SESENA, Spain – A video to promote our upcoming “To Conquer, To Defend” conference was produced in Spain! How cool is that?

Roberto Gonzalez used to live in the Rio Grande Valley but now resides in Sesena, about 25 miles south of Madrid. When he heard about the Rio Grande Guardian’s upcoming conference on the U.S.-Mexico War of 1846-48, he wanted to help publicize it. 

Here is his short video:

The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service is hosting “To Conquer, To Defend” because this year marks the 175th anniversary of a significant war in North American history.

“The U.S.-Mexico War of 1846-48 basically changed the destiny of both countries,” said Salomon Torres, director of event initiatives for the Rio Grande Guardian and co-founder of the conference.

“For the U.S. it gained the entire southwest as new territory, to finally solidify the geographical lines that the U.S. wanted for many decades. For Mexico it was tragic in that they lost one-third of their geography, including the northern Mexican provinces of Alta California (present-day California) and New Mexico, which itself later got partitioned into several U.S. states including Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and portions of Wyoming and Colorado.”

By the time the war started, the region Mexico called Tejas had been taken from the state of Coahuila-Tejas and turned into a fledging republic.

Torres said the disputed border region we now call the Rio Grande Valley played a key part in the U.S.-Mexico War.

“War began in May 1846 after a group of General Zachary Taylor’s troops were killed or taken prisoner by the Mexican cavalry at a site on Military Highway south of La Feria – about three miles from the house I grew up in,” Torres explained. “A cannon facing south on Military Highway now commemorates that incident.”

Here is a podcast Rio Grande Guardian audio editor Mario Munoz produced about the upcoming conference. In it, Munoz interviews Torres:

Editor’s Note: The To Conquer, To Defend conference takes place Thursday, Dec. 9 at the Port Isabel Event & Cultural Center. The conference can be attended either in-person or virtually. To learn more about the conference and how to purchase tickets, click here.


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Producing quality journalism is not cheap. The coronavirus has resulted in falling revenues across the newsrooms of the United States. However, The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service is committed to producing quality news reporting on the issues that matter to border residents. The support of our members is vital in ensuring our mission gets fulfilled. 

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