The Monuments of Tijuana’s Paseo de los Héroes

All along one of Tijuana’s largest and busiest streets—Paseo de los Héroes—are a string of enormous monuments located in the center of the roundabouts (or glorietas as they’re called in Spanish). These statues hold cultural and historical significance to the country of Mexico and serve an important civic and aesthetic purpose for the city of Tijuana.

Monumento Mexico

Location: Paseo de los Héroes and Blvd Independencia
Year: 1973
Sculptor: Ángela Gurría
Located at the center of the very busy Glorieta Independencia, this roundabout is often used for protests and demonstrations. The Mexico Monument is sometimes called “La M” as the two sharp shapes were created to form the letter M for Mexico. The monument commemorates Mexico’s struggle for independence. Affectionately known as “las Tijeras” (the scissors) to locals, the monument is often used as a waypoint for giving directions.


Location: Paseo de los Héroes and Blvd Cuauhtémoc
Year: 1975
Sculptor: Alfonso Casarrubias Parra
Cuauhtémoc, the last emperor of the Aztecs, is remembered as a courageous leader who faced immense challenges during the Spanish conquest of Mexico. Ascending to the throne in 1520 amidst the chaos caused by the arrival of Hernán Cortés and his forces, Cuauhtémoc demonstrated resilience and strategic acumen in defending his people and their capital city, Tenochtitlan. Despite the overwhelming odds stacked against him, he fiercely resisted the Spanish invaders, embodying the spirit of Aztec resistance and determination. Cuauhtémoc’s leadership and bravery in the face of adversity have left an enduring legacy, symbolizing the struggle of indigenous peoples against colonial domination in Mesoamerican history.

Abraham Lincoln

Location: Paseo de los Héroes and Ave. Diego Rivera
Year: 1981
Sculptor: Humberto Peraza Ojeda
Abraham Lincoln came as a gift from the U.S. government as part of a statue exchange between the two countries. The U.S. gifted the statue of Lincoln to Mexico and Mexico gifted a statue of Mexican President Benito Juárez to the U.S. The two presidents were contemporaries, both being inaugurated into office in March of 1861, and maintained good relations throughout their time in office. Lincoln was a public opponent of the Mexican-American War, and is often revered in Mexico for his beliefs in political equality and economic opportunity. Juárez was Mexico’s first indigenous president and has at times been called the “Abraham Lincoln of Mexico.” The reciprocal statue of Juárez stands in San Diego in Pantoja Park in the Marina District.

General Ignacio Zaragoza

Location: Paseo de los Héroes and Blvd. Abelardo Rodriguez
Year: 1976
Sculptor: Antonio Castellanos Basich
General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín was a pivotal figure in Mexican history, renowned for his leadership during the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Born in Texas during the era of Mexican sovereignty, Zaragoza dedicated himself to the Mexican cause, rising through the military ranks with determination and skill. His strategic brilliance and tactical prowess were evident in the decisive victory over the much larger French expeditionary forces at Puebla, a triumph that bolstered Mexican morale and became commemorated annually as Cinco de Mayo. Zaragoza’s legacy extends beyond this singular event, as he continued to serve his country with distinction until his untimely death from illness shortly after the battle. He remains celebrated as a symbol of Mexican resistance and national pride, revered for his courage and steadfast commitment to defending Mexico’s sovereignty.

Lázaro Cárdenas

Location: Paseo de los Héroes and Blvd. Sanchez Taboada
Lázaro Cárdenas del Río, one of Mexico’s most revered leaders, left an indelible mark on the country’s history through his progressive reforms and commitment to social justice. Serving as Mexico’s president from 1934 to 1940, Cárdenas is best known for his agrarian reform efforts that redistributed land to peasants and indigenous communities, aiming to alleviate rural poverty and empower marginalized groups. He also nationalized Mexico’s oil industry in 1938 (setting up Pemex), a bold move that asserted Mexican sovereignty over its natural resources and sparked global attention. Cárdenas’s presidency emphasized education, labor rights, and infrastructure development, laying the groundwork for Mexico’s modern social welfare state. His legacy as a champion of the people endures, with his name synonymous with integrity, nationalism, and progressive governance in Mexican history.

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