arizona rangers gunfights mexico true west magazineWere any Arizona Rangers involved in gunfights in Mexico?

Jonathan Smith
Rodenberg, Germany

Ranger Jeff Kidder was when he took on some Mexican policemen—one that led to his death in April 1908. But at least some of the Rangers were commissioned by General Luis Torres, Commandant of the Northern District, to operate in Mexico.

There was a good working relationship with plenty of cooperation between Colonel Emilio Kosterlitzky, the commander of the Mexican customs forces, and the Rangers to deal with thieves and smugglers.

It’s possible gunfights with border outlaws were not made public. Historically, much of the law enforcement on both sides of the border was taken care of quietly and permanently: “Dead men tell no tales.” Many details will never be known.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian and vice president of the Wild West History Association. His latest book is Arizona Outlaws and Lawmen; The History Press, 2015. If you have a question, write: Ask the Marshall, P.O. Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327 or email him at

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