In Puerto Vallarta, the flag waved at half-mast to commemorate the anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre, the struggle for democracy in the 1968 student movement, a significant and tragic date in the contemporary history of Mexico.
The Tlatelolco massacre was the killing of an estimated 300 to 400 students and civilians by military and police on October 2, 1968, in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. The events are considered part of the Mexican Dirty War, when the government used its forces to suppress political opposition. The massacre occurred roughly 10 days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City. More than 1,300 people were arrested by security police. There has been no consensus on how many were killed that day in the plaza area.
Silvia Ávila Licona, a law student at the University Center of the Coast and Political Science at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, was the official speaker at the memorial event in Puerto Vallarta.
“Then the 68 was the detonation of a national feeling, were the dreams and struggles of thousands represented by the university students and brave citizens, who on October 2 marched to Tlatelolco in the hope that so many united wills would recover the country that was being stolen. Who would believe that on that day the order to kill the future of Mexico, to try to kill rob us of the dream of building a true democracy would be given,” she said.
She affirmed that today Mexicans do not forget or forgive what happened, but they do honor the value “with which they defended the future that they did not reach to live and the strength of their mothers who never tired of looking for them and shouting for you.”
“Today we gather and remember them, we do it because we can not afford to repeat that story because they hurt us, because maybe we all need to stop for a moment to clarify our principles and then continue to fight for the Mexico we want.”
“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.” — Dissent Magazine