Basilio Ramos’ family lives in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico.
Who exactly was Basilio Ramos, Jr.? He is the the name most commonly associated with the Plan of San Diego but in truth he had little known connection with the Plan’s implementation after his capture in January 1915.
The Ramos clan fled to the New World during the Franco-Spanish War and then emigrated to Texas when the new Mexican government was trying to deport Peninsulares. After south Texas was ceded to the United States, they crossed the river and were among the founding families of Nuevo Laredo
There is some evidence that Basilio Ramos was secretary to the governor of Tamaulipas in 1913 and about the same time he also served as secretary of the customs house in Nuevo Laredo. These positions are indeed very plausible since his political pedigree included a father and grandfather who served as presidente municipal of Nuevo Laredo.
In fact the Customs House in Nuevo Laredo was established by Juan Ramos Trevino, Basilio’s grandfather, who served as presidente municipal in 1854, 1855 and 1875. Customs revenues provided much-needed resources for the growing population of the newly founded city. Ramos Trevino also promoted public education.
Basilio Jr.’s father, Basilio Ramos, Sr., served as presidente municipal in 1861, 1862, and 1870. Using newly adopted free zone legislation, Ramos Sr. attracted American companies to town giving it a financial shot in the arm. A little known, but revealing fact, is that Basilio Ramos Sr. fought with the Union Army during the American Civil War. His service record indicates he served with the 2nd Regiment, Texas Cavalry, reaching the rank of corporal.
Basilio Ramos Jr. was born on November 14, 1888 to Basilio Ramos and Refugia Garcia. That would make him 26-years-old at the time of his capture in McAllen in January 1915. His son, Basilio Ramos III, said that his father wanted to study law but was unable to go to the university because of the chaos of the Mexican Revolution. He remained an “abogado sin papeles” for the rest of his life. His son and grandson, both named Basilio, are both practicing attorneys in Nuevo Laredo
His son adds that Basilio Ramos Jr. was driven by a desire to help people collect the documents they needed to reclaim lost lands in Texas. It was this reason that probably led him to San Diego and ultimately to join the organizers of the Plan de San Diego movement.
After his capture, little is written about Basilio Ramos Jr. The judge presiding over his bail hearing in May 1915 reportedly said that Ramos needed “treatment for the brain.”(San Antonio Express, August, 17, 1915, p. 2) After posting bond, Ramos was never seen or heard from again in relation to the Plan. There is one mention in the Matamoros municipal archives that he was still around the area and meeting with General Nefarrate in Matamoros, along with Luis de la Rosa and Aniceto Pizana.
The judge’s comment that Basilio Ramos was some kind of lunatic irks the Ramos family. That, and the numerous references made in the literature to him as a “bandit”. They see their father and grandfather as someone whose mission in life was engaged in the defense of people’s property rights.
After the troubles emanating from the Plan de San Diego, Basilio Ramos returned to Nuevo Laredo and in 1927 married Genoveva Garza of Laredo, Texas and settled down to raise a family.