Guanajuato is a city located in the central part of the country, about three hundred kilometers northwest of Mexico City. Guanajuato originated as a mining town, founded in the middle of the 16th century, after the discovery of deposits of silver and gold in the area. The Spanish conquerors exploited the mines for centuries. At the start of the War of Independence, when attacked by rebels, Spanish soldiers barricaded themselves in a granary along with supplies of silver and gold. El Pipila, the miner-hero, thought of tying a stone plate to his back that protected him from the muskets that soldiers fired at him from the walls, he approached the door, poured tar on it, and set it on fire. After that, the rebels stormed the walls and killed the soldiers. It was one of the first victories in the war for independence. That is why Mexican people built the Monumento al Pipila Guanajuato (Juan José de Los Reyes Martínez Amaro) on a hill above the city, to watch over the city.