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Funded in part by a grant from TexTreasures and by the UT Arlington Library.

Joaquín Jackson


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(96 pages)

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Biography:

Joaquin Jackson was born in Anton, Texas in 1935 to Anglo-American parents who gave him his Hispanic name. He attended West Texas State College in Canyon, Texas on a basketball scholarship and earned a bachelor of science degree from Sul Ross State University. In 1957, he completed his training for the Texas Highway Patrol (THP, under the Department of Public Safety) and worked for THP for nine years until he entered the service of Texas Rangers Company D in April, 1966 in Uvalde, Texas. As a Texas Ranger, his role in upholding the law to ensure fair local elections was key to the overwhelming victory of the Raza Unida Party candidates in Uvalde in 1972. He settled in Alpine, Texas in 1987, retired from the Texas Rangers in 1993, and ran a private investigations company. He has appeared in several motion pictures playing character roles and has written books on his work with the Texas Rangers. He is a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association and was elected to its board of directors in 2001.

Interview Summary:

Joaquin Jackson provides his personal background and reveals the reasons for the loss of his basketball scholarship while attending West Texas State College in Canyon, Texas. Jackson mentions his work with the Texas Highway Patrol and describes the selection process and how he was chosen by Captain Allee to become a Texas Ranger. Gutiérrez comments on Captain Allee's behavior in the Uvalde courtroom with Josue 'George' Garza, and Jackson details his own actions toward diffusing the situation. Jackson recalls his involvement in Crystal City to uphold the law in order to facilitate election monitoring by Rebecca Perez and Luz Gutiérrez against Sheriff Louis Sweeten's request to have monitors removed. Dr. Gutiérrez and Jackson discuss the La Casita Farms strike and they debate whether police brutality entered into the death of convicted murderer Magdaleno Dimas. Jackson expresses his dislike for unions and Gutiérrez describes a boycott of J. L. Speer's business in Zavala County which resulted in the arrest of sisters Linda (Ezalinda Lara Yedro) and Severita Lara. Gutiérrez reveals the details of his own arrest in Del Rio, Texas, his incarceration in and release from a Mexican jail, and comments on his confrontation with Captain Allee's son Alfred Allee, Jr., also a Texas Ranger. Gutiérrez points out Crystal City's move to block Texas Rangers jurisdiction within Crystal City limits, and Jackson talks about Carrizo Springs police chief Ramon Garza (later a Zavala County sheriff), commenting also on Allee and his son. Gutiérrez speaks of the first time the Raza Unida Party ran as write-in votes on election ballots in the La Salle County Commissioner's race and discusses his encounter with Bob Bullock at getting the Raza Unida Party recognized. Gutiérrez expresses his own racial bias and Jackson emphasizes the importance of education to the Mexican-American community and the detriments of the language barrier. Jackson points to the dispute over the Nueces Strip as the historical source of disparity between Mexican Americans and the Texas Rangers and speaks about early social conditions in Alpine, Texas. The two briefly mention Arturo Rodriguez, the first Mexican American Texas Ranger, and discuss Ramsey Muñiz's downfall after his arrest and incarceration on drug-related charges. Jackson concludes with his work in character roles with motion pictures actors Edward James Olmos and Tommy Lee Jones.

Locations of residence or activity:

Crystal City, Zavala County, Del Rio

Interview Date:

8/1/1996