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Special Collections & University Archives: Pharr Riot (1971)

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Pharr Riot (1971) Research Guide

Pharr Riots Research Guide, prepared by Manny Rodriguez

Summary & Background


This research guide provides insight into the Pharr Riot that occurred on February 06, 1971. Researchers can access pertinent information from our Alfonso Flores Collection, RGV Oral Histories, LRGV Collection, UTRGV Digital Exhibits - RGV Primary Source Guides, and Reference Files Collection.


On Saturday, February 06, 1971, people were protesting discrimination involving the Pharr Police Department. The peaceful protest escalated into rock throwing outside of the police department. Thirty one adults were charged with misdemeanor offenses of disorderly conduct. Amongst the chaos, a non-protesting individual, Alonso Loredo Flores, was shot in the head and passed away on February 07, 1971.

Materials & Resources from Our Collections

Alfonso Flores Collection

This digital collection consists of two photographs, an oral history with Lidia Flores, widow of Alfonso Loredo Flores, and legal documents pertaining to the murder of Alfonso Loredo Flores, a 20-year-old bystander and a victim of the 1971 Pharr Riots. Flores was stepping out of Ramos' Hair Styling Center located on the corner of Bell Ave. and Cage Blvd. when he was allegedly shot in the head by Deputy Sheriff Robert C. Johnson.

Robert C. Johnson's indictment and arrest took place on March 11, 1971 and was charged with the the count of negligent homicide in second degree and negligent homicide in first degree. He pleaded not guilty. Texas vs. Robert C. Johnson, (CR-8032) trial began on January, 1973 and ended on February 8, 1973 with the jury declaring him not guilty.

Collection may contain restricted materials.

RGV Oral Histories

Oral histories from the UTRGV Special Collections related to the history of the Rio Grande Valley and northern Mexico.

UTRGV Digital Exhibits - RGV Primary Source Guides 

Each RGV Primary Source Guide provides lesson plans and local primary sources focused on history of the Rio Grande Valley. These are designed to meet the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) aimed at local history at the 4th and 7th grade levels. Each lesson plan outlines the TEKS addressed along with the appropriate lessons on these topics.

Reference Files

Texas History - Hidalgo County, Pharr. Files contain information concerning the history and general information about Texas and the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV), includes four folders related to the Pharr Riots.

External Resources

Research Compiled by Manny Rodriguez

Manny Rodriguez is a Library Associate with UTRGV Special Collections & Archives. He joined the University Library in 2015 as a student worker and later as a full-time member of the team. Manny earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology & History from UTRGV (2016) and a Master of Library Science from Texas Woman’s University (2023).


The research guides compiled by UTRGV staff and students are intended to assist patrons who are embarking upon new research endeavors. Our goal is to expand their knowledge of the types of resources available on a given topic, including books, archival materials, and websites. In so doing, our compilers have taken care to include collections, digital items, and resources that may be accessed not only through UTRGV but also via other institutions, repositories, and websites.

We wholeheartedly respect the research interests of others. Therefore, please contact us if you wish to submit a resource for consideration, or if you have a question about or an issue with a specific cited resource.

Databases for Primary & Secondary Sources: Mexican American Civil Rights

Omeka Digital Exhibit: Mapping LRGV Civil Rights

UTRGV Digital Exhibit: Mapping LRGV Civil Rights

Mapping Civil Rights: Lower Rio Grande Valley website

Quick Links

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Submit an Online Research Request Form

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