Land heirs go to Zapata, await judge's decision
Protestors flood the entrance of the Zapata County court this afternoon demanding justice.
The protestors came from all over the country, and the globe, to await the ruling on whether or not they will be recognized as heirs to a large sum of money from mineral rights, withheld by the state.
The hundreds who packed the entrance to the Zapata County Court House this afternoon say they are ready to be noticed:
"We are the unknown heirs? We are not unknown. There are a thousand of us here today."
And with their voices they told the nation who they are.
"Let the state of Texas and the nation know we, everybody here, are Texas. Our ancestors came and settled and started this great state."
Not too long ago the descendants of Spanish land grant owners nearly got the ruling they are looking for, but the judge at the time was advised by Judge Shannon to vacate the decision.
Today Attorney Eileen Fowler addressed a third judge, Judge Peeples.
"We got our point across that all the actions taken by Judge Shannon were unlawful and we pointed out everything we could to him and I think it went well."
At stake for the descendants is a large sum of money collected as a result of mineral rights.
Fowler has spent over a decade working on the case.
"I've spent 15 years of my life trying to figure out how to get them the money that everybody knows is theirs; it’s there and there's a billion dollars there maybe. We aren't sure how much."
"It's the land, it’s the mineral rights, but really it's justice. It would be a travesty of justice if we had to go to the Supreme Court."
To avoid the crowds, Judge Peeples will submit his decision to Fowler via email Wednesday morning.
No matter the ruling, Fowler and company are seeking state legislation to compensate these families.
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