sanpatriciosAs many of you go out to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, do not forget to offer a toast to the Irish heroes of Mexico, who fought and died for their adopted country. In 1846, when the United States invaded Mexico, many immigrants to the United States realized that the war against Mexico was nothing more than US expansionism better known as Manifest Destiny. Upon seeing this, the immigrants defected the US lines and joined Mexico to fight against the US invasion.

Although the immigrants who joined the Mexican lines hailed from many countries, the largest contingent were from Ireland. Many of you reading this probably don’t know about the St. Patrick’s Battalion because US history ignores this inconvenient truth in US history lessons.

Almost two hundred Irishmen, who abandoned the US military, formed the Mexican Batallón de San Patricio, composed of two infantry companies who fought against the US aggressors. They fought heroically for Mexico. Many of them gave their lives on the battlefield. About 85 San Patricios were captured by US forces at the end of the Battle of Churubusco.

Sixty San Patricios were hung by US military forces as the Mexican-American War ended. The rest were released from US custody as the US forces departed Mexico. There are many descendants of the brave Irish, who fought for Mexico who still live in Mexico today.

As you raise your beer mugs to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day today, raise them high for a toast to the San Patricios because there is no greater honor and courage than for a foreigner to give their life to defend a country against foreign aggression. ¡Que Vivan los San Patricios!

Those of you interested in my historical account of the San Patricios can go to this link to read more about them. Click here. Don’t worry, it is in English.

Moreover, I leave you with this song by David Rovics about the San Patricios.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...