José Tomás Canales

José Tomás Canales (March 7, 1877 – March 30, 1976) was an American businessman, lawyer, and politician based in Texas. He served five terms in the State House, where he was the only Hispanic representative at the time. He is best known for his work on behalf of Mexican-Americans and Tejanos in Texas, defending civil rights of Hispanic and other minorities.

As a state representative, in 1919 he led a state investigation into the Texas Rangers, who had been accused of crimes and abuses in the Rio Grande Valley, and along with the US 8th Cavalry, were involved in the Porvenir Massacre in deep west Texas on the west side of the Sierra Vieja, north of Candelaria and Ruidosa. The committee heard testimony from 83 witnesses, who revealed extensive abuses by the Rangers of minorities and other poor citizens. After his service in the State House, Canales continued his work as civil rights activist through several Hispanic and Latin American organizations. Provided by Wikipedia
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