|La Legión de la Gente|
|Group type:||Communist Militia|
|Motto:||Viva la revolucion!|
|Location(s):||Texas-Mexico border region|
|Founded by:||Pancho Mendoza and Harland Ross|
|Goals:||Establishment of a communist utopia|
|Allies:||Any and all sympathetic to Marxism|
|Enemies:||La Ciudadela, Capitalists, Oppressors|
- "What is the goal of La Legión? The goal of La Legión is the liberation of the oppressed paisano laboring all day in the fields to put food on the plates of the bourgeoisie, not so that he can receive a fair wage, but so that he is not shot and so the capitalist oppressor can grow fat from the labor of the working man. La Legión believes that this injustice must be righted and recognizes as was true in the Old World, it will not be done so by channels of peace. La Legión de la Gente, is an army of the people, a call to arms for all native sons of Mexico to fight for their natural rights, and for a better future. From the ruins of the Old World, La Legión shall build a grander one on the tenants of equality, compassion, and justice."
- ―Excerpt from the manifesto of Pancho Mendoza.
FoundingThe People's Legion was founded in Hidalgo, Texas in 2269 when the town was under the comanchero junta of Benedicto Aguado. Founded by Pancho Mendoza, Harland Ross, and several other men in the basement of a card house. Dedicated to freeing Hidalgo, the legion recruited townsfolk and bought weaponry with the money from the cardhouse owned by Mendoza whose Marxist beliefs would keep the legion alive after Aguado was out of the way. The legion was built in the course of two months, numbering near two hundred men and women, all anxious to take back Hidalgo from criminal elements.
On November 6th, 2269 The Second Battle of Hidalgo occurred with the People's Legion fighting savagely like dogs in close combat against an army of comanchero banditos. After hours of conflict, Harland Ross fought Benedicto Aguado in a fair gunfight and shot the King of the Comancheros down, freeing Hidalgo from Aguado's grasp. After the battle, Harland Ross became a hero and sheriff of Hidalgo as most of the legionnaires left the legion to return to normal lives. However the charismatic Mendoza with his strong held Marxist beliefs managed to convert thirty of the legionnaires to continue the People's Legion with a new cause, forming the communist utopia dreamed of by Marx and Engels and attempted by Lenin, Stalin, and Mao.
Their first attempt at forming this utopia was in the town they had just liberated, Mendoza approached Harland Ross who was the new sheriff and de facto leader of Hidalgo. Mendoza charismatically pitched his idea of Ross merging his deputies with the legion and installing himself as dictator. Ross however refused to install his friend in the same position that Comanchero King, Benedicto Aguado had been in. Ross also was focused on restarting Hidalgo's future and reshaping the town's image to open it up to trade and had no desire to try a socio-political experiment based on a philosophy which had never worked successfully and always resulted in a tyrannical government.
After being turned down in Hidalgo, Mendoza led around thirty of his men southeast into Mexico. They traveled on both sides of the border for around nine months as they went from village to village and settlement to settlement, mostly small hamlets and trading posts like Casa Roja, Thompson's Crossing, and Rose Rock. In each town Mendoza would give long-winded speeches on the tenants of Marxism and perfect communism, promising liberty, freedom, prosperity, and peace in his communist utopia to any man or woman who would take a gun and join the cause. Many joined his cause believing that the communism that Mendoza preached about in such elegant language was the answer to escape the endless insecurity and hardship that wasteland life gave them, others joined because of his charisma, in addition to several scores of men a good number of young women joined Mendoza for his charming charisma, rugged handsome looks, and his flirtatious behavior with many of them.La Ciudadela. La Ciudadela, or The Citadel in English was a luxurious palace of a vault with a newly installed ruler, Rey Cristobol. The vault's amenities could support easily several thousand, however close to half of the space was used for recreational facilities and other non essential facilities. Outside the bunker's nobles and their rey, paisano serfs labored hard in the fields in extreme poverty with rights hardly better than that of a slave in exchange for protection. To Mendoza this was the perfect petri dish to grow a communist utopia out of. It had what was needed for prosperous equal living under a communist system and had an oppressed proletariat that he could "liberate" from serfdom. He turned the legion south back into Mexico, war on his mind.
La Guerra de La Ciudadela
On October the first, 2270, Pancho Mendoza sent a messenger bearing a pre-War Mexican flag, a common symbol of parley on the border. He was given access to Rey Cristobol's court where he read a declaration of war against Rey Cristobol and his "oppressive feudal capitalist bourgeoisie state". The declaration, full of Marxist rhetoric called Rey Cristobol's reign illegitimate and firmly declared that Comrade Pancho Mendoza of the People's Legion would fight to the death to free the vault up to the paisanos of the shanty town.
