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¡Murió por la Patria!

11 September 2010

Florentino José, Miguel Cruz, Isidro Santiago, Canuto Carrasco and Commandante Isaac Narvaez may have been forgotten, but they are the real heroes of what became the Heroic City of Tlaxiaco thanks to their sacrifice.  Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca played an important role in driving the French out of Mexico, but nearly forgotten until research by local syndic Edvino Cruz Cruz and legal affairs advisor Víctor Manuel Aguilar Ávila, was the Tlaxiaco National Guard Company which took part in the important 18 October 1866 Battle of La Carbonera.  The guardsmen are finally receiving posthumous recognition.

Tracking down Comandante Narvaez’ tomb in the municipal cemetery led researchers to municipal archives… and back to the cemetery… in their successful quest to uncover the names, and identify the graves, of the 43 Mixtec officers and soldiers of the nearly forgotten unit.

Cruz and Aguilar said of their discovery that the Bicentennial shouldn’t only honor the major national figures, but should pay homage to those — like the Mixtec National Guardsmen — who also fought and died for their country in its hour of need.

The Battle of La Carbonera was important not only for liberating Oaxaca from the French Occupation, but in resupplying Porfirio Dìaz’ Eastern Army, which had run out of supplies and had the Eastern Army not won,  the Mexican Republic might not have been able to hold on.  As it was, the overwhelming Mexican victory at La Carbonera — in which the Mexicans, thanks to local forces like the Tlaxiaca National Guard Company only needed an hour to drive out the hated foreign invaders — was instrumental in convincing Marshal Achile Bazine that the occupation was a lost cause, and he should  withdraw from Mexico as soon as possible, leaving the puppet “emperor” Maximiliano to his own fate.

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