Honoring the truth a hundred years to the date, is the mission for three Mexican ethnic families in Duval County.
The Duval County Courthouse along with the County’s Historical Commission planned to sign a Proclamation of Centennial Observance for the three men murdered near Bruni, Texas by the Texas Rangers, commonly known as the "Los de Para’s " on April 1, the centennial anniversary of their deaths.
The one version of the story of the "Los de Paras" tells the tale of the tequileros or vinateros, being killed by the Texas Rangers on April1, 1920.
Cresencio Oliveira Jr. from Benavides, Dionisio Maldonado from Para’s Nueveo Leon Mexico and Vicente Aguilar from Benavides are the names of the three men murdered under false assumptions and three of many, Mexican ethnic men murdered in South Texas, during the 1920’s.
The story of their deaths was originally honored with a 28 verse song named the "El Corrido de Oliviera." The song told the story of the three men traveling selling cattle, buying items to carry back to Mexico and the tragic events that lead to their death.
As time went to past, the original 28 verse song was forgotten and reduced to nine verses that told a different story. The shorter version tells a tale of the three men being ambushed for bootlegging across the Mexican border which was untrue and misguided with the loss lyrics of the song, not being sung.
Surviving family member Marianella Franklin, is the great grand-daughter of Dionisio Maldonaldo and researched the story of her genealogy and knows the full story from her surviving family members growing-up.
That story tells the life of three men that were farmers and ranchers in the Benavides and Paras Nuevo Leon, Mexico. The original 28 verse song tells the story of the three men’s travels before the fatal ambush that took their lives.
The three men were traveling moving and selling cattle. Cresencio Oliveira had plans to marry his girlfriend Maria de’ Jesus Gutierrez from Paras. During the trip he bought and packed the horse with items for his future wedding in Mexico, to marry the bride-to-be. The Texas Rangers meet the three men on the border after they noticed some fully packed supplies on their horses and ambushed them with gun shots. The shortened nine verse song tells a story of men being fatally shot bootlegging tequila and wine. The items actually found packed on the horses were a wedding dress and the bride’s wedding ring. All three men were buried in Benavides.
The Duval County Courthouse signed a Proclamation of Centennial Observance to commemorate the three innocent men that lost their lives. The Proclamation Observance was planned at the Duval County Courthouse for April 1, a hundred years to the date of their murders on April 1, 1920. Families members were scheduled to speak a few words, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic many family members residing in Mexico, could not make the trip and the event has been canceled.
"My great grandfather died an unfortunate death and so did many others, during that time. Ironically, many family members from all three men have worked in law enforcement and city leadership roles defending the rights of others," said Franklin, the great grand-daughter to Dionisio Maldonaldo. "I do not want this to seem like a negative thing, it was the times back then but it is also important, to honor the truth."