While Rey Cristobol was a young and inexperienced monarch, his top military officer, Duquel Francisco Carlitos Montoya was very experienced in combat and strategy and had the outpost of Casa Roja fortified and reinforced with a garrison of sixty-five men. Mendoza realized that he was outgunned, Casa Roja was a fortress and taking the actual Citadel or even the shanty town was impossible with the men he had and their equipment. While he outnumbered the garrison at Casa Roja, few of his legionairres had any military-grade equipment, most of them only having hunting weaponry and civilian market handguns and some had only machetes. Realizing conventional war would result in a very quick slaughter, Mendoza adopted a guerilla strategy.
The war waged by the legion proved very slow, Mendoza hoped for years that he would soon incite a communist revolution among the paisanos, however they proved disinterested in rebelling for unknown reasons. Due to lack of supplies, the fighting decreased in the wintertime as the legionnaires retreated into the hills around Cresta Confederada. Many legionnaires did not return to the hills and rather went their own way to scavenge for the winter, others simply joined for the winter for the supplies and then deserted. However throughout the winter the radio broadcasts and the small stations the legion had established in The Corpse and in Hidalgo brought more recruits for the spring and summer campaigns. These campaigns consisted of raids on any and all merchant caravans financed by Citadel nobility, brahmin herds headed for La Ciudadela, supply shipments and patrols. They claimed over two hundred and fifty lives by 2279 and had cost the nobility a fortune.Hector Medina. A man of values, faith, and strength who was firmly committed to the cause. Medina joined up in the beginning in 2270 and for years was Mendoza's top guerilla warrior. With the departure of Ashley Goddard, he became Mendoza's top lieutenant and after he led legion soldiers and militia to victory at Pocas Plantas in 2278 in what was then the war's bloodiest battle, he became the greatest worry of Rey Cristobol and La Guardia del Rey. His brand of guerilla warfare proved the backbone of the bandito campaigns against La Ciudadela.
The next two years proved to be the most violent, realizing that he was becoming almost ridiculed for fighting such a low-scale brushfire war for nearly a decade, Mendoza stepped things up a notch. Caravan raids intensified as he got more daring in his attacks, raiding during the winter of 2280 and ceasing hit and run raids on patrols for full scale ambushes on them, killing every member. The spring campaign of 2281 was the point where the legion really stepped up from being little more than politically motivated highwaymen to a fighting force.
Realizing that the coffers of the nobility had been severely crippled and that each year more people were not returning in the spring and fewer were joining, Mendoza made his move. Casa Roja, the pre-War villa that served as an outpost and the border of kingdom territory became his target. He sent half his forces to capture the villa while he led the other half through the countryside and backwoods trails near La Ciudadela. The Battle of Casa Roja claimed seventy lives, sixty soldiers and ten legionnaires and put the outpost under communist control. The news caused panic among the nobles and resulted in Rey Cristobol sending one hundred men to reclaim the outpost. When the men reached Casa Roja, the villa had been looted and the legionnaires were gone, however outside of La Ciudadela, Mendoza was leading his men to raze the wheat and corn fields the paisanos worked in that supplied the serfs and their masters with food.
It was the third of May that nearly half of the fields were burned just before the harvest, resulting in starvation but no massive paisano riot like Mendoza hoped. Realizing that his plan was foiled, he retreated back through the countryside the way he came while Rey Cristobol sent ninety of his hundred man attack force back to La Ciudadela on the old pre-War highway road. Mendoza's men went right past the soldiers just two miles off the main road and decided to take Casa Roja which was now guarded by just ten men. The "Ride Around Cristobol" as it was called humiliated the rey who lost his chance to end the eleven year brushfire war. Soon Casa Roja was the stronghold of the legion with all of Mendoza's men stationed there as tensions heated up. Cristobol's city became reliant on brahmin drives from Texas in the wake of the field razings and his coffers were draining due to lost caravans and the cost of importing beef, making his army hard to maintain at maximum strength. However The People's Legion finds itself in a position where it lacks the food and supplies to keep its garrison at Casa Roja when the winter sets in. As of October, 2281 the People's Legion have successfully overthrown the tyranny of La Ciudadela, however their victory came at a cost. Hector Medina and Ryan Quaker were killed in the fighting along with a number of the Legion's troops.
