Details for Matanza of 1915

Historical Marker — Atlas Number 5507018128


Marker Number 18128
Atlas Number 5507018128
Marker Title Matanza of 1915
Index Entry Matanza of 1915
Address I-69E
City San Benito
County Cameron
UTM Zone 14
UTM Easting 640184
UTM Northing 2887834
Subject Codes Mexican topics; rangers; segregation, Jim Crow
Marker Year 2014
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark No
Private Property No
Marker Location I-69E southbound, Exit 16 parking area southeast of San Benito between FM 732 and Runnels Road
Marker Condition In Situ
Marker Size 27"x42" with post
Marker Text In the late 19th and early 20th century, racial tensions near the United States - Mexico border and the lower Rio Grande Valley erupted into violence. The change from ranching to commercial agriculture and a shift in racial hierarchies led to increased discrimination against Mexican Americans and Mexicans in the region. In addition, economic problems and the Mexican Revolution increased the immigrant population to Texas. This influx along with the rise in Anglo immigration to South Texas increased racial tensions. Law enforcement and vigilante groups used violence and intimidation to quell, and at times respond to, a growing movement referred to as Revolucion De Texas. Some Mexicans and Mexican Americans envisioned this movement as a fight against discrimination, while some in law enforcement perceived it as a threat to new Anglo migrations in the area. The section of highway between San Benito and Brownsville was the site of countless killings of prisoners without due process. One of the first victims was Rudolfo Muniz, who was lynched on this road on July 29, 1915, while in the custody of local law enforcement. It is estimated that hundreds, possibly thousands, of Mexican Americans and Mexicans were killed. Out of fear, many families fled Brownsville to Matamoros. A contemporary newspaper editorial referred to this period as the Matanza (Massacre) of 1915. In 1919, the Texas Legislature conducted a formal investigation into state and local law enforcement practices. The Texas Rangers were reorganized as a result. Memories of the Matanza continue through scattered records and oral tradition, reflecting difficulties in recounting this violent yet pivotal time in Texas History. (2014)

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