The story began in the morning of Saturday November 13, when a group of armed gunmen went to deliver an ultimatum to Don Alejo Garza Tamez: He had 24 hours to turn over his property or suffer the consequences.
Using the diplomacy he had acquired over nearly eight decades of life, Don Alejo flatly announced that not only would he not be surrendering his property, but that he’d be waiting for them.
When the men had left, Don Alejo gathered his workers and ordered them to take Sunday off, he wanted to be alone.
He dedicated the rest of Saturday to taking stock of his weapons and ammunition and creating a military fortress style defense strategy for his home.
Seventy seven years old and a man to be reckoned with, Don Alejo was ready to fight or die defending his property and his way of life.
The night of Saturday the thirteenth was long and restless, much like his past hunting adventures; Don Alejo woke early. Shortly after 4 a.m. the motors of various trucks could be heard entering the property from a distance.
Marines who investigated the scene could only imagine how it was that morning: armed men, their impunity secured, confident they’d soon be owners of yet another property. Nobody, or almost no one, could hold out against a group of heavily armed gunmen. Only Don Alejo.
The trucks entered the ranch and took up positions surrounding the house. The gunmen got out of their trucks, fired shots in the air, and announced they came to take possession of the ranch. They were expecting the terrified occupants to run out, begging for mercy with their hands in the air.
But things didn’t go as expected. Don Alejo welcomed them with bullets; the entire army of gunmen returned fire. Don Alejo seemed to multiply, he seemed to be everywhere. The minutes would have seemed endless to those who had seen him as easy prey. Various gunmen were killed on sight. The others, in rage and frustration, intensified the attack by swapping out their assault rifles for grenades.
When everything finally fell silent, the air was left heavy with gunpowder. The holes left in the walls and the windows attested to the violence of the attack. When they went in search of what they had assumed was a large contingent, they were surprised to find only one man, Don Alejo.
The surviving gunmen did not take over the ranch. Thinking the military would arrive at any moment, they decided to run. They left behind what they thought were six corpses, but two of their gunmen had survived.
Shortly after, the Marines arrived and methodically reconstructed the events. A lone rancher, a man who worked a lifetime to be able to enjoy the fruits of his labor such as his ranch, had defended it to his death.
Here is one man, willing to give up his life to defend what was rightfully his. Compare this to our current border situation where we put up signs miles from the border warning US citizens to keep out, letting thieves and criminals and, yes, the drug cartel, take virtual possession of land that is ours, because the government has neither the will, nor the cojones of a Don Alejo to stand up and refuse to be intimidated by threats of violence.
Whoever our next president is in 2013, let’s send him (or her) a copy of what Don Alejo Garza Tamez was willing to do to protect his home and ask when we are going to find the cojones to do the same?
Read more at Pat Dollard