EDINBURG — The Museum of South Texas History, a museum chronicling the borderland heritage of South Texas and Northeastern Mexico, welcomes Gabriel Ozuna to present “Bandits by the Border: The Mexican Revolution in the Rio Grande Valley” on Sunday, March 19, at 2 p.m. This presentation will cover the historical conditions in the Rio Grande Valley that led to the “Bandit Wars,” a term historically used to define the era, of the 1910s.
The introduction of the railroad in South Texas opened the Rio Grande Valley up for agricultural development, resulting in an influx of Anglo-American settlement. At the same time, the outbreak of revolutionary violence in Mexico led to a massive refugee crisis as thousands of Mexican families fled across the river for safety. These two new populations drastically changed the social make-up of South Texas and threw the delicate cultural balance out of equilibrium.
Ozuna will discuss how this social tension was exploited by Los Sediciosos, a small band of revolutionary terrorists sponsored by the Mexican government, to try and spark a race war. The “Bandit Wars” would mark a bloody and shameful era in the history of the Rio Grande Valley as terrorism gave way to retaliatory violence and a near-complete dissolution of social cohesion between Anglo- and Mexican-Americans. “We must learn more about these events to better understand our history and how we can avoid making the same mistakes again,” Ozuna said.
Gabriel Ozuna is a graduate of Yale University who wrote his history thesis on the Mexican Revolution's cultural and social impacts on the Rio Grande Valley. He has been active in South Texas' local history scene since returning home and is currently seeking to pursue post-graduate opportunities in history and/or social and education policy.
Sunday Speakers Series is included in the fee for regular museum admission. FRIENDS of the Museum are admitted free as a benefit of FRIENDship.