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 nos sigan callando, no se olvida.