MEXICO '68: AN ANALYSIS OF THE TLATELOLCO MASSACRE AND ITS LEGACY
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On October 2, 1968 the Mexican government massacred hundreds of peaceful protesters in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco plaza. Up to this point, Mexico had not experienced large-scale violence since the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s. The government’s authoritarian suppression of the movement surprised people throughout the country. The PRI, the ruling party for decades had stayed in power since the triumph of the Revolution, and viewed demands for reform as a threat to their power. With the opening ceremonies for the 1968 summer Olympic Games slated to begin October 12, the government did not want dissent visible to the international powers, and acted quickly to decapitate the movement. Since protest movements had become commonplace globally throughout 1968, both the demonstrators in Mexico and the government learned from the examples set by other movements like those in France and Czechoslovakia in 1968. Ultimately, the government chose the Soviet path and attacked its own citizenry. For years after the massacre at Tlatelolco, the event provided a reminder that the PRI government did not truly represent the interests of the populace. As the generation of protestors from 1968 has grown up, they continue to influence the course of politics in Mexico to this day.