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Judi Lynn

(161,314 posts)
Mon Oct 1, 2018, 05:24 PM Oct 2018

Mexican gov't agency says 1968 massacre was a 'state crime' [View all]

Source: Associated Press

Updated 11:04 pm CDT, Monday, September 24, 2018

MEXICO CITY (AP) — For the first time, a Mexican government body acknowledged on Monday that the massacre of student protesters at the capital's Plaza of the Three Cultures on Oct. 2, 1968, was a "state crime."

Jaime Rochin, head of the Executive Commission for Attention to Victims, said the government used "snipers who fired to create chaos, terror and an official narrative to criminalize" anti-government demonstrations. He said this was "a state crime that continued beyond Oct. 2 with arbitrary arrests and torture."

A specialized prosecutor's office was opened in 2002 to try to ascertain what happened. It filed charges against former President Luis Echeverria, who as interior secretary in 1968 was in charge of policing, but a tribunal exonerated him in 2007.

Read more: https://www.chron.com/news/crime/article/Mexican-gov-t-agency-says-1968-massacre-was-a-13255308.php

(Short article, no more at link.)

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On This Date in Latin America – October 2, 1968: The Tlatelolco Massacre in Mexico
Posted on October 2, 2012 by Colin M. Snider

After more than eight weeks of protests against the PRI’s rule, political exclusion, and police violence, the Mexican army opened fire on a peaceful demonstration, killing several hundred protesters near the Plaza of Three Cultures in Mexico City forty-four years ago today.

While student protests had erupted throughout much of the world in 1968, including in Brazil, the US, France, Japan, Egypt, Turkey, Ethiopia, and elsewhere, Mexico had been relatively unaffected by the global social mobilizations of the first half of 1968. However, that came to a sudden, if initially-inconspicuous, halt on 23 July 1968. The events that would ultimately lead to thousands protesting in the streets and a government crackdown that left hundreds of dead started with a simple street brawl between rival students from two high schools, one a preparatory school that housed wealthier students, and the other a vocational school for working-class students. As the fight, likely fueled by class tensions, escalated, a principal called the police. However, the mayor badly overreacted, sending in Mexico’s granaderos, a paramilitary riot police force that was the subject of almost universal hatred in Mexico, to break up the fight. While social tensions increased, they remained simmering until July 26, when leftist students marched to celebrate the anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. The granaderos once again appeared, and this time, a full-blown street riot erupted, with cases of police brutality.

These events in late-July were the match that ignited Mexican student protests; however, the fuel of such protests ran deeper. As Mexico’s middle-class started to witness growth and expansion during the economic “miracle” of the late-1950s and early-1960s, it became increasingly disenchanted with its exclusion from national politics, led by the Partido Revolucionário Institucional (Institutional Revolutionary Party; PRI). On July 29, students from Mexico’s National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) and National Autonomous University of Mexico(UNAM) announced a general strike and issued a series of demands that reflected their growing dissatisfaction with the increasingly authoritarian PRI; demands included the release of all political prisoners (including those in jail from the 1959 railroad workers’ strike), the removal of police officials, the disbanding of the granaderos, and the abolition of Article 145 of the Constitution, which, among other things, allowed the arrest of anybody attending meetings of three or more people under the auspices of “social dissolution.” The movement quickly gained support within Mexico City itself; by August 13, students held their first rally in the Zócalo plaza.

However, they were not alone, as professors, intellectuals, housewives, and workers joined them. President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz appealed to students to end the “violence” and blamed “foreign students” for agitation. However, his appeals failed to stem the tide of protests; the student demands had tapped into many of the broader currents of discontent among Mexico City’s urban middle class. By August 27, another rally in the Zócalo united more than 500,000 people protesting directly under Díaz Ordaz’s balcony in the National Palace. In response, Díaz Ordaz ordered tanks to occupy the Zócalo, setting a precedent that would take on more tragic consequences in the coming weeks. In the military and police’s attempts to break up the protests, at least one student was murdered; it marked the first death of a student in protests, but it would not be the last.


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The Guardian shows the photo in the previous article with the caption:

Soldiers cut a student’s hair after he was arrested during the shooting at Tlatelolco. Photograph: AP

Guardian article:

How the Guardian reported Mexico City's Tlatelolco massacre of 1968

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"killing several hundred protesters" . . . nt Bernardo de La Paz Oct 2018 #1
In 1968... CanSocDem Oct 2018 #2
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