Mexican tapestery pattern

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

Gilberto Torres


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(106 pages)

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Biography:

Born April 24, 1936, in Uvalde County, Texas. Mr. Torres was the first Mexican American elected as county commisoner in Uvalde County. He was a career soldier in the U. S. Army and received serveral awards for his military achievements and service. Mr. Torres served in Operation Desert Storm during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 where he trained military recruits.

Interview Summary:

Mr. Torres discusses his family history and genealogy. He recalls memories of race discrimination practices by teachers and school administrators. He talks about racist acts by law enforcement agencies and other incidents of race discrimination he experienced while in the military. He focuses on his twenty-one year career in the U. S. Army including the difficulties and successes he experienced as a soldier. He explains that he decided to get into politics because of the abuses he and other Mexican Americans have experienced. He details his involvement with the Economy Furniture Strike in Austin, the student walkouts in Uvalde, and other political movements and protests. He comments on his political campaigns, including methods of raising money and campaign management. Mr. Torres recounts the events that led to his decision to run for county commissioner, and he describes the support he received from Mexican American leaders such as José Uriega, Alberto Peña, and Dr. Fermín Calderón. He elaborates upon his activities as a county commissioner, and describes the abuses of power and corruption in Uvalde County politics and government. Mr. Torres explains some of the measures he took to combat and/or correct such abuses. He concludes the interview by describing how some Mexican American political leaders do not understand the nature of politics and how the system operates which results in them hurting their own political futures as well as that of other Mexican American politicians.

Locations of residence or activity:

Uvalde County

Interview Date:

1/14/1998