A new Latino USA podcast brings you an epic tale of Wild West justice neatly packed into one man: Juan Cortina.
Juan Nepomuceno Cortina sabe muy bien lo que pasa ♪ ♫ pic.twitter.com/FR2LbbbHeC
— Celeste Bernal (@C_historienne) August 13, 2015
Living along the Texas-Mexico border during the 1800s was the epitome of the Wild West. A man named Juan Nepomuceno Cortina Goseacochea, or Juan Cortina, stood up for Mexicans in the U.S. who were being attacked and intimidated by Texan settlers who were trying to take their land – and their dignity.
Cortina, a landowner with ranches in Mexico and the U.S., started his brand of vigilante justice in 1859 when he launched a takeover of Brownsville, Texas.
— MOSTHistory (@MOSTHistory) October 9, 2013
Credit: @MOSTHistory / Twitter
Cortina was just taking a ride through town when he saw the Brownsville sheriff pistol whip a Mexican farm worker, who once worked for Cortina. Right then and there, Cortina decided that it was enough. Both Cortina and the sheriff drew their pistols and opened fire on each other. The sheriff missed, but Cortina shot the sheriff’s arm and fled with the farm worker to safety. Soon, Cortina’s Texas ranch was turned into the headquarters for the Mexican landowners fighting against Anglo Texans. Cortina eventually earned the nickname “Rio Grande Robin Hood.”
With his reputation as a badass cemented, Cortina would eventually go on to become the governor of Tamaupilas.
Credit: Orion Pictures
Cortina was also immortalized in the movie, “One Man’s Hero,” which tells the story of the San Patricio Battalion, a group of European (mostly Irish) soldiers who abandoned the U.S. to fight with Mexican troops. Cortina is played by Joaquim de Almeida (the bad guy from “Fast Five”).
Listen to the story of this kick-ass Mexican folk hero below! Skip to 5:13 to hear about Juan Cortina.
Credit: Latino USA NPR
(H/T: Latino USA NPR)
Have you ever heard of Juan Cortina, the Rio Grande Robin Hood? Share this story with your friends and get his story out there before history forgets him again.