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By far the oldest continuing business in Socorro County, El Defensor Chieftain traces its history to the late 1860′s, when Socorro was a mining boomtown. At the town’s peak in the 1880′s, it was served by the Socorro Daily Chieftain; the proprietor, Dr. William Tell De Baun, also was the town’s mayor. But when the nation went off the gold standard, Socorro’s milling collapsed, people moved out, and despite railroad service and a new college founded in 1889 (New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology) the community struggled.


During many decades of the 20th Century, the Spanish-language El Defensor del Pueblo and English Socorro Chieftain co-existed under various owners. They had merged, however, by the early 1950′s.


Today, the weekly El Defensor Chieftain is, as it has been from the beginning, the primary source for community news and advertising in Socorro County.

Vice President/C.O.O. Rockford Hayes
Reporters Anthony Welch, Managing Editor
John Larson, Staff Writer
Eric Heinz, Staff Writer
Classified Advertising Julianna Vote
Olivia Gomez