Balli family gathers to discuss Island settlement
By KEVIN GARCIA
The Brownsville Herald
December 11, 2005 — More than 200 years after a distant relative founded what would become South Padre Island, families that felt cheated by the loss of the land are one step closer to receiving reparations.
In July, a Texas Court of Appeals judge upheld a verdict from 2000 that awarded the descendents of Juan Jose Balli the mineral rights and royalties to Padre Island. Balli’s brother, Father Jose Nicolas Balli, is the “padre” for which the Island was named.
“This case is not about taking the Island back,” [Balli descendant Hector] Cardenas said, adding that many family members may not receive as much as they’d imagined. “Ultimately, what everyone receives depends on where you fall on the (family) tree.”
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