In the end the Legion successfully toppled the monarchy that ruled La Ciudadela and opened up the riches of the Citadel to the poor paisanos, the Legion also came to control a massive area of land, stretching from Cresta Confederada to Casa Roja to Pocas Plantas down to the Citadel itself, the capital of the República Popular Mexicana. Yet the task of keeping order and the law in their massive new socialist republic has proven to be difficult for the strained numbers of the People's Legion and without the leadership of the Legion's top two lieutenants. However, Mendoza and his new republic are surviving and look to become a force in Tamaulipas once they can get all their eternal issues in line.
The People's Legion is considered by most brahmin ranchers, caravan companies, and travelers to be a politically motivated group of highwaymen for a reason. For the past eleven years all merchants thought to be affiliated with the Reino de Mexico whether they be financed by them or taking goods to them have been subject to robbery and in some cases murder. The strip between Casa Roja and the Rio Grande is the worst area, this countryside has been swarming with legionnaires for eleven years, who will normally let nonkingdom merchants through without trouble, although they have collected "tolls" from them in the past. Normally these hold-ups are quick and harmless, however a frightening hassle. Brahmin drives are also subject to legion harassment, this normally works by legionnaire operatives approaching trail bosses when the herds are bedded down for the night and demanding a toll, or if the drive is headed for La Ciudadela, they will use dynamite to stampede the beeves off.When not involved in raiding and roving the countryside, legionnaires often travel from town to town looking for recruits and spreading their Marxist propaganda. The most popular way to do this is via radio, although marching into towns to recruit is just as common. During the winter months, legionnaires retreat to Cresta Confederada, a hideout buried in the red rock hills near the Rio Grande where their broadcast station is located. From this camp they scavenge for food to feed the rest of the legion through the winter and pass time with traditional dancing, singing, guitar playing, card-playing, shooting competitions, and since the legion accepts both men and women, legionnaires of opposite genders normally find ways to pass the time and stay warm together in the cold winter months...
StrengthThe strength of The People's Legion varies year to year as does the prowess of its legionnaires. The vast majority of legionnaires are no more than common militia, seeking their communist utopia armored with scraps of leather or civilian clothing and packing civilian weaponry. However while many of these militia are lightly equipped, many have stuck with the legion since the war started and some fought in the original legion at Hidalgo. Other members of the legion are more elite warriors, some are mercenaries from Texas hoping to get some plunder from The Citadel, some are dangerous fugitives wanted by Rey Cristobol's government hoping that overthrowing him will land them a pardon, and some are comancheros who joined the legion just to pillage Reino friendly caravans. The legion's officers are chosen by Pancho Mendoza and his subordinates and command groups of seven to fifteen. The legion has no special operatives or forces and the closest thing it has to any special forces is the personal guard unit of Pancho Mendoza.
The People's Legion currently maintains four permanent garrisons, one is Cresta Confederada which is a camp located in the red hills near the Rio Grande which have normally served as a winter hideout for the legion which is impossible to track among the red rock hills and has many hiding places in the caves. The second is the main garrison the legion, Casa Roja which is an outpost about eleven miles north of La Ciudadela where Mendoza and the supermajority of his force is garrisoned. The other two garrisons are small, one is in The Corpse and maintains five men and the other has five men in Hidalgo, these two garrisons occupy small buildings and serve as recruiting stations for the legion.
All in all the legion has around two hundred men, one hundred and seventy-five of which are based around Casa Roja. Their armaments have improved in recent years after scavenging and capturing weapons from Rey Cristobol's men and most of them possess at least a military grade handgun. In addition, the legion has a captured 40mm cannon, several .30 caliber machine guns, and a handful of rocket propelled grenade launchers.
In addition to the legion's main force, Mendoza maintains several auxiliary units that are not a technical part of the legion yet fly its banner and fight for it. These are normally small mercenary groups and comprise about fifty men, normally in five or ten men squads. However some are more than mere mercenaries, the most prominent of these auxiliary units are Los Hermanos de Sangre, who in late 2280 managed to find Cresta Confederada and meet with Pancho Mendoza. Mendoza brought these fellow communist freedom fighters under his banner and while he didn't fully incorporate them into the legion, he made them the closest thing he has to a special forces unit, granting Juan Pepe rights as a senior officer and all of Pepe's hermanos rights as legionnaires. This unit was instrumental when it led the assault on Casa Roja before the Ride Around Cristobol and also donated much needed heavy weaponry to the legion's cause.