Alfredo E. Cárdenas

Cronista Tejano

Alfredo E. Cárdenas is a journalist, writer, editor, publisher, and author. He was born, raised, and educated in San Diego, Texas, and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and a Master of Arts in History from Texas State University.

He served as director of community and economic development for Duval County before founding and publishing the Duval County Picture, a weekly newspaper in San Diego. He also served as mayor of the City of San Diego for two terms, from 1992-1999. After serving as the editor of the South Texas Catholic, a magazine for the Diocese of Corpus Christi for seven years, he retired to dedicate his time to freelance writing.

In 2015, Cárdenas penned Balo’s War, A Novel About the Plan of San Diego, which tells the story of the 1915 Tejano uprising in South Texas, which changed the history of the area. Presently, a noted scholarly press is reviewing his manuscript entitled Duval County, the Nineteenth Century History of a Tejano Community.

Cárdenas has written book reviews for the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, the Journal of South Texas, and Catholic Southwest, A Journal of History and Culture. He has also authored historical articles for the Journal of South Texas and The Handbook of Texas. He publishes a popular blog, Soy de Duval, dealing with the history of Duval County, Texas.

Cárdenas has extensive knowledge of the history of South Texas and is available for speaking engagements. He can tailor talks to your group’s needs. To see if he is available email him at

Balo's War

This books employs a variety of characters, real and imagined, to tell the story of a people who went from being Spaniard to Mexican to American in a short span of 30 years. They struggled to hold on to their land, their language, their culture, and their history—against insurmountable odds. At times this struggle resorted to violence. This is a historical novel depicting the “Plan of San Diego, Texas,” one of those times when the strifeclaimed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent lives.