'I Cry All the Time.' A Century After 15 Mexican Men and Boys Were Massacred in Texas, Their Descendants Want RecognitionBreaking News
tags: Texas, Mexico, porvenir massacre, mexican revolution
In the dead of night on Jan. 28, 1918, a group of white Texas Rangers, U.S. military men and local ranchers burst into the homes of Mexican and Mexican American families in Porvenir, Texas, a small border town west of Marfa. They rounded up 15 men and boys — the youngest just 16 — and shot them to death. Juan Flores, then about 12 years old, watched his father, Longino Flores, be led away by the armed men. He later found his father’s body shot dead in the desert, barely recognizable.
The trauma haunted Flores for the rest of his life, until he finally spoke up at the age of 95 about what he witnessed as a child — but only after his daughter uncovered the family history while looking through county records.
After Flores finally spoke out, his family and the rest of the world had the chance to learn the details of the massacre from the only known living witness. Combining that knowledge with documents and excavation, academics were able to tell the story of the Porvenir Massacre, which was just one act in a decade of violence against Mexican Americans at a time tensions between Mexican “bandits” and white Texans was on the rise. The massacre, and its fallout for the affected families, is now the subject of a PBS documentary, Porvenir, Texas, which is streaming on PBS.org until Oct. 18.
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