From the Associated Press (New Mexico):


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Reies Lopez Tijerina, a champion of Chicanos’ land-rights claims and the leader of a group that raided a northern New Mexico courthouse nearly 50 years ago, has died at age 88.

Family representative Estela Reyes-Lopez says the prominent activist died Monday at an El Paso, Texas, hospital, of natural cases. Nephew Luis Tijerina also confirmed the death.

In 1967, Tijerina and followers raided the courthouse in Tierra Amarilla (tee-AYR’-uh ah-mah-REE’-yah) to attempt a citizen’s arrest of the district attorney after eight members of Tijerina’s group had been arrested over land grant protests.

During the 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.