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Reies Lopez Tijerina subject of Spanish-language film

SANTA FE, N.M. — Reies Lopez Tijerina, a Pentecostal preacher turned activist who led a violent raid of a northern New Mexico courthouse more than 50 years ago, is the subject of a new documentary.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports Mexican director Angel Estrada Soto’s Spanish-language film, “They Called Me King Tiger,” will be shown in New Mexico for the first time Friday.

Estrada Soto said he became fascinated by the way Tijerina described the divine inspiration for his activism.

He interviewed associates to find out how the Texas-born Tijerina rose from poverty to become a key figure in the Chicano Movement.

In 1967, Tijerina and followers raided the courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, New Mexico, to attempt a citizen’s arrest of the district attorney. The group shot and wounded a state police officer and jailer.