Mexico City, Oct 2 (EFE).- Thousands of Mexicans marched in the rain in Mexico City on Monday to demand answers from the president to the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre of hundreds of protesters in the capital.
As Andrés Manuel López Obrador is in his last year of his term, many Mexicans in recent months have been demanding answers for unresolved incidents and missing loved ones.
Nearly 4,000 people, according to official figures from the government of Mexico City, marched on Monday from the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco, where the massacre occurred, to the Zócalo in front of the National Palace, where the Mexican president has resided since 2018.
The capital’s Secretariat of Citizen Security deployed hundreds of police officers, who confronted protesters at some points along the route.
Hooded individuals painted graffiti on walls and threw rocks at businesses in the historic center, as well as at the police, at whom they also threw Molotov cocktails.
The march marks 55 years since the death of more than 300 students in a massacre by the army and its paramilitary Olimpia Battalion against a peaceful demonstration against the administration of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz (1964-1970) on Oct. 2, 1968, just 10 days before the Olympic Games.
Delfina de la Cruz, a woman whose son went missing nine years ago, wanted to support the protesters because, she said, neither Mexico nor Mexicans deserve what is happening to them.
“We want to know where our children are and for the government to deliver what is missing from the investigation so that things can be clarified,” she told EFE.
Obrador created a Truth Commission on the “Dirty War” to clarify the period of repression in Mexico between the 1960s and 1990s, which includes this episode.
A student, who did not want to give her name, said that for many years the government has not given any response to what happened more than five decades ago.
“If you have not been able to give an answer to the 43 colleagues who disappeared nine years ago,” she said, referring to the Ayotzinapa students who went missing in 2014, “imagine giving an answer to something that happened 55 years ago.”
“It’s something that should have been done a long time ago. That is why the fight continues and will continue,” she told EFE.
Obrador said Monday that Mexico has a loyal army, especially to the people and institutions, and explained that the Armed Forces fulfill five missions, including the security of the nation and the interior, including guiding the National Guard.
But the president has supported a constitutional reform for the Armed Forces to carry out public security tasks until 2028, despite his campaign promise to return them to the barracks.
Even so, he affirmed that, for some time, the military academy has been teaching subjects on human rights and the correct use of force to avoid repression and that the army “should not be stained by the errors of some elements,” he asserted.
A student stressed that militarization is still present in the country.
“There are many interests at stake on the part of the government because a large percentage of the budget of the country’s own gross domestic product goes to