On October 2, 1968, the Plaza of the Three Cultures in the Tlatelolco apartment complex in Mexico City filled up with thousands of students and Tlatelolco residents. The students and residents boldly defied army troops and escalating government brutality. This was happening as hundreds of international journalists gathered in Mexico City for the 1968 Olympic Games, which were just about to get underway.
As darkness fell, soldiers, tanks, and police secretly surrounded the crowd. At a preset signal, helicopters, undercover agents in the crowd, two columns of soldiers advancing in a pincer movement, and tanks opened fire. Over 300 people were murdered and thousands wounded and jailed on that October 2 evening—known as the Massacre of Tlatelolco.
With this savage act, the U.S.-controlled regime of the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party) hoped to isolate and terrorize the student upsurge. Instead, the massacre exposed the real nature of the government—and compelled many people in Mexico to grapple with the question of what it will take to bring about real change.
The massacre of Tlatelolco is still an open wound for the Mexican people. 44 years later, in this year of stolen elections and with the PRI’s return to Presidential power, we’re sadly reminded that things haven’t changed.
Pero aunque no sigan callando, no se olvida.
However, los estudiantes did not defy the armed troops in a way that many might believe. It should be stressed that the provocation to these events are not due to the fact these students decided to protest against a corrupt presidency—a government that even before Oct. 2nd were involved in the deaths of la gente mexicana—but that blame should be placed on the Mexican government who tactfully carried out this massacre, especially to ensure peace for 1968 Olympics. At the worst that can be said about the protesters were that some of the students took it upon themselves to throw heavy coins, which many poor Army men picked up.
La verdad to this horrific tragedy is that the mexican government employed snipers who were instructed to shoot at the troops below in attempts that blame would be placed on the protesters thus inciting the massacre. The Mexican government’s President Diaz Ordaz justified their actions by blaming the victims for inciting the shooting and making allegations that the protests had support from communist governments.
JFC, the amount of corruption, brutality, and violence perpetrated by EL PRI’s dictadura is disgusting.
Above:Armed gunmen shot from the apartment buildings down at the troops. The gunmen were government officials (from the army) dressed as civilians ordered to shoot down at the troops so that the soldiers would shoot back at the students.
Armed gunmen shot from the apartment buildings down at the troops. The gunmen were government officials (from the army) dressed as civilians ordered to shoot down at the troops so that the soldiers would shoot back at the students.
Hear the Radio Diaries audio documentary Mexico 68: a Movement, a Massacre and the 40 Year Search for Truth at www.radiodiaries.org