La Matanza (1915)

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Matanza of 1915 Historical Marker

Photograph James Hulse (2021). Mantanza 1915 marker erected 2014 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18128.) Source: Historical Marker Database.

La Mantanza

La Matanza, or The Massacre, refers to a period of sustained violence against ethnic Mexicans in Texas amid the Mexican Revolution (1910–1920). Mexicanos and Tejanos were were systematically targeted and denied due process by the U.S. Army, Texas Rangers, local law enforcement, and other vigilante groups in response to the so-called Bandit Wars along the U.S.-Mexico Border.

Tensions reached their peak following the Plan de San Diego (1915). Mexican Seditionistas raided the Norias Ranch (Aug. 8), derailed a train in Olmito (Oct. 18) killing, and attacked the US Army Signal station at Ojo De Agua (Oct. 21), events which led to the deployment of large numbers of American troops to the area in order to deter any further serious border raids. The subsequent period of lynchings and massacres is known as the Hora de Sangre.

It is impossible to know how the number of victims, as people were disappeared, murders went undocumented, neighbors informed on one another, and families fled South to Mexico. Per the American Consul to Matamoros, Mexico "There were many killed whose names will never be known," yet names of at least 300 Mexican-American victims have been documented during La Matanza.

Frank Cushman Pierce (1858–1918), an attorney in Brownsville, who also operated the Rio Grande Valley Abstract Company, documented several deaths in a document titled, "Partial List of Names of Dead Mexicans since July 1st 1915." This list was transmitted to the U.S. State Department from the American Consulate in Matamoros, Mexico.

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