Mexico City: October 2nd, 1968 – A Day Mexicans and Gringos Remember

by on October 2, 2015 · 5 comments

in Civil Disobedience, Civil Rights, History, Labor, Media, War and Peace, World News

Troops opened fire on protesters in La Plaza de las Tres Culturas - APEditor: October 2nd of 1968 – the day of  the massacre in Mexico City by the Mexican government.  Every Mexican with a social conscience remembers that fateful and murderous day. 

Gringos – Americans need to remember that day as well for our government’s collusion in what happened and the cover-up afterwards. 

The following was published 7 years ago, but obviously, is still very, very pertinent for all of us today and tomorrow and everyday until those responsible are brought to justice.

Memorial to those who fell October 2, 1968 in Tlatelolco, Mexico Daniel Hernandez / Intersections / Originally posted Oct 2, 2008

Forty years ago today the Mexican government opened fire indiscriminately on a crowd of peaceful protesters at the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, Mexico City, killing still-unknown numbers of students, bystanders, and demonstrators. The operation was a brutal smashing of the grassroots movement for social reform that had swept across Mexico and the world in that turbulent year, 1968.

October 2 is a date that forever remains a dark mark on the Mexican calendar and the Mexican psyche. Its significance in the country’s history has been finally recognized with a permanent exhibit and UNAM cultural center at the former foreign relations ministry complex near the plaza. Today there are marches planned by the Comite 68, survivors who are still seeking justice, and by various student and youth groups from the Tlatelolco plaza, to the Zocalo.



In late 1968, Mexico was getting ready to host the Olympics. But social tensions were also simmering.
oct2c.jpg Security forces opened fire on a crowd protesting against the government in Mexico City's Tlatelolco Square.Hundreds were rounded up but the number of dead remains unclear to this day. As the security forces continued the crackdown, the government said some 30 people, including police officers, had died, which was grossly inaccurate, basically beginning the government's cover-up which lasted decades. Here soldiers are cutting protesters' hair. But families of people who went missing, rights groups and the media believe the true figure is around 300. There was an official silence about the massacre for many years and subsequent inquiries shed little light. No-one has ever been punished

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Frank Gormlie October 1, 2009 at 12:27 pm

In 1979 I visited Mexico City and went La Plaza de los Tres Culturas where the main massacre occurred 11 years earlier. I could still see pock marks in the buildings where government bullets had hit. The Plaza is named after the 3 cultures: Aztec, Spanish and Mexican. I’ll never forget it.


Dickie October 1, 2009 at 1:04 pm

I went there in 2002 and the bullet marks were still visible . . . and the aftershocks of the massacre are still being felt in the lives of those present and their families, as well as in the politics of Mexico. In fact there was a continued dark period of repression into the 70s with death squads murdering militants. When I was in Mexico City in 2002 I went with a friend to find info about her cousin who had died in government hands in 1972 or 1973. There was a kind of freedom of info act passed 10 years ago or so, I think it still is active, to provide families who lost relatives with the truth about the “dirty war” conducted by the Mexican government back then. I believe the old Rag covered some of it at the time. Some filmmakers are making a documentary about my friend’s cousin as part of coming to grips with the trauma of the time.


bodysurferbob October 1, 2009 at 4:29 pm

i understand that this was/is for mexico like our kent state and jackson state, but a hundred times worse. think of it, your government intentionally shoots 100s maybe thousands of your fellow students and citizens – and then covers it up. or tries to. and the neighboring behemoth to the north was complicit in the cover up and providing weapons etc with your government.


bodysurferbob October 1, 2009 at 4:31 pm

when i traveled in mexico back in the early eighties, i would see graffiti that said ‘remember october 2 – we will not forget’ in different places, like in mexico city and then in chiapas.


Marcy J. October 2, 2012 at 10:51 am

When is it ok to call a white person a gringo? I take offense to that derogatory term. If I called a minority ANYthing other than the politically correct term, I would be deemed a racist. I am sick and tired of the white community (even though I am married to a man of Mexican decent…and he calls himself an American, NOT a Mexican-American) being singled out. I think we should shed the hyphenation, the slurs and the term racist every time one group doesn’t like what it wants to hear.


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