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The Gates of El Presidio

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Hold it right there, outlaw!
This article is littered with spoilers, so I reckon you might ought'a mosey on down the road if you don't want to read any plot details.

Come on, you're not going to shoot your own brother, are you? We was family.

Javier Escuella

Yeah, we were.

John Marston

The Gates of El Presidio is the fortieth mission in Red Dead Redemption.

To view the mission tree, see:

Main article: Missions in Redemption/Tree


Upon arriving at Agave Viejo, the player sees a scene of sexual nature — another nail in the coffin of the purported nobility of Abraham Reyes. After throwing his woman away and a brief discussion on the nature of marriage and class, Reyes informs John Marston that he has discovered that Javier Escuella is hiding within the Mexican Army at El Presidio. He invites Marston to join him as Reyes' Rebels attack El Presidio, to kill or capture Escuella, and take over El Presidio.


Mission Prerequisites

Before this mission becomes available, the player must complete:

Mission Objectives

To complete this mission, the player must:

  • Accompany Abraham Reyes to El Presidio.
  • Drive the wagon filled with dynamite into the fort's gates.
  • Find where Javier Escuella is hiding in the barracks.
  • Chase down Escuella and kill or capture him.
  • Bring Escuella to the fort's jail, if captured.
  • Use the Cannon to fight off reinforcements.
  • Turn Escuella over to Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham, if captured.

Mission Details

After the cinematic, get in the cart next to Reyes, and either skip to destination or wait it out. The cart will come to a halt not too far from El Presidio, and Reyes will light the fuse on the TNT in the back of your cart, telling you to hurry up and enter El Presidio. You are going to ram the cart into the front gates, but you'll have to jump out some time before it hits to avoid being killed. Marston needs to make sure the horses are running at full speed before he jumps out. Keep in mind that if he jumps out too soon, the cart will not make it to the gates and therefore will not explode.

Once the doors are open, the rebels will take out the guards coming out and enter El Presidio. There are three buildings in which you'll have to search for Javier, but he's in the barracks on the left. Once you enter El Presidio, go left up the stairs, and he's in the building straight ahead. Take out any guards, but don't think you can kill them all, as there will be constant reinforcements. Go up the stairs inside the barracks, and you'll find him there.

In exchange for his life/freedom, Javier will tell Marston that he can give him both Dutch and Bill and take him right to them. But instead, he pushes a crate onto Marston before he tries to escape. He'll jump out the window and run to his horse before trying to outride John. Follow him and either hogtie or shoot him.

After Marston takes care of Escuella, army reinforcements will begin to arrive. Run to your marker, where you'll mount a cannon. Simply point and shoot. The aim is slightly off, so it might require multiple shots, but aiming at the middle usually works. There are two horse patrols and two carts to take care of. After doing so, go down to pick up Escuella. As Marston is carrying Escuella, Reyes makes a joke about old friends reuniting being a beautiful thing.

Marston meets up with the Edgar Ross and Archer Fordham, the two government agents that first sent him on this mission. Marston gives Escuella to the agents (Fordham will tell him off if Escuella is dead), who tell him to get Bill Williamson and then travel to Blackwater, because they believe Dutch is in the area.

Mission Dialogues

Main article: The Gates of El Presidio/dialogues

Mission Failure

The mission will fail if the player:

  • Destroys the wagon.
  • Assaults, kills or abandons Reyes.
  • Assaults or kills any rebel.
  • Kills any rebel's horse or the ones pulling the wagon.
  • Jumps off the explosive wagon too early, or stays on too long.
  • Allows Escuella to escape.
  • Allows reinforcements to enter El Presidio.
  • Runs too far outside El Presidio.
  • Dies.


New Game Elements Introduced

Mission Complete Unlockables


  • A good strategy for the gunplay section is to stay in cover near where you first enter El Presidio and simply pick off all of the troops.
  • Another good strategy is to fight your way to the nearest potential Javier Escuella hiding spot, the sniping post, and pick off the army men from the top with a sniper rifle (there's ammo on the top) or a regular old rifle or pistol from the second floor. There's a chance they won't even see you!
  • There are also plenty of TNT barrels lying around, which can be shot to take out a large group of soldiers.
  • A quick strategy is to turn around to the broken wall of the other side and immediately go to the room where Escuella is hiding.


  • If the player is replaying the mission, Reyes will always say that he didn't kill De Santa during the previous mission.
  • There has been a glitch reported when John Marston lassoes Escuella, just before he hogties him on the road leading out of El Presidio. This has also occurred when you use dead eye to shoot Escuella's horse from underneath him. The glitch is strange, as even though Escuella is on the ground lassoed, both Escuella and John Marston continue talking as before when the chase for Escuella was on.
  • When the army sends reinforcements, even if the player does nothing, the other rebels are entrenched well enough to handle the few soldiers attacking El Presidio. Thus making it near impossible to not obtain victory at this point in the mission.
  • This is the only mission in which John Marston cries, but only if the player kills Escuella).
  • In the Region 1 Game of the Year edition, the opening cinematic is censored to remove the nudity that is present in the original Region 1 release.[citation needed]


Video Walkthrough


Completion of this mission contributes toward acquisition of the following Trophies/Achievements:

Bronze Ps3 bronze trophy
Complete "The Gates of El Presidio".

Gold Ps3 gold trophy
Attain 100% List in the singleplayer game completion list.

Red Dead Redemption mission walkthroughs
Nuevo Paraiso Chapter
"Civilization, at Any Price""The Demon Drink""Empty Promises""Mexican Caesar""Cowards Die Many Times"
"The Gunslinger's Tragedy""Landon Ricketts Rides Again""Lucky in Love""The Mexican Wagon Train"
"My Sister's Keeper""Must a Saviour Die?""Father Abraham""Captain De Santa's Downfall"
"The Great Mexican Train Robbery""The Gates of El Presidio""An Appointed Time"
New AustinNuevo ParaisoWest ElizabethMarston RanchRemember My Family

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