Thursday, November 23, 2017
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The Museum of South Texas History will present “Bandits by the Border: The Mexican Revolution in the Rio Grande Valley” on Sunday, Mar. 19, at 2 p.m. as part of its Sunday Speaker Series. The presentation will cover 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 massing refuge effort as thousands of Mexican families fled across the river for safety. These two populations drastically altered the social make-up of South Texas and threw the delicate cultural balance out of equilibrium.

Gabriel Ozuna, a Valley native and Yale University graduate, will explain how the 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 if the Rio Grande Valley as terrorism gave way to retaliatory violence and near-complete dissolution of social cohesion between Anglos and Mexican-Americans.

The museum is open on Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $7 for adults and $6 for seniors. It is located caddy-corner to the Hidalgo County Courthouse parking on Closner Blvd. in Edinburg.

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