In New Mexico during the 1960s, Reies López Tijerina transformed the issue of land rights into an issue of civil rights. He led a movement of Hispanos –people with Spanish, Mexican and Native American ancestry– who had lost their communal land to private landowners or government agencies and demanded it back. López Tijerina’s activism reached its peak with a shootout at a local courthouse in 1967.
Though he was controversial, López Tijerina put the fight for land ownership on a national stage in a way that challenged the basic power structure in New Mexico and the rest of the Southwest.
Featured image: López Tijerina in 1966 (Public domain)
6 thoughts on “This Land Is My Land: The Story of Reies López Tijerina”
He may of gotten the land grant going, but I personally know his family and have a niece, that is his granddaughter. He mistreated his family, very abusive man, and then he would put on a different face for the cause.
Wow I don’t think I can ever talk bad about the dead!
His personal family life has nothing to do with his mission of exposing the injustice that was done …. The fight for justice is still going on in many places…. God grant us justice for those murdered and those who always knew the truth.
His personal life is his personal life. We all own our personal life. I ask for transparacy and the truth of history.
I interviewed Tijerina at his home in NM in 1978. He was a very distinguished looking man. He was dedicated to his cause. I feel honored to have had that interview. At the time I was a student at WNMU. May he rest in peace