Looking for more from Sean McLachlan? He also hangs out on the Midlist Writer blog, where he talks about writing, adventure travel, caving, and everything else he gets up to. He also reproduces all the posts from Civil War Horror, so drop on by!
Friday, September 27, 2013
Wild West Photo Friday: Mexican Rurales
They were a cavalry force that chased criminals across the land and quickly gained a reputation for brutal efficiency. They were trained like soldiers but acted like gunslingers. In fact, many bandits, once caught, were given the choice between prison or joining the rurales!
During the wild days in Arizona in the 1880s, when places like Tombstone were getting shot up on a regular basis, the rurales had their work cut out for them. The Cowboys, a loose-knit group of rustlers living in southern Arizona, often went south of the border to steal cattle, bring them north over the border, rebrand them, and then sell them.
Mexican ranchers, of course, resisted, and often got killed. The rurales stepped in and started fighting the Cowboys. They took some tough hits (which we'll talk about in a later post) but eventually put enough pressure on the Cowboys that they started rustling American ranches instead, as well as robbing stagecoaches. This escalation of crime north of the border heightened tensions in Tombstone with the law enforcement faction led by Wyatt and Virgil Earp and eventually led to the Gunfight at the OK Corral.
The rurales still exist and still fight bandits, although mostly they work to eradicate marijuana crops.
Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons.