The annual march marking the anniversary of the Tlatelolco massacre was a peaceful event yesterday until about 100 masked individuals, described in one report as anarchists, launched an attack on the National Palace in Mexico City.
Calls by event organizers to halt the violence went unheeded as stones, Molotov cocktails and other explosives were hurled at the government buildings in the city’s zócalo and police.
The march is held to commemorate the killing of as many as 300 people in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco on October 2, 1968. There were mounting social tensions at the time as a series of protests challenged the political regime, whose response was aggressive.
The massacre took place just 10 days before the opening of the Mexico City Summer Olympics.
Yesterday, while Félix Hernández Gamundi, a student leader in 1968, called for calm, an official with a loudspeaker urged the aggressors to refrain from violence that risked people’s lives. They were eventually dispersed with tear gas by Federal District riot police, and four were taken into custody.
This year’s march also served to commemorate the anniversary of Ayotzinapa, when six people died and 43 students disappeared on September 26 last year.
Speakers called for reopening the investigation into Luis Echeverría, who was interior secretary at the time and was at one point charged with genocide in connection with the massacre. Charges were later dropped against Echeverría, now 93, who went on to become president two years later.
Other demands included following up on 53 criminal investigations into the events in 1968, that there be no cuts to education resources, that there be an end to impunity, that the 43 Ayotzinapa students be found and those responsible for their disappearance be punished.
An estimated 20,000 people participated in yesterday’s march.
Source: El Universal (sp)