Languages
Page last updated at 00:52 GMT, Monday, 31 May 2010 01:52 UK

Mexico exhumes independence heroes

Advertisement

The remains were paraded through Mexico City in a solemn ceremony

The remains of 12 Mexican independence leaders have been exhumed in a solemn military ceremony led by President Felipe Calderon.

Bands played and crowds threw white flowers as the bones were paraded through Mexico City in glass caskets.

The crypts were opened as part of celebrations to mark 200 years since the start of Mexico's war of independence from Spain.

The bones will be studied to determine their authenticity.

"Today we pay tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for Mexico, to bring us freedom and independence in our land," President Calderon said.

Hundreds of soldiers in ceremonial regalia, some on horseback, escorted the bones from their crypts under the landmark Angel of Independence monument to the historic Chapultepec Castle, which is now a museum.

Father of the nation

A temporary laboratory has been set up there to examine the bones and confirm their identities, as well as to ensure their conservation.

Mexican soldiers saluting dead independence heroes
Mexican soldiers honoured the dead

When the research is complete, they will be transferred in another military ceremony to the National Palace in the heart of Mexico City.

The BBC's Inma Gil Rosendo in Mexico City says there was great emotion among the crowds watching the parade.

The remains are thought to include the bones of Miguel Hidalgo, a priest regarded as the father of the Mexican nation.

Hidalgo launched the war of independence in 1810 by leading peasants under the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's patron saint.

He was executed by firing squad a year later, and his decapitated body was displayed for a month as a warning to other revolutionaries.

The other bones are thought to belong to heroes including Jose Maria Morelos and Vicente Guerrero.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Mexico
04 Sep 12 |  Country profiles



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific