2 OCTOBER 1968

A social movement comprised by professors, housewives, workers, students, professionals, in other words the entire crossection of civil society, with the support of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Colegio de México, Escuela de Agricultura de Chapingo, Universidad Iberoamericana, La Salle, Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla, & under the direction of the CNH (National Council of Strike). Their list of demands included, among others, the release of political prisoners & the end of autoritarism. The movement tried to achieve democratic change, political & civil freedom, social equality, & the end of PRI’s (Revolutionary Institutional Party) rule.

The movement was “terminated” on October 2nd, as part of “Operation Galeana,” in a massacre coordinated between paramilitaries, the “Batallón Olimpia,” DFS (Federal Management of Security, a.k.a. “Secret Police”), & the Mexican Army. The “Tlatelolco Massacre” occurred during a protest organized by the CNH, on the orders of the then president Gustavo Diaz Ordáz.

A long chain of shitty leaders brought instability to the country, whose misgovernance caused inflation & the devaluation of the peso, & who signed trade agreements that threatened the ecosystem, the welfare of the population, & the cultural heritage. Opposition candidates were murdered, like Luis Donaldo Colosio in 1994. Even when the PRI finally lost power, it was more of the same. The Mexican population were dragged unwillingly into a “War against drugs” that seemed to be nothing but an opportunity for those in power to seize more power.

In 2006, residents of San Salvador Atenco, Estado de México, began protesting against the construction of a new airport in Texcoco, with the support of the FPDT (People’s Front for the Defense of Land). The federal crackdown resulted in the deaths of Alexis Benhumea & Javier Cortés, 207 arrests (including 10 minors), 146 arbitrary detentions, the expulsion of 5 foreigners, with complaints filed against police for abuse & sexual assault of 26 women. Ironically, all this took place while the EZLN (Zapatist Army for National Liberation) was touring Mexico City promoting “La Otra Campaña” (The Other Campaign) that aimed to change the state of Mexican Society. The governor of Mexico State at the time was the future president Enrique Peña Nieto.

During the presidential campaign, students staged a protest at a visit by Peña Nieto to the Universidad Iberoamericana, to remind him of the Atenco events, chanting “Out, the Ibero doesn’t want you.” Their banners were immediately confiscated & afterwards the protest leaders were placed under surveillance. In response, 132 students posted a YouTube video showing their faces & ID’s, to whow they wouldn’t be intimidated. That’s how the movement #YoSoy132 (I am the 132) was born.

After Peña Nieto’s election, protest marches began taking place all around the country, claiming the vote had been manipulated. Investigative journalists uncovered deep-rooted corruption in the INE (National Electoral Institute) leading, in 2012, to the murder of 67 reporters. Meanwhile, Peña Nieto’s daughter posted on twitter: “Greetings to the proletarian assholes who only judge those they envy.”

Barely two years into Peña Nieto’s government, on 26 September 2014, while trainee teachers from the Ayotzinapa Riral Teachers’ College were petitioning for funds in order to attend a commemorative march for the 2 October 1968 “Tlatelolco Massacre,” police & cartel hitmen from the local Guerreros Unidos ambushed several buses the students had requisitioned in the town of Iguala in order to travel to Mexico City. They also opened fire on a bus transporting the “Avispones Chilpancingo” soccer team – where 3 people lost their lives, including the 14 year old soccer player David Josué García.

Rumors circulated that orders had been given to “shoot anyone who looks like students.” The official numbers released afterwards claimed 25 injured, 6 deaths, & 43 missing students. The so-called “missing” students had been forcibly taken into custody & later murdered, at the behest – accoridng to Federal investigators – of Iguala’s mayor, José Luis Abarca Velázques & his wife, both of whom were arrested along with Iguala’s police chief, though neither were ever put on trial. The 27th Infantry Battalion of the Mexican Army was also implicated. In the face of resulting protests, the state governor resigned. By November 2014, 80 suspects had been arrested, including 44 police officers, yet only the remains of two of the missing students have been identified.

 

M.S. MEKIBES

 

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