Expedition through Aztlan

by David Sanchez
Founder and former Prime Minister of the Brown Berets
Published in 1978 



David Sanchez founded the Brown Berets in December, 1967 and Sanchez became the ‘Prime Minister.’ 

The Brown Berets claimed their agenda was to fight police harassment, inadequate public schools, inadequate health care, inadequate job opportunities, minority education issues with 50% drop out rate, the lack of political representation, and the Vietnam War. 

While some of these claims had some truth to them, this was merely a smokescreen for a sinister agenda: The real purpose of the Brown Beret and similar organizations is to dominate ‘Anglos’ or else drive Anglos out of Aztlan and make these states essentially Mexican run states. 

A review of Expedition through Aztlan by Sanchez proves that he is an ethnic supremacist - a racist. This is a book of propaganda with many factual errors.

In a letter he wrote to the LA times on behalf of the Chicano Movement in January, 1971. Sanchez condemns Anglo America for virtually everything - pass and present.(page 15-17)

In it he blames the current conflict between the police and Mexican Americans on the United States for taking the southwest US from Mexico after they were defeated in the Mexican American War of 1846-48. He condemns the United States for the deportation of Mexicans during the depression in the early 1930s. He condemns police for not protecting Mexicans during the ‘Zoot Suit’ riots of 1943. He blames the Catholic Church for the high drop out rate of Chicanos from school. He claims the high Chicano death rate in Vietnam on overrepresentation in the US military. He claims Chicanos live in a totalitarian-like atmosphere in Los Angeles. Sanchez blames most ALL the problems Chicanos have on Anglo America. 


All these claims by Sanchez are false. Sanchez is typical of all demagogues. They claim terrible conditions and distort history in order to stoke anger and hate - and keep himself in charge.

Expedition through Aztlan is Sanchez account of ‘The March to Reconquer’ Aztlan which started on May 5, 1971.

Quotes from this book are in RED. 


Factual errors in Expedition through Aztlan

The Forward is by Armando Morales, Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles, who died in 2008. His knowledge of history was as inaccurate and fraudulent as Sanchez.’

P-VII: Morales: “In Aztec language, Aztlan literally means the “white land.” Aztlan refers to the northwest provinces of the “Aztec empire which we know today as the southwestern part of the United States.

CORRECTIONS: NOT true. The Aztec empire was centered around modern day Mexico City in central Mexico. The Aztec empire was nowhere close to the Southwest US - as the map to the rights shows. It was the Spanish who destroyed the capital city of the Aztecs and built Mexico City on the ruins.




p-VII: “Under the inspiring, brave, and tenacious leadership of Prime Minister David Sanchez, they encountered numerous hazards during their journey” . . .”They experienced attacks and harassment by law enforcement officials, Anglo citizen cowboy ‘red necks,’ and even ‘establishment’ Mexican Americans.”

CORRECTIONS: About three dozen people lead by a ‘Prime Minister,’ wearing brown beret uniforms marching under a Mexican flag demanding the southwest be turned over to Mexico and renamed Aztlan. I don’t know why any Americans would be offended by this. 




p-4: “The next demonstration occurred on August 29, 1970. Twenty thousand or more people rallied at Laguna Park in east Los Angeles. It was a hot day and many people went to a nearby liquor store to get refreshments. It was crowded at the liquor store and the storekeeper, fearing theft, called the police.”

CORRECTIONS: There WAS theft going on at the store. After the police arrived, rioting erupted that caused $1 million in damages to nearby businesses. Pictures of the rally below:

Mexican flag at rally.
Brown Berets march in the parade.
One of many Mexican flags at the rally.

p-16: In Schanez’s letter to the LA times he claims “another police government body - the US Army - forcibly took the land away from the Mexicans in this area.”

CORRECTIONS: Sanchez is referring to the Mexican American War of 1846-8 where Mexico lost the land that became the southwest US. There is considerable opinion in the US and nearly universal opinion in Mexico that the Mexican American War was a war of aggression against Mexico to steal this land. This is NOT true!

The Mexican American War was actually a continuation of the Texas War for Independence fought 10 years earlier. The facts conclusively prove that Mexico’s leader, General Santa Anna, provoked the Texas rebellion in 1835. 

In May, 1833, Santa Anna was appointed President of Mexico, but became increasingly dictatorial. He abolished all state legislatures and centralized all power in Mexico City in 1835. This centralization of power by Santa Anna provoked rebellion in Mexico. The Mexican states of Texas, Coahuila and Zacatecas revolted. On May 11, 1835 Santa Anna’s Army crushed the revolt in Zacatecas. He then rewarded his victorious soldiers by allowing them two days of rape and pillage, during which more than 2,000 noncombatants were killed.

