is held up as ostensible head of the party, and who will be their candidate for the next presidency, is General Guerrero, one of the most distinguished chiefs of the revolution. Guerrero is uneducated, but possesses excellent natural talents, combined with great decision of character and undaunted courage. His violent temper renders him difficult to control, and therefore I consider Zavala's presence here indispensably necessary, as he possesses great influence over the general.— Joel R. Poinsett, US minister for Mexico (i.e. Ambassador), about the character of Vicente Guerrero
Guerrero himself did not leave an abundant written record, but some of his speeches survive.
A free state protects the arts, industry, science and trade; and the only prizes virtue and merit: if we want to acquire the latter, let's do it cultivating the fields, the sciences, and all that can facilitate the sustenance and entertainment of men: let's do this in such a way that we will not be a burden for the nation, just the opposite, in a way that we will satisfy her needs, helping her to support her charge and giving relief to the distraught of humanity: with this we will also achieve abundant wealth for the nation, making her prosper in all aspects.— Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña, Speech to his compatriots
Two weeks after the September 1 election, Antonio López de Santa Anna rose in rebellion in support of Guerrero. As governor of the strategic state of Veracruz and former general in the war of independence, Santa Anna was a powerful figure in the early republic, but he was unable to persuade the state legislature to support Guerrero in the indirect elections. Santa Anna resigned the governorship and led 800 troops loyal to him in capturing the fortress of Perote, near Xalapa. He issued a political plan there calling for the nullification of Gómez Pedraza's election and the declaration of Guerrero as president.
In November 1828 in Mexico City, Guerrero supporters took control of the Acordada, a former prison transformed into an armory, and days of fighting occurred in the capital. President-elect Gómez Pedraza had not yet taken office and at this juncture he resigned and soon went into exile in England.With the resignation of the president-elect and the ineffective rule of the sitting president, civil order dissolved. On 4 December 1828, a riot broke out in the Zócalo and the Parián market, where luxury goods were sold, was looted. Order was restored within a day, but elites in the capital were alarmed at the violence of the popular classes and the huge property losses. With the resignation of Gómez Pedraza, and Guerreros's cause backed by Santa Anna's forces and the powerful liberal politician Lorenzo de Zavala, Guerrero became president. Guerrero took office as president, with Bustamante, a conservative, becoming vice president. One scholar sums up Guerrero's situation, "Guerrero owed the presidency to a mutiny and a failure of will on the part of [President] Guadalupe Victoria...Guerrero was to rule as president with only a thin layer of support."
|Government of Vicente Guerrero|
|Foreign Affairs||José María Bocanegra||Apr. 1, 1829–Nov. 2, 1829|
|Agustín Viesca||Nov. 3, 1829–Dec. 18, 1829|
|Justice||Joaquín de Iturbide||Apr. 1, 1829–Apr. 7, 1829|
|José Manuel de Herrera||Apr. 8, 1829–Dec. 18, 1829|
|Finance||Bernardo González Angulo||Apr. 1, 1829–Apr. 13, 1829|
|Francisco Moctezuma||Apr. 14, 1829–Apr. 17, 1829|
|Lorenzo de Zavala||Apr. 18, 1829–Nov. 2, 1829|
|José María Bocanegra||Nov. 3, 1829–Dec. 17, 1829|
|War||Francisco Moctezuma||Apr. 1, 1829–Dec. 18, 1829|
Liberal folk hero of the independence insurgency Guerrero became president on 1 April 1829, with conservative Anastasio Bustamante as his vice president. For some of Guerrero's supporters, a visibly mixed-race man from Mexico's periphery becoming president of Mexico was a step toward what one 1829 pamphleteer called "the reconquest of this land by its legitimate owners" and called Guerrero "that immortal hero, favorite son of Nezahualcoyotzin", the famous ruler of prehispanic Texcoco.Some creole elites (American-born whites of Spanish heritage) were alarmed by Guerrero as president, a group that liberal Lorenzo de Zavala disparagingly called "the new Mexican aristocracy".
Guerrero set about creating a cabinet of liberals, but his government already encountered serious problems, including its very legitimacy, since president-elect Gómez Pedraza had resigned under pressure. Some traditional federalists leaders, who might have supported Guerrero, did not do so because of the electoral irregularities. The national treasury was empty and future revenues were already liened. Spain continued to deny Mexico's independence and threatened reconquest.
