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The destruction of his childhood sweetheart – a crop picker's daughter – and her family by his father's brutal ranchero system cash drives an oligarch's son to pull down the Mexican government. Emiliano Bacalar, son of Pemex's powerful CEO and presidential protégée leads student uprisings against the president in Mexico City. His actions grab the attention of the sinister and depraved Colonel Ramirez, head of the Secret Police, who sets out to destroy the student leader and his powerful father. Secret Police and City Police brutally put down student protests in Mexico City, known as the uprisings of the 1960s. Shot down in the streets, beaten and imprisoned, the student demonstrators fade away; only Emiliano Bacalar continues to battle what he believes to be an oppressive system, endangering his health and very being. Ramirez sees to it that Bacalar is persecuted and imprisoned, but cannot break his spirit; although, he destroys the father who sacrifices everything to save his son.

Having lost his first love, the peasant girl Lidia, he finds a second love, in the arms of a farmer's wife. But Colonel Ramirez is determined to deny him a peaceful existence  – let alone happiness. Reduced to a fugitives life, the onetime presidential protégée is faced with a dilemma: pursue rebellion in Mexico and face destruction or escape to the United States and enjoy a safe life with Tonia.

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