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Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres Collection

Identifier: MSS -628 -BC

Scope and Content

This collection contains newspaper clippings, magazine articles, pamphlets, flyers, press releases, and broadsides relating to Alianza Federal de las Mercedes, Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres, Reies Lopez Tijerina, the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, land grants, education, employment, and discrimination. The Alianza constitution is also included in the collection. An oversized folder contains broadsides, reprints and a map. This collection is composed of materials that were formerly housed in vertical files at the Center for Southwest Research. Some of the items in the collection are written in Spanish.


  • 1963-1997 (bulk 1967-1979)

Language of Materials

English Spanish

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Organizational History

Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres (Alliance of Free City-States) was an Albuquerque based organization whose primary purpose was to secure the restoration of land grants in New Mexico and the Southwest which were guaranteed by the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Other goals of the Alianza were to gain respect and recognition for the Spanish language and culture. Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres was formerly called Alianza Federal de las Mercedes (Federal Alliance of Land Grants). The name was changed to "emphasize the implications of the governmental characteristics of the community land grants under the Laws of the Indies as free city-states."

Reies Lopez Tijerina was the leader and founder of Alianza de Mercedes in the early 1960s. Initially, the composition of the group was primarily the landless, impoverished, aging, rural Spanish American immigrants living in the slums of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. By the mid 1960s, however, the membership had changed to include thousands of Spanish American small ranchers and village farmers, angered at the National Forest Service for forcing them to migrate or to seek employment outside of agriculture, and because they could not get a hearing from state or federal agencies. As members, they caused Alianza to become more militant.

Members of Alianza raided the courthouse at Tierra Amarilla on June 5, 1967. They intended to make a citizen's arrest of District Attorney Alfonso Sanchez, who had arrested Alianza members while they were trying to attend an Alianza meeting in Coyote, which Sanchez proclaimed was illegal. State Police Officer Nick Saiz and county jailer Eulogio Salazar were shot and wounded during the raid. Tijerina was acquitted in December 1968 of criminal charges filed against him as a result of the raid. Subsequently, he was tried and convicted on additional charges of assault and false imprisonment in November 1969. He entered state prison in June 1974, and was paroled in December 1974. In 1978, New Mexico Governor Jerry Apodoca granted Tijerina an executive pardon.


1 box (.26 cu. ft. ), plus oversize folder

Related Material

Peter Nabokov Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Reies Tijerina Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico. Noe Tijerina Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Carlos Espinosa Cansino collection Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico Frances Léon Quintana Papers Center for Southwest Research, University Libraries, University of New Mexico


Contact Information

  1. Center for Southwest Research
  2. Zimmerman Library
  3. University of New Mexico
  4. Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131-1466
  5. Phone: 505-277-6451
  6. Fax: 505-277-0530
  7. Email:
  8. URL:


Finding Aid of the Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres Collection, 1963-1997 (bulk 1967-1979)
Processed by PBK
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • June 28, 2004: PUBLIC "-//University of New Mexico::Center for Southwest Research//TEXT (US::NmU::MSS 628 BC::Alianza Federal de Pueblos Libres Collection)//EN" "nmu1mss628bc.sgml" converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by v1to02.xsl (sy2003-10-15).
  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131