Mexico Trek!   Trekkers DISPATCH: September 14 Team Log

30 Years Ago - Student Massacre

October 2, 1968

Tanks in the PlazaYou’re in Mexico City and you and your friends are angry. Everywhere around you in the city you see people who are very poor even though they work very hard. Meanwhile the government is controlled by one political party that has been in control for decades and does little to help anyone other than itself. It even controls the newspapers and uses the military to scare people who oppose it.

Students have started staging protests, especially at the National University. Just two weeks ago, on September 13, 200,000 students marched IN SILENCE. All you could hear were hundreds of thousands of soft footsteps. Now, today, a big protest is planned in the Plaza of Three Cultures.

When you get there you find between 5 and 10 thousand people. In the distance, many military people are gathered. People are making speeches when suddenly two attack helicopters fly in and start circling overhead! Soldiers emerge from all the entrances to the plaza and start shooting into the crowd! You start running, but no matter where you turn there are soldiers shooting and stabbing people with their bayonets. For 62 minutes the shooting continues as everyone runs in terror trying to get away from the Plaza and Protestors shot down.neighboring buildings. A tank even starts shooting into the crowd. Ambulances start arriving, but the soldiers won’t let them in. Until 11:00 at night shots can be heard in and around the Plaza.

This really happened exactly 30 years ago this October 2 (1998). About 300 students were killed and over 2,000 were arrested. According to many historians, Mexico has never been the same.

We dedicate this update to the memory of those young Mexicans and to the hope that other youth around the world will be inspired by their example and will make their own voices heard.


For more on the National University, see the August 29th update "What's bigger than Godzilla and has 250,000 heads?" (Use the calendar to get there!)

For more on the Plaza of Three Cultures, see the September 5th update "Tlatelolco, the death of the Aztec Empire & the Birth of Mexico"

Related Dispatches: 
Team - 30 years ago – Student Massacre


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