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Border War (1910 - 1920)

During the Border Wars (1910-1919) Tejano settlers in the region between Nueces River and the Rio Grande River suffered unprecedented violence that went far beyond the level associated with frontier life. Besides bandits, rustlers, smugglers and gun runners, the Tejano pioneer had to endure a Texas Ranger force that killed "meskins" indiscriminately and with impunity. Not until 1919 did Congressman J. T. Canales succeed in conducting a legislative investigation of abuses of Hispanic citizens by the Texas Rangers. The killings by the Texas Rangers were so extensive (estimates run as high as 5000) that some communities (Porvenir Massacre) ceased to exist. The result of the investigation led to the reorganization of the Texas Ranger force and the disbanding of some of its companies, but there never was any accountability. This reign of terror resulted in a "code of silence" by survivors who felt threatened and uncomfortable in even speaking about Texas Ranger atrocities. Many of the killings were never reported. Here we are collecting documented cases that were never reported.

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Las Norias Bandit Raid: Texas Rangers with dead bandits, October 8, 1915. Click on image to enlarge.

The Robert Runyon Photograph Collection courtesy of The Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

antonioThe Antonio L. Longoria / Jesus Bazán Villarreal Case On September 24, 1915, two women, Epigmenia Trevino Bazan, 65, and her daughter Antonia Bazan Longoria, 38, were widowed when their husbands were shot and killed under suspicious circumstances. The men were Jesus Bazan Villarreal, 67, and his son-in-law, Antonio L. Longoria, 48. They were peaceful, respectable, well-known landowners and ranchers whose ownership of their family's lands can be documented and traced to the 1870's.
La Escuelita
Texas Ranger Murder
Interview of Survivors (Spanish)
Code of Silence