1967 NM courthouse raid shooter dies
Posted at: 08/28/2012 12:04 PM
By: RUSSELL CONTRERAS Associated Press
CANJILON, N.M. (AP) - Juan Valdez, a land grant activist who fired the first shot during a 1967 New Mexico courthouse raid that grabbed international attention and helped spark the Chicano Movement, has died.
His daughter Juanita Montoya says the 74-year-old died peacefully Saturday at his ranch in Canjilon, N.M.
The northern New Mexico activist was 29-year-old when he and a group of land grant advocates raided a Rio Arriba County courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, N.M. to attempt a citizen's arrest of then-District Attorney Alfonso Sanchez over Hispanic land rights issues.
It was Valdez who shot and wounded a state police officer.
The raiders, led by Reies Lopez Tijerina, also beat a deputy and took a sheriff and reporter hostage. Valdez was convicted of assault but was later pardoned by Gov. Bruce King.
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