Guerrero called for public schools, land title reforms, industry and trade development, and other programs of a liberal nature. As president, Guerrero championed the causes of the racially oppressed and economically oppressed. He ordered an immediate abolition of slavery on September 16 of 1829. In central Mexico, there were few black slaves, so that the gesture was largely symbolic, but in the Mexican state of Texas, where Anglo-American slave-holding southerners were colonizing, the decree went against their economic interests.Initially, Anglo-American Stephen F. Austin, colonizer in Texas, was enthusiastic about the Mexican government.
This is the most liberal and munificent Government on earth to emigrants – after being here one year you will oppose a change even to Uncle Sam— Stephen Fuller Austin, 1829, letter to his sister describing Guerrero's Government of Mexico (and Texas)
During Guerrero's presidency, the Spanish tried to reconquer Mexico, but they failed, being defeated at the Battle of Tampico.
Guerrero was deposed in a rebellion under Vice-President Anastasio Bustamante that began on 4 December 1829. Guerrero left the capital to fight in the south, but was deposed by the Mexico City garrison in his absence on 17 December 1829. Guerrero had returned to the region of southern Mexico where he had fought during the war of independence. Elites in Mexico City feared Guerrero's appeal to mixed-race Mexicans and Indians. Bustamante feared the claim that Guerrero was descended from Aztec royalty would bolster his appeal to Indians. "It is greatly to be feared that once the Indians were aroused by Guerrero they would form a party that would lead to caste [race] war."
Open warfare between Guerrero and his opponent in the region Nicolás Bravo was fierce. Bravo had been a royalist officer and Guerrero was an insurgent hero. Bravo controlled the highlands of the region, including the town of Guerrero's birth, Tixtla. Guerrero had strength in the hot coastal regions of the Costa Grande and Tierra Caliente, with mixed race populations that had been mobilized during the insurgency for independence. Bravo's area had a mixed population, but politically was dominated by whites. The conflict in the south occurred for all of 1830, as conservatives consolidated power in Mexico City.
The war in the south might have continued even longer, but ended in what one historian has called "the most shocking single event in the history of the first republic: the capture of Guerrero in Acapulco through an act of betrayal and his execution a month later."Guerrero controlled Mexico's principal Pacific coast port of Acapulco. An Italian merchant ship captain, Francisco Picaluga, approached the conservative government in Mexico City with a proposal to lure Guerrero onto his ship and take him prisoner for the price of 50,000 pesos, a fortune at the time. Picaluga invited Guerrero on board for a meal on 14 January 1831. Guerrero and a few aides were taken captive and Picaluga sailed to the port of Huatulco, where Guerrero was turned over to federal troops. Guerrero was taken to Oaxaca City and summarily tried by a court-martial.
His capture was welcomed by conservatives and some state legislatures, but the legislatures of Zacatecas and Jalisco tried to prevent Guerrero's execution. The government's 50,000 peso payment to Picaluga was exposed in the liberal press. Despite pleas for his life, Guerrero was executed by firing squad in Cuilapam on 14 February 1831. His death did mark the dissolution of the rebellion in southern Mexico, but those politicians involved in his execution paid a lasting price to their reputations.
Many Mexicans saw Guerrero as the "martyr of Cuilapam" and his execution was deemed by the liberal newspaper El Federalista Mexicano "judicial murder". The two conservative cabinet members considered most culpable for Guerrero's execution, Lucas Alamán and Secretary of War José Antonio Facio, "spent the rest of their lives defending themselves from the charge that they were responsible for the ultimate betrayal in the history of the first republic, that is, that they had arranged not just for the service of Picaluga's ship but specifically for his capture of Guerrero."
Historian Jan Bazant speculates as to why Guerrero was executed rather than sent into exile, as Iturbide had been, as well as Antonio López de Santa Anna, and long-time dictator of late-nineteenth century Mexico, Porfirio Díaz. "The clue is provided by Zavala who, writing several years later, noted that Guerrero was of mixed blood and that the opposition to his presidency came from the great landowners, generals, clerics and Spaniards resident in Mexico...Guerrero's execution was perhaps a warning to men considered as socially and ethnically inferior not to dare to dream of becoming president."
Honors were conferred on surviving members of Guerrero's family, and a pension was paid to his widow. In 1842, Vicente Guerrero's remains were exhumed and returned to Mexico City for reinterment. He is known for his political discourse promoting equal civil rights for all Mexican citizens. He has been described as the "greatest man of color" to ever live.
