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Mexico remembers 1968 Tlatelolco Massacre amid security concerns

12,000 officials dressed in white designated "peace belt" to ensure the safety of protesters. (Photo: Medio Tiempo)

12,000 officials dressed in white designated "peace belt" to ensure the safety of protesters. (Photo: Medio Tiempo)

Mexico City, October 3 (RHC)-- Mexicans commemorated the 51st anniversary of the massacre of Tlatelolco with extreme security measures around the capital's historic downtown, as metal fences cordon off people from historical buildings, businesses, and government institutions to avoid "vandalism," according to the government.

These measures were taken after August's protests against rising femicides in the country resulted in the destruction and vandalization of historic monuments in Mexico City by hooded self-proclaimed "anarchists."

To avoid similar actions by these groups, the Government of Mexico City deployed a cordon with 12,000 officials dressed in white designated "peace belt" to ensure the safety of marchers and protesters.  Meanwhile, the Secretary of Security also sent some 2,500 agents to monitor the march, who came with shields and strategically closed-off streets where the march that summoned some 20,000 protesters took place.

At the forefront was the collective Committee of 68, followed by student groups from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and the National Polytechnic Institute.  Also, members of the Mexican Electricians Union and the National Coordinator of Education Workers and students of the Normal Rural School of Ayotzinapa joined the demonstration.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador remembered the "unfortunate event" saying it was a time marked by "the lack of freedom and justice" and claimed that with the current Government "the use of force has been relegated."

"We want to live in a society in peace, without violence, without using force, convincing and not conquering, living in harmony, living in peace.  Therefore, never again repression in Mexico, never more torture, disappearances, massacres or provocations" he expressed.

However, the day was not exempt from violent acts since a group of hooded men marked the walls as they passed through the Central Avenue as well as detonated firecrackers.
“October 2nd is not going to be forgotten!  Neither forgiveness nor forgetfulness, punishment for murderers!” were the principal calls throughout the march, that started in Plaza de las Tres Culturas de Tlatelolco, the same spot where  in 1968 between 300-400 students, passersby, children, and journalists were killed by security forces.

On October 2, 1968, 10,000 gathered in Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City. College and high school students organized to protest the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) repression of social movements and their $1 billion dollar investment in the 1986 Summer Olympics the nation was set to host.

During their march, they chanted "We don't want Olympics, we want revolution!" as the peaceful protestors asked for a more just society, better educational conditions and an end to the repressive regime of President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz and his right hand Luis Echeverria.

All of a sudden, the U.S.-backed government following CIA plans, started shooting at bystanders. The repression was carried out by a special force created in anticipation of the Olympics called the Olympic Brigade.  The CIA station in Mexico City also contributed reports on the university student movement, and was later known was behind the killings as well.


Edited by Ed Newman
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