Monumento a Morelos
La Ciudadela, Buenavista, Méx., Mexico
Photo by Julie Schwietert Collazo
Monument and Park in Tribute to MorelosToday, the Plaza de la Ciudadela park draws lovers who sit on its shaded benches, absorbed in one another's gaze or lost in each other's embrace, people of all ages who love to dance in open-air spaces, and bibliophiles or handicraft seekers on their way to the library or Ciudadela Market.
But in more remote times– in 1913, to be exact–the park was an important site in an event called the Ten Tragic Days, which culminated in a coup and the assassination of President Francisco Madero and Vice-President José María Pino Suárez. And even before that–100 years prior–the park was the place where José María Morelos y Pavón, a Catholic priest and leader of the Mexican independence movement, spent his final days in prison before being assassinated by Spanish authorities, who charged him with treason. Today, there is a statue that sits in the park in his honor; it was erected in 1915.
These names–Madero, Pino Suárez, and Morelos–are names you'll see in your travels around the city. Morelos and Pino Suárez have Metro stations bearing their names, and all three historical figures have streets in their honor.