Guerrero is a Mexican national hero. The state of Guerrero is named in his honour. Several towns in Mexico are named in honor of this famous general, including Vicente Guerrero in Baja California.
Agustín de Iturbide, in full Agustín Cosme Damián de Iturbide y Arámburu, also known as Augustine of Mexico, was a Mexican army general and politician. During the Mexican War of Independence, he built a successful political and military coalition that took control in Mexico City on 27 September 1821, decisively gaining independence for Mexico. After the secession of Mexico was secured, he was proclaimed President of the Regency in 1821. A year later, he was announced as the Constitutional Emperor of Mexico, reigning briefly from 19 May 1822 to 19 March 1823. He is credited as the original designer of the first Mexican flag.
Guadalupe Victoria, born José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix, was a Mexican general and political leader who fought for independence against the Spanish Empire in the Mexican War of Independence. He was a deputy in the Mexican Chamber of Deputies for Durango and a member of the Supreme Executive Power following the downfall of the First Mexican Empire. After the adoption of the Constitution of 1824, Victoria was elected as the first President of the United Mexican States.
Juan José Ruiz de Apodaca y Eliza, 1st Count of Venadito, OIC, OSH, KOC was a Spanish naval officer and viceroy of New Spain from 20 September 1816 to 5 July 1821, during Mexico's War of Independence.
The Mexican War of Independence was an armed conflict, lasting over a decade, which had several distinct phases and took place in different regions of the Spanish colony of New Spain. Events in Spain itself had a direct impact on the outbreak of the insurgency in 1810 and in the alliance of insurgent leader Vicente Guerrero and royalist-officer-turned insurgent Agustín de Iturbide in 1821, which brought about independence. Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of Spain in 1808 touched off a crisis of legitimacy of crown rule, since he had placed his brother Joseph on the Spanish throne after forcing the abdication of the Spanish monarch Charles IV. In many of Spain's overseas possessions the local response was to set up juntas ruling in the name of the Bourbon monarchy. In New Spain, however, peninsular-born Spaniards overthrew the rule of Viceroy José de Iturrigaray (1803–08). In 1810, a few American-born Spaniards in favor of independence began plotting an uprising against Spanish rule. It occurred when the parish priest of the village of Dolores, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, issued the Cry of Dolores on September 16, 1810. The Hidalgo Revolt touched off the armed insurgency for independence, lasting until 1821. The colonial regime did not expect the size and duration of the insurgency, which spread from the Bajío region north of Mexico City to the Pacific and Gulf Coasts. In 1820 when Spanish liberals overthrew the autocratic rule of Ferdinand VII and arch-conservatives in New Spain saw independence as a way to maintain their position, former royalists and old insurgents formed an alliance under the Plan of Iguala and forged the Army of the Three Guarantees. The momentum of independence saw the collapse of royal government in Mexico and the Treaty of Córdoba ended the conflict.
Nicolás Bravo Rueda was the 11th President of Mexico and a soldier. He distinguished himself in both roles during the 1846–1848 U.S. invasion of Mexico.
José María Bocanegra was a Mexican lawyer and politician who was briefly interim president of Mexico in 1829.
Juan Nepomuceno Álvarez Hurtado de Luna, generally known as Juan Álvarez, was a general, long-time caudillo in southern Mexico, and interim president of Mexico for two months in 1855, following the liberals ouster of Antonio López de Santa Anna. Álvarez had risen to power in the Tierra Caliente, in southern Mexico with the support of indigenous peasants whose lands he protected. He fought along with heroes of the insurgency, José María Morelos and Vicente Guerrero in the War of Independence, and went on to fight in all the major wars of his day, from the "Pastry War", to the Mexican–American War, and the War of the Reform to the war against the French Intervention. A liberal reformer, a republican and a federalist, he was the leader of a revolution in support of the Plan de Ayutla in 1854, which led to the deposition of Santa Anna from power and the beginning of the political era in Mexico's history known as the Liberal Reform. According to historian Peter Guardino: "Álvarez was most important as a champion of the incorporation of Mexico's peasant masses into the polity of [Mexico] ... advocating universal male suffrage and municipal autonomy."
Andrés Eligio Quintana Roo was a Mexican liberal politician, lawyer, and author. He was the husband of fellow freedom fighter Leona Vicario.
