La Alianza Federal de Mercedez

In the early 1960s, Reies Lopez Tijerina began the Land-Grant movement in the state of New Mexico. In violation of the provisions of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which ended the U.S. war with Mexico in 1848, the property of the Mexican inhabitants of what is now the Southwest U.S. was not respected. Reies López Tijerina investigated the original land-grant titles and exposed the processes by which they were stolen. Lopez Tijerina needed a better way to attract the attention of the public and of the government. His investigation was very serious and he needed a serious way to fight to get back the land lost by the Mexicans. He decided to create an organization that could attract possible followers and that way he could have a more solid base to work; Lopez Tijerina named his organization the Alianza Federal de Mercedez.

The Alianza Federal de Mercedes (Federal Alliance of Land Grants) was formed in the state of New Mexico during the year of 1962. The purpose of the creation of this organization was to publicize the claims of the Mexicans and some Mexican-Americans to the land now occupied by Anglos and by the National Forest Service. Unlike the rest of the social movements that were part of the Chicano movement, the Land Grant movement was marked as one of the violent social movements of 1960s. Unfortunately, the Alianza Federal de Mercedes was blamed for promoting the usage of violence.

A series of events beginning in 1966 brought the Alianza to public attention nationally. A march from Albuquerque to Santa Fe with petitions to the governor of New Mexico and the president of the United States was followed by attempts to occupy parts of National Forest lands in the fall of 1966 and the summer of 1967. This was answered by military force and frame-up charges against Alianza leaders. The most remarkable event was the raid over Tierra Amarilla held by Lopez Tijerina and La Alianza. On June 5 of 1967, Lopez Tijerina and La Alianza members gathered together and stormed the county courthouse of Tierra Amarilla to arrest civically one attorney they thought he was abusive. The police arrived at the place of the incident and immediately a gun battle was held between the police of Tierra Amarilla and La Alianza. Twenty shots were fired up that day and two people were wounded.

Lopez Tijerina and La Alianza planted the seeds for new groups focused on the Land Grant Movements could keep fighting for their beliefs. However, La Alianza was most in the times rejected by the Anglo society because it represented a threat for being a violent organization.

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About golopes2012

Group Project of the 1960's.
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2 Responses to La Alianza Federal de Mercedez

  1. golopes2012 says:

    To try to take back land that is lost by your people, but is rightfully yours is a hard task to complete. Reies Lopez Tijerina was brave in trying to accomplish this goal. Forming the Alianza Federal de Mercedes was a great step in the process to get back the land that was rightfully theirs. Only problem is, when fighting with violence, less of the public seems to listen and do not want you to succeed. Because Alianza Federal de Mercedes was not the most peaceful, they did not gain as much success as they would hope. There efforts put the ideas in others heads on gaining the land that was theirs back.
    -Suzie Z.

  2. golopes2012 says:

    How were the Mexican inhabitants of what is now the Southwest U.S. was not respected? It is clamed that the the Land Grant movement was marked as one of the violent social movements of 1960s. Although sometimes some violence needs to be involved, I’m not saying that they need to go out and shoot or kill anybody, but if there is a threat detected many people will just give in to the demands set. Its crazy to think that protesting had to involve the military. I feel like many times when either the military or the national guard shows up during the 1960’s nothing good happens after that.
    -Brooke

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