Cuatro Muertos

Some stories stay with you, for me, this one is one of those. His name was Alejo Garza Tames , Don Alejo por respeto, he was a rancher and a hunter from Tamaulipas, Mexico. He was also 77 years old when members of the Los Zetas cartel demanded Alejo hand over his ranch property on the 13th of November 2010, giving him 24 hours to comply. Don Alejo refused to hand the property over. He rounded up the farmworkers and ordered them to take the next day off. Don Alejo then placed weapons by his doors and windows, utilizing his large collection of hunting and sporting weapons.

The following morning the cartel vehicles entered the ranch and were placed by the entrance to Don Alejo’s house. The assassins fired a warning shot into the air and proclaimed that they would forcefully seize the ranch. Garza Tamez responded with gunfire, and thus the armed gang responded by opening fire on the house, using rifles and grenades. Despite the numerical superiority of the cartel members, they were unable to take the ranch and fled before the arrival of Mexican Marines. Don Alejo took cover in the farmhouse, killing four of the attackers while wounding two others. The multiple grenades used by the sicarios probably decided the fight.

The next morning Mexican Navy units entered the property to find a deserted house partially destroyed by bullet holes and grenade explosions. They found six abandoned bodies on the outside of the farm, four dead and two unconscious. Inside the house they found only the body of Don Alejo Garza Tamez sustaining 2 bullet wounds, one in the chest and the other in the head plus multiple shrapnel wounds.

Upon inspection of the ranch house, it was revealed that guns and shell casings were found in all the windows and doors. It was understood that Don Alejo had designed his strategy to fight alone, placing weapons on all doors and windows. For some this will be just another violent story from an often violent place, for me is a clear example of what a real man is. I will always admire Don Alejo, who chose to live and die on his own terms. This tribute knife I made is dedicated to his memory and his last hunt. It’s called “Cuatro Muertos”.