The last stand of Alejo Garza Tamez

Narco-gansters gave 77-year-old Mexican rancher Alejo Garza Tamez an ultimatum, move out in 24 hours or die. Instead of capitulating he heroically made a last stand. NY Post reports

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.

The man is a hero and an inspiration. I hope his story is made into a movie.

[ Many thanks to the reader who emailed this in ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Sean M

    I read this story, and just sort of inadvertently threw up the horns. That guy is amazing.

  • subase

    Yep don’t screw with blacksmiths or loggers!

  • Jusuchin (Military Otaku)

    And when he gets to the pearly gates, he can enter knowing he stood up to evil, and died trying.

  • Ryan

    Sadly, If the Mexican federal cops had shown up before the drug cartel they would have arrested him for procession of guns. In fact, to them he is as much of a criminal as the drug cartel. It is possible to go through a bunch of legal red tape and bribes to get one long rifle for hunting but I’ve never heard of anyone in Mexico being a “hunter and gun collector.” To the point of having a gun for every window and door in the house.

    The Mexican government will lose this war. Because it is an insurrection and the locals do not trust the federal military or police. I don’t know much about Count Insurgency, but I do know that the only way to win is with the help of the local civilians.

  • MrSatyre

    He’s a hero, alright! Now, who would you cast in his role for the movie? I’m thinking Gene Hackman. He’s actually a few years older, but he’s got “tough as nails” written all over him. I just IMDB’d him, and he hasn’t been in anything since ’04!

  • Jim

    Shame that weapons are illegal for Mexicans who don’t intend to go murdering ranchers.

  • Greetings from Texas,
    Thanks for posting this Steve. It’s not like we will see anything about it on Network News.

  • Mokoface

    It has already been made into 2 corridos , but I wouldnt hold my breath on a movie . I still havent found a single English language newspaper that ran the story other than what you will find in the blogosphere .

  • Mountainbear

    That was a free man.

    In Europe police would have told him to obey the gangsters. No, I kid you not. German and Austrian police have been advising people to not defend their property, but to either run away or comply with the demands of the criminals. I wish I was kidding. I really do.

  • Thank you for posting about Mr Tamez, Steve. The man was a great hero as you point out. For a 77 year old man to stand up to narco terrorists and go down fighting is the epitome of bravery indeed! Do wish that the MExican army showed up faster and rescued him, but that is probably more evidence of what a crazy place that country has become.

  • Dude

    I wonder if Mr. Garza Tamez “arsenal” was limited to a cal .22 rifle and/or 20 gau shotgun, which is what Mexican law permits an ordinary citizen to maintain on their property for “hunting” purposes. Self defense is not an acceptable reason when u register a weapon with the Mexican military (Mexico ATF) under their gun laws.

    No matter, he gave a good accounting of himself and his limited arsenal against a higher number of assailants with superior firepower but less motivated than he. BTW, the assailants could well be some politicians henchmen, since taking advantage of the Narco turmoil for their own gain is a common occurrence now a days.

    The government has spent a lot of effort in disarming the Mexican citizenry after the 1910 Revolution in order to roll them over and keep them from complaining about their ineptitude. They (the Mexican government) are really afraid of insurgencies (Lucio Cabañas in 1967, Zapatistas in 1994 to name the most recent) and go all out to squash them. In fact, up until the Narco War, crushing any sign of rebellion (and backing up fraudulent elections) is about all the army was tasked with. Having an un-armed populace is a great asset in maintaining the status-quo.

    It is hard to stand up for your rights when ALL of the armed people are on the Governors payroll and more than happy to silence any opposition. Most Usonians have no idea how great for democracy the 2nd Amendment is.

    Then again the down side of un-armed civilians is that there are almost no cases such as Mr. Garza Tamex, now that the going gets tough. He was, like many of peers are, willing to defend what his hard work had earned him. Too bad he didn’t have the right tools at his disposal.

  • Chase

    He died surrounded by the bodies of his enemies, and lying in a bed of brass!

  • Lance

    Sounds like a Scarface squeal!

  • Milo

    May he rest in peace.
    At 77 that is a noble way to exit planet earth.

  • Sean Ingram

    There’s a movie in this one. This guy was a hero, a real hero; not one of the global warming, save the planet CNN heroes; he went out fighting to hold onto his property and reminded us what the 2nd Amendment is for. If the Mexican government had 1/4 of the courage of this man the battle with the cartels would have been over long ago.

    Rest in peace sir!!

  • It is amazing what one man can do.

  • Brian

    Not to denigrate this brave man’s sacrifice, but it should be noted that he’s dead, and the vast majority of his enemies are still alive. That ranks as a loss in my book. Perhaps that’s the best result possible given the circumstances, but overall, it’s not something to be lauded as an achievement.

    A better result would be “still alive to do your enemies damage,” not “lying in a bed of brass.”

  • The line about the “Authorities” showing up after the fight is perhaps more informative than much else. This guy knew they were coming and he was ready to do what was right. Hard to believe the “Authorities” did not also know these guys were coming.

    When it comes right down to it, the only people we can truly count on is ourselves.

  • subase

    He was 77 years old, sounds like a good way to cash in on that insurance policy.

    That he would start waging a one man war against the cartels all because they kicked him out of his house, sounds a little extreme. He’s not the Punisher, just a guy who wasn’t going to be pushed around.

    The cartels tried to scare him off they failed miserably, that’s got to count for something.. Personally I would also have burned the house down as a fail safe.

  • John

    He reminds me and, in my opinion, exemplifies the gunfighter’s prayer:

    Lord, make me fast and accurate.

    Let my aim be true and my hand faster than those who would seek to destroy me.

    Grant me victory over my foes and those that wish to harm to me and mine.

    Let not my last thought be “If only I had my gun.”

    And Lord if today is truly the day that You call me home,

    Let me die in a pile of empty brass.