Tlatelolco massacre

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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 a thousand, with eyewitnesses reporting hundreds of dead, [1][2][3][4][5][6] Kate Doyle was only able to find evidence for the death of forty four people.[7] According to the reports of the head of the Federal Directorate of Security 1345 people were arrested on October 2.[8]

Contents

Background

The year 1968 in Mexico City was a time of expansiveness and the breaking down of barriers: a time for forging alliances among students, workers, and the marginal urban poor and challenging the political regime. It was a time of great hope, seemingly on the verge of transformation. Students were out in the streets, in the plazas, on the buses, forming brigades, "going to the people." There were movement committees at each school and heady experiences of argument, exploration, and democratic practice. There was no central leader. Families were drawn in, whole apartment buildings and neighborhoods. A revolution was happening - not Che’s revolution - but a revolution from within the system, nonviolent, driven by euphoria, conviction, and the excitement of experimentation on the ground.

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