Later that year, Santa Anna began forming an Army to crush the Texas rebellion. After a string of victories, on April 21, 1836, the Texan Army of 750 men under Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at San Jacinto River. Over 700 Mexicans were killed and 730 captured. The arrogant Santa Anna, who boasted he was the “Napoleon of the West” fled, disguised as a common soldier, but was captured the next day.

On May 14, 1836, Santa Anna, the head of Mexico’s government, signed the Treaties of Velasco which ended the war and made Texas an independent country. The Rio Grande River became the border between Texas and Mexico. But this did not end hostilities as Mexico vowed perpetual war on Texas until they reconquered the land. Mexico then claimed the true border was the Neuces River, about 125 miles north - but wouldn’t negotiate over the issue. Mexico was NEVER going to resolve the border impasse as that would be an admission that Texas was separate from Mexico.

Some claim the Texas revolution occurred because of agitation by Anglo settlers. This is not true and conveniently ignores the fact that many states in Mexico rebelled against the central government in Mexico City throughout the 1800s and these states had few if any Americans - and Texas was NOT the first state to win its independence from Mexico. 


Because of the dysfunctional state of Mexican politics - and only 2 years after Mexico won their independence from Spain - five states in Central America declared themselves independent from Mexico - Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. Central Americans chafed at Mexican rule, and there were several battles with Mexican forces. On July 1, 1823, the United Provinces of Central America was formally established in Guatemala City. Constant infighting and wars resulted in the Union falling apart in 1838. The five states became independent nations without any interference from Mexico or threats of perpetual war. WHY?? Is it because they are fellow Spanish, whereas Texas came under control of Anglo Americans? Are Mexicans racist? 

The cause of the Mexican American War 10 years later was Mexico’s refusal to honor the peace agreement with Texas after being defeated in the 1835-36 war.  Mexico vowed never ending war on Texas until they reconquered the land. When Texas voted to join the US in 1845 for their own protection. Mexico declared - repeatedly - that war with the United States was inevitable. The US attempted to resolve the differences through negotiations, but Mexico refused to cooperate. The reason was clear. Mexican pride could not accept the fact that a bunch of outnumbered farmers, ranchers, businessmen and adventurous young men from the U.S. had defeated the Army of Mexico. But this colossal stain on Mexican pride could be fixed if Mexico reconquered Texas.

Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica used to belong to Mexico.
Additional info: http://americanaction.us/index.php/american-history/deportation-of-illegals-during-the-depression/

P-16: “Denying the Mexican American population in Los Angeles protection from rioting vigilante servicemen during the 1943 “Zoot Suit” riots, raised further doubts in Mexican Americans as to who it actually was that the police were there to “protect and serve.” Labelling the riots “Zoot Suit” only served to reveal the racist motivations of the press by applying an historically permanent label that implied “the Mexicans did it,” thereby simultaneously protecting the servicemen from public ridicule.”


CORRECTIONS: EVERYTHING that Sanchez wrote above is totally FALSE. 

The Zoot Suit Riots were a series of escalating street fights from June 3–8, 1943 in Los Angeles, California, between American servicemen and Mexican-American youths. The violence started after a year of harrassment and increasingly violent attacks on US servicemen by Mexican Americans. There were four factors that lead up to the violence. 

The first factor was competition over women. Thousands of servicemen were arriving In Los Angeles to be shipped to the Pacific theater and these servicemen crowded into local dance halls and night clubs to pick up women - often Mexican American women. This created tensions with Mexican American young men. Some Mexicans would start fist-fights with sailors who tried to flirt with Mexican girls.

Second, Zoot suits had become popular in the early 1940s among many Mexican Americans in Los Angeles - a flamboyant long jacket with balloon-leg pants, cuffed at the bottom. During World War Two, rationing of fabric was required for the war effort. Regulations prohibited the manufacturing of zoot suits because they used an excessive amount of material, but a network of bootleg tailors continued to manufacture them. This created instant animosity with Mexican American youths wearing the zoot suits. They were seen as un-American because they were deliberately violating the rationing regulations. That the "zoot suiters" were not in the military caused further resentment.

The third factor was the Sleepy Lagoon murder. In the summer of 1942, the city was becoming increasingly concerned with youth violence among Mexican Americans. When José Díaz was discovered unconscious and dying on a road near a swimming hole (known as the Sleepy Lagoon) in Commerce, California, on the morning of August 2, 1942, these fears were confirmed. Seventeen Mexican youths were tried for murder. With thousands of Mexicans moving into the area for the Bracero program(1), this murder heightened fears that gang violence was increasing.

Zoot suit.