Ben Lynch, the Anglo landowner introduced in “Presidio 1883,” typifies everything abusive and negative in the social system of the late nineteenth century along the Texas-Mexico border. He and others in the book are more types than fully developed characters. His motivation is greed; his ambition is acquisition of money, land, and power. He will stoop to any level to accomplish these goals. By marrying Rosario, he aims to ensure that the Mexican American population will be divided in their loyalties, because, in a perverted sort of way, he has become “family.” In like manner, he takes other Chicanos into his confidence in order to undermine their traditional allegiance to one another.
Francisco Uranga will not be a pawn for the powerful Anglo landowner. He is smart enough to realize that the Mexican American population is being exploited. His publication, a small newspaper called The Frontiersman, eventually becomes a strong voice of protest concerning the life of the Mexicans in the Southwest. Few details concerning Francisco’s daily life are provided, but his son Reyes inherits the seeds of rebellion.
Reyes Uranga is enraged when he realizes the extent to which Ben Lynch will go in his abuse. When he discovers that Lynch has ordered his brother drowned and his friends shot in cold blood, he resists in a manner different from his father, using a rifle instead of a pen. He becomes known as “Coyote” and organizes...
(The entire section is 475 words.)