The Tlatelolco Massacre
The Tlatelolco Massacre, a.k.a. The Night of Tlatelolco happened on October 2nd, 1968 in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City, ten days before the 1968 Summer Olympics celebrations in Mexico City, when the military and men with guns shot student demonstrators. The death toll remains controversial. Some estimates place the number of deaths in the thousands, but most sources report between 200 and 300 deaths. The exact number of people who were arrested is also controversial. The background is as follows: After student strikes lasting nine weeks, 15,000 students from various universities marched through the streets of Mexico City, carrying red carnations to protest the army’s occupation of the university campus. By nightfall, 5,000 students and workers, many of them with spouses and children, had congregated outside an apartment complex in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco for what was supposed to be a peaceful rally. Among their chants were ¡No queremos olimpiadas, queremos revolución! (“We don’t want Olympic games, we want revolution!”). Rally organizers did not attempt to call off the protest when they noticed an increased military presence in the area.
The massacre began at sunset when police and military forces—equipped with armored cars and tanks—surrounded the square and began firing live rounds into the crowd, hitting not only the protestors, but also other people who were present for reasons unrelated to the demonstration. Demonstrators and passersby alike, including children, were hit by bullets and mounds of bodies soon lay on the ground. The killing continued throughout the night, with soldiers operating on a house-to-house basis in the apartment buildings adjacent to the square. Witnesses to the event claim that the bodies were later removed in garbage trucks.
The official government explanation of the incident was that armed provocateurs among the demonstrators, stationed in buildings overlooking the crowd, had begun the firefight. Suddenly finding themselves sniper targets, the security forces had simply returned the shooting in self-defense.
We here at LivingLakeChapala.com sympathize with those who lost their lives that day and their families.
Information provided by Wikipedia