Wednesday, October 26, 2011

October 1968 summer Olympic games in Mexico City

October 1968 summer Olympic games in Mexico City 

In 1964 President López Mateos choose Gustavo Díaz Ordaz be the next President of Mexico. During his term he was known for such actions as carrying out the arrest of the Muralist José David Alfaro Siqueiros. Díaz Ordaz carried out the violent clampdown on more than a few labor actions crushing their strikes. Also there was the cancellation of local elections in Baja California Sur, in which the PAN had received most of the votes.

When the Olympic approached Díaz Ordaz tighten up security and set out to crush any and all dissent. Students took the opportunity to express their grievances. The list included the freeing of all political prisoners, repeals of the laws that the government could define and punish treason or subversion, firing the chief of police of Mexico City, autonomy of the University from city authority, disbanding the special riot police. The student fearing an ambush demanded to meet with government officials only if the meeting was in a public place, would televised and have outside observers monitoring the meeting to prevent government violence against the students. The government refused the conditions. The students took to the streets to protest the government’s actions. Díaz Ordaz ordered the Mexican army to take control of National Autonomous University of Mexico or Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, UNAM and to arrest the student movement leaders, and any and all supporters. Student rallied at the Plaza of the Three Cultures in Mexico City's Tlatelolco district. On October 2, 1968, Army units with infantry and tanks surrounded the demonstrators. Then military helicopters flew over-head dropping flares into the crowd. Then the infantry opened fired into the crowd of students. Several students fell; angered the students rushed the army used what ever they could find to fight back. The army reacted by shooting and bayoneting the students as continued to rush the army. Estimates of the number of students killed were between 250 and 400. Hundreds were arrested, but the Olympic games went on as if nothing happened.


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