La Raza Unida Party (LRUP)

2011-02-22 08:44:06

The La Raza Unida Party (LRUP) was the first attempt to create a national political party to represent the rights of Mexican Americans. South Texas leaders had formed La Raza Unida in 1970 in order to elect Mexican Americans to local school boards and councils. The greatest successes came in Crystal City, Texas, where LRUP gained control of the city council and school board, enabling it to hire more Mexican-American employees, institute bilingual educational programs, and add Mexican-American history to the curriculum. Organizers spread throughout the Southwest to establish branches. By 1972, other activist organizations began to join the effort. At the 1972 El Paso convention of the Crusade for Justice, Chicano leader Corky Gonzales called for creation of a national party. Students, journalists, and activists from many groups, including Reies Lopez Tijerina’s Alianza Federal de Mercedes, attended the convention, which led to the establishment of the national LRUP. The party received 215,000 votes (almost 7 percent) in the 1972 state election, but it received little support elsewhere.
See also Mexican immigration.