Vicente Ramón Guerrero Saldaña was born in the small village of Tixtla, not far from the city of Acapulco, now in the Mexican state of Guerrero, then part of New Spain. He was from a poor Mestizo family.
He joined in the early revolt against Spain in 1810, first fighting alongside José María Morelos and then taking command over those troops after Morelos's death. The valiant resistance he displayed against the Spanish armies made him a hero among the Mexicans.
Once Mexico achieved independence he at first collaborated with Agustín de Iturbide. However, after Iturbide was prolaimed himself Emperor, Guerrero came out in favor of a Republic with the Plan of Casa Mata.
When the conservative Manuel Gómez Pedraza seemed set to succeed Guadalupe Victoria as president of Mexico, Guerrero, with the aid of General Antonio López de Santa Anna, staged a coup and took the presidency on 1 April 1829. (The violent nature of the coup displeased some Latin American liberals of the time who otherwise sympathised with Guerrero's goals, and his actions were condemned by Simón Bolívar.) The most notable achievement of Guerrero's short term as president was ordering an immediate abolition of slavery and emancipation of all slaves.
The Mexican state of Guerrero is named after Vicente Guerrero.