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The KUT Longhorn Radio Network Presents: Mexican American Experience Collection

Audio recordings including interviews, music, and informational programs related to the Mexican American community and their concerns in the series "The Mexican American Experience" and "A esta hora conversamos" from the Longhorn Radio Network, 1976-1982.

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Reies Tijerina And The Mexican Land Grants
Program #
Identity, Politics

Richard Goodman
Richard Goodman
Dec 22, 1976

Reies Tijerina and the Mexican Land Grants

Host Richard Goodman discusses the life of Reies Lopez Tijerina, his career as an activist, and his place in the land grant movement among Hispanos in northern New Mexico. Although born in Texas, Tijerina spent much of his adult life in New Mexico, where he moved after becoming a pastor. There he learned of the plight of the Hispanos whose land the forest service, powerful Anglo industrial interests and the railroads had stolen. It is there where he joined the movement to return the Tierra Amarilla land grant to the residents of the town of San Joaquin de Chama.

In 1966, frustrated with the government’s lack of a response to his appeals, he led the occupation of the Echo Amphitheatre, which was within the pueblo’s land grant, and asserted their right to the land. This incident marked the beginning of Tijerina’s legal troubles, and the state tried for years to send him to jail, finally succeeding in 1970.

Released in 1971, his incarceration had already made him a symbol of political repression in the U.S., and he continued to speak out against the crimes of the government. Tijerina preached a message of unity for Chicanos, while also working with Black Militants and other activists throughout the United States. He has become one of the most well-known and dedicated leaders of the Chicano Movement. Research for this episode comes from Rodolfo Acuña’s Occupied America.


Alianza Federal de Mercedes
Archivo General de la Nacion
Baptist Preacher
Black Militancy
Chicano Black Relations
Chicano Movement and Latin America
Citizen’s Arrest
Corky Gonzalez
Echo Amphitheatre
El Tigre
Ethnic Solidarity
Falls City, Texas
Forest Rangers
Francisco Salazar
Kit Carson National Forest
La Confederación de Pueblos Libres
Land Grants
New Mexicans
New Mexico
Occupied America
People’s Constitutional Party
Political Crimes
Political Repression
Reies Lopez Tijerina
Religious Conversion
Rodolfo Acuña
San Joaquin de Chama
Senator Joseph Montoya
Solitary Confinement
State District Attorney Alfonso Sanchez
The Poor People’s Campaign
Tierra Amarilla
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Center for Mexican American Studies | Department of History | The Benson Latin American Collection

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