On this dayJan 28, 1918

Texas Rangers Execute 15 Mexican American Men and Boys in Porvenir, Texas

In the early morning on January 28, 1918, a group of Texas Rangers, alongside U.S. Cavalry soldiers and local white ranchers, arrived in Porvenir, Texas, a small farming village that was home to refugees of the Mexican Revolution. The officers, looking for a robbery suspect, woke up the residents of the town and searched them at gunpoint for weapons and stolen goods. The officers found only one antique rifle and a pistol that belonged to the only white resident of the town. Nevertheless, they tied up 15 Mexican American men and boys from the village and shot them until they ran out of bullets.

The officers later tried to defend their actions by claiming that the residents were “thieves, informers, spies, and murderers.” However, a report by an adjutant general of Texas found that the victims were “defenseless and unarmed” and killed “without provocation.”

After the executions, the surviving residents fled Porvenir, returning only to bury the bodies of their loved ones. The victims, who ranged in age from 16 to 72, were Antonio Castañeda, Longino Flores, Pedro Herrera, Vivian Herrera, Severiano Herrera, Manuel Moralez, Eutimio Gonzalez, Ambrosio Hernandez, Alberto Garcia, Tiburcio Jáques, Roman Nieves, Serapio Jimenez, Pedro Jimenez, Juan Jimenez, and Macedonio Huertas.

The U.S. Army subsequently burned the whole village, and no participants in the massacre were ever prosecuted for their actions.

The Porvenir Massacre was part of La Matanza, a period of horrific anti-Mexican violence in Texas between 1910 and 1920 during which hundreds of people of Mexican descent were killed by Texas law enforcement officials.

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