Tlatelolco massacre On October 2, 1968, ten days before the start of the 1968 Summer Olympics the Plaza de las Tres Culturas was the scene of the Tlatelolco massacre. The role of the US government
The Tlatelolco massacre, also known as The Night of Tlatelolco (from a book title by the Mexican writer Elena Poniatowska), was a government massacre of student and civilian protesters and bystanders that took place during the afternoon and night of October 2, 1968, in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. The violence occurred ten days before the 1968 Summer Olympics celebrations in Mexico City.
While at the time, government propaganda and the mainstream media in Mexico claimed that government forces had been provoked by protesters shooting at them, government documents that have been made public since 2000 suggest that the snipers had in fact been employed by the government. Although estimates of the death toll range from thirty to three-hundred, with eyewitnesses reporting hundreds of dead, Kate Doyle—a Senior Analyst of U.S. policy in Latin America—was only able to find evidence for the death of forty-four people. According to the reports of the head of the Federal Directorate of Security 1345 people were arrested on October 2.[
In October 2003, the role of the U.S. government in the massacre was publicized when the National Security Archive at George Washington University published a series of records from the CIA, the Pentagon, the State Department, the FBI and the White House which were released in response to Freedom of Information Act requests.
The documents detail:
- That in response to Mexican government concerns over the security of the Olympic Games, the Pentagon sent military radios, weapons, ammunition and riot control training material to Mexico before and during the crisis.
- That the CIA station in Mexico City produced almost daily reports concerning developments within the university community and the Mexican government from July to October. Six days before the massacre at Tlatelolco, both Echeverría and head of Federal Security (DFS) Fernando Gutiérrez Barrios told the CIA that “the situation will be under complete control very shortly”.
- That the Díaz Ordaz government “arranged” to have student leader Sócrates Campos Lemus accuse dissident PRI politicians such as Carlos Madrazo of funding and orchestrating the student movement.
In 1993, in remembrance of the 25th anniversary of the events, a stele was dedicated with the names of few of the students and persons who lost their lives during the event. The Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation has a mural commemorating the massacre.
During June 2006, an ailing, 84-year-old Echeverría was charged with genocide in connection with the massacre. He was placed under house arrest pending trial. In early July of that year, he was cleared of genocide charges, as the judge found that Echeverría could not be put on trial because the statute of limitations had expired.
In December 2008 the Mexican Senate named the 2nd of October starting in 2009 as a National Day of Mourning; the initiative had already passed the Deputies’ Chamber of Congress.
MEXICO SIGLO XX (CLIO): 2 DE OCTUBRE DEL 68, LA MASACRE ESTUDIANTIL
- Fists of Freedom: An Olympic Story Not Taught in Schools (rethinkingschoolsblog.wordpress.com)
- Mexico’s Summer of Resistance (counterpunch.org)
- Australian Government to Apologies to Peter Norman (moorbey.wordpress.com)