New Mexico marks 50th anniversary of Chicano courthouse raid

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico is marking the 50th anniversary of a violent courthouse raid by Mexican-American activists that generated national attention and helped spark the Chicano Movement.

Various events around the state are scheduled this week to commemorate the raid that is still hotly debated in the American Southwest.

The raid was connected to age-old Spanish land grant disputes and catapulted Texas-born activist Reies Lopez Tijerina into the national spotlight as a radical Chicano leader.

During the June 5, 1967, raid, the group shot and wounded a state police officer and jailer, beat a deputy, and took the sheriff and a reporter hostage before escaping to the Kit Carson National Forest.

The armed attack outraged some but sparked excitement among Mexican-American college students of the Chicano Movement.