Lucas Ignacio Alamán y Escalada was a Mexican scientist, conservative politician, historian, and writer. He has been called the "arch-reactionary of the epoch...who sought to create a strong central government based on a close alliance of the army, the Church and the landed classes." Alamán was "undoubtedly the major political and intellectual figure of independent Mexico until his death in 1853...the guiding force of several administrations and an active promoter of economic development."
In Mexican history, a plan was a declaration of principles announced in conjunction with a rebellion, usually armed, against the central government of the country. Mexican plans were often more formal than the pronunciamientos that were their equivalent elsewhere in Spanish America and Spain. Some were as detailed as the United States Declaration of Independence, though some plans merely announced that the current government was null and void and that the signer of the plan was the new president.
Melchor de Eca y Múzquiz was a Mexican soldier and politician. From August to December 1832, he was president of Mexico.
Miguel Francisco Barragán Andrade was a Mexican general and centralist politician. He served as Minister of War in the government of Antonio López de Santa Anna in 1833 and 1834, then as president of Mexico from 28 January 1835 to 27 February 1836. He remains the youngest president of Mexico to have died of natural causes.
Don Miguel Ramos Arizpe was a Mexican priest and politician, and known as "the father of Mexican federalism."
Manuel Gómez Pedraza y Rodríguez was a Mexican general and president of his country from 1832 to 1833.
Anastasio Bustamante y Oseguera was president of Mexico three times, from 1830 to 1832, from 1837 to 1839 and from 1839 to 1841. A Conservative, he first came to power by leading a coup against President Vicente Guerrero. Bustamante was deposed twice and exiled to Europe both times.
Afro-Mexicans played an important role in the Mexican War of Independence, most prominently with insurgent leader Vicente Guerrero, who became commander in chief of the insurgency. The initial movement for independence was led by the American-born Spaniard priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla in central Mexico. White Mexicans quickly abandoned the movement for independence which had become more of a social revolution, with Indians, mixed-race castas, and other plebeians seeking social equality. The movement for independence remained active on the Gulf Coast and the Pacific Coast, where there were large concentrations of Afro-Mexicans. The royal army and the insurgent forces had reached a stalemate militarily, but the equation changed in 1820. American-born Spaniard and royalist officer Agustin de Iturbide sought an alliance with the insurgents led by Guerrero. Iturbide and the white creoles sought independence, but expected that racial hierarchies would continue in the post-independence period. Guerrero and other Afro-Mexicans demanded that they would be equal citizens and not until Iturbide acceded to that demand did the Afro-Mexican forces sign on to the Plan of Iguala which laid out the terms for the insurgency movement.
Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón, often known as Santa Anna or López de Santa Anna, was a Mexican politician and general who fought to defend royalist New Spain and then fought for Mexican independence. He greatly influenced early Mexican politics and government, and he was an adept soldier and cunning politician who dominated Mexican history in the first half of the nineteenth century to such an extent that historians often refer to it as the "Age of Santa Anna." He was called "the Man of Destiny" who "loomed over his time like a melodramatic colossus, the uncrowned monarch." Santa Anna first opposed the movement for Mexican independence from Spain, but then fought in support of it. He was the earliest of the caudillos of modern Mexico, and he "represents the stereotypical caudillo in Mexican history". Lucas Alamán wrote that "the history of Mexico since 1822 might accurately be called the history of Santa Anna's revolutions. His name plays a major role in all the political events of the country and its destiny has become intertwined with his."
The First Mexican Republic, known also as the First Federal Republic, was a federated republic and nation-state officially designated the United Mexican States. The First Mexican Republic lasted from 1824 to 1835, when conservatives under Antonio López de Santa Anna transformed it into a centralized state, the Centralist Republic of Mexico.
José María Larios was a Mexican insurgent who served as a captain under the orders of José María Morelos y Pavón, working along with him during the Siege of Cuautla. Also, he is recognised for having enacted a plan in 1829 to impose Vicente Guerrero as President of Mexico, after the events of the Riot of La Acordada.
The 1832 Plan of Veracruz was a statement made on January 2 of that year by Mexican military commander Ciriaco Vazquez. His goal was to remove ministers from the cabinet of Anastasio Bustamante, acting president of the United Mexican States, and remove Bustamante from office. Antonio López de Santa Anna, the plan's instigator and spokesman for the protesters, led an armed uprising five days later. Although the plan and uprising were initially opposed by most of the garrisons and state legislatures, the political and military forces gradually joined the fight against Bustamante's conservative regime.
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| President of Mexico |
1 April – 17 December 1829
José María Bocanegra