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UHV to screen documentary about Mexican-Americans' deaths

March 7, 2010 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated March 6, 2010 at 9:07 p.m.

The University of Houston-Victoria will screen a film detailing the deaths of Mexican-Americans during the early 1900s at the hands of Texas Rangers.

"Border Bandits" is based on a story that filmmaker Kirby Warnock's grandfather, Roland Warnock, told him nearly 30 years ago.

In 1915, Roland Warnock was a 19-year-old cowboy working on the Guadalupe Ranch near present-day Edinburg when he witnessed a group of Texas Rangers shoot two unarmed men in the back and leave their bodies by the side of a cow trail.

Roland Warnock buried the bodies two days later.

The graves are still there today by the side of what is now a paved farm-to-market road.

Warnock spent nearly five years tracking down the descendants of the dead men, pouring over reports and interviewing historians to find out what actually happened.

The result is "Border Bandits," a film that is both compelling and disturbing as it tells of a turbulent time in Texas history, when 3,000-5,000 Mexican-Americans were killed in the lower Rio Grande Valley.

The film uses period photos and re-enactment footage to tell the tale of justice gone awry during a time when American citizens of Hispanic descent were summarily killed for their lands.



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