Morelos, José María

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Morelos (1765-1815), a mestizo parish priest, became the leader of the Mexican Independence forces after Hidalgo's execution. He reorganized the combatants into a formidable guerrilla army, and based his political appeal on the mestizo and Indian common people rather than rely on elite criollo support. In 1815 he was captured and executed by the royalists -- a terrible blow to the cause of independence.