Juan Cortina - Hero or villain?

Was Juan Cortina a hero or a villain?  It depends on what side of the fence, one is on, or in this case what side of the Rio Grande River.  

To the Anglos on the east side of the river, he was “the number one Mexican border bandit of all time . . . an  extraordinary character,  a virile man with a sinister countenance . . .  unhampered by conscience.”  

On the west side of the river, Cortina was said to have the “courage to stand against tyranny and oppression and is entitled to a great  deal of admiration.”

His popularity was particularly strong among the poorer Mexicans on both sides of the river.  



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