“Alejo Garza Tamez turned his humble farmhouse into a fortress for his last stand…after receiving an ultimatum on Nov. 13 from the drug-gang guerrillas to vacate within 24 hours or die.”
High noon at not-ok corral
New York Post
Ginger Adams Otis: Dec. 5th, 2010
He defended his home like it was the Alamo.
A 77-year-old rancher gave drug-cartel thugs the fight of their lives when they tried to take possession of his sprawling property in northern Mexico, becoming a folk hero in a region ravaged by violence.
Alejo Garza Tamez turned his humble farmhouse into a fortress for his last stand — lining up his numerous hunting rifles in windows and doorways — after receiving an ultimatum on Nov. 13 from the drug-gang guerrillas to vacate within 24 hours or die.
The lionhearted rancher was ready when two truckloads of heavily armed gang members returned the next morning.
“He’d told me he’d gotten threats, but he didn’t notify the authorities. He never trusted them,” his daughter Sandra Garza told Telediario Nocturno.
Authorities said the cartel first rolled up that Saturday to Garza’s ranch, located about 15 miles outside of Ciudad Victoria, to tell him the house he’d built by hand 34 years ago was on land they needed to expand their cocaine and marijuana routes to the US border.
Garza immediately dismissed all the workers on his ranch and told them not to come to work the next day.
Then the hunter and gun collector gathered up every weapon he could muster.
He perched guns in the windows and doors, lining the floors with extra ammo. And he waited in the dark and silence.
It was close to 4 a.m. on Sunday when the distant sound of roaring engines came to his ears.
The cartel members drove onto his property in large trucks, toting assault rifles and firing shots into the air.
As they clambered down, one of them shouted that they’d come to claim ownership of the ranch, and anyone left inside should come out with their hands up.
Instead, the sole inhabitant opened fire.
Pandemonium broke out, with terrified gang members diving for cover while Garza moved from window to window, picking them off one by one.
He shot so fast and furiously that the confused cartel assumed there were several people inside. Dropping their assault rifles, the thugs lobbed hand grenades into the ranch house until the shooting stopped.
When the Mexican army finally showed up after the gunfight, they found four dead and two injured gang members piled in a heap outside the shelled, bullet-pocked farmhouse.
Inside, amid a pile of rubble, was the lifeless, bullet-riddled Garza, two weapons at his side.
The unassuming timber businessman was given a hero’s burial last week in his native Monterrey, Mexico.
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