Mariana Pineda was one of the Spanish heroes to contribute in the fight for freedom and human rights in the nineteenth century.
Mariana Pineda as a young girl.
Mariana de Pineda Muñoz didn’t live a long life as she was executed for her participation in the revolts of the liberals of the 19 Century in Spain. She was executed at the age of 26.
In 2006, the government of the European Union paid her homage placing her name on the main entrance of the European Parliament as a symbol of the Spanish contribution in the fight for human rights and freedom in Europe. Her name, as well as those of other freedom fighters, is also shown in the Spanish Parliament in Madrid.
Her parents were Maria de los Dolores Muñoz Bueno and Mariano Pineda y Ramirez. He was an aristocrat who was born in Guatemala in 1754. They settled in Seville where their first daughter was born. They didn’t marry due to their class differences and their families´pressure, until they finally settled in Granada where their first daughter died, but Mariana was born
She was a beautiful blond and blue eyed girl who at the age of 14 met a retired and sick Army officer who was an enthusiastic supporter of the liberal cause.
Then, a young officer who became minister of finance fell for her, but she didn’t correspond him and became attached to a liberal Army officer.
The nineteenth century and right after the war of independence from Napoleon’s army, Spain becomes an scenario of the fights between liberals and conservatives and Mariana Pineda is the one to take on a militant stance on the liberals side.
Cover of the book on Mariana Pineda wriiten by Federtico Garcia Lorca.
The struggle between liberals and conservatives became a fierce one in 1828. Mariana became an enthusiastic militant and helped her cousin and captain, Fernando Alvarez de Sotomayor, to escape from jail as he was sentenced to death. Thus, she provided him with a full monk’s garment and a faked beard and he could escape through the door of his prison cell. The conservatives suspected about her, but they couldn’t accused her because they lacked proves.
During this period, there were many uprisings, revolts that led to arrests and executions among the liberals. Mariana Pineda collaborated in aid of prisoners as a link with the exiled from Gibraltar, or offering her house as a shelter to those people committed with the liberal cause, although, she was under police control and vigilance.
In 1831, Ramon Pedrade y Andrade, who was a special commissioner on the causes against the security of the State, checked her house to find a purple flag with a little triangle and the words Equality, Freedom and Law, embroidered in red thread.
Mariana Pineda didn’t know to embroider and while she was in Gibraltar, she asked a maid to do it for her. The maid was also an enthusiast of the liberals, but not so her father who was a royalist. On seeing, the embroidering, she told her father that the liberal revolts in Andalucia were about to start.
After Mariana’s house was thoroughly checked and the flag found, she was immediately arrested, accused of conspiracy with the liberals and jailed until she was finally executed.
This story on a women who fought for freedom in the 19 Century amidst all the fights between liberals and those who supported the absolute power of King Fernando The Seventh, was beautifully written by playwright and poet Federico Garcia Lorca.