Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla lived from May 8, 1753 to July 31, 1811. He was a Catholic priest who is called the 'Father of Mexican Independence'.
Although a Catholic priest, he disobeyed the many orders that the religious order had given him to desist on his war against the legitimate government. In September 1810 he conspired with a few "criollos" to overthrow the Spanish government in Mexico. His plans were discovered by the Spanish so he had to rush his plans, so he did not have enough time to prepare their revolution well. On September 16, which is nowadays a holiday in Mexico, he gathered the people of the village of Dolores at his church and ask them to start a revolt. He also gathered a mob to march towards Mexico City.
“Long live to Our Lady of Guadalupe (symbol of the Indians' faith), death to bad government, death to the gachupines (the Spaniards)!” Hidalgo's words.
In Guanajuato, his mob pillaged and raped women, even when Hidalgo had asked them not to do it. The mob didn't listen to him. He defeated the Spanish another time at Monte de las Cruces close to Mexico City, but he decided not to attack the capital. Instead he returned to Guadalajara.
Later he marched to the north, but he was defeated and taken prisoner by the Spanish. He was shot in the city of Chihuahua.
Hidalgo's image appears on the Mexican twenty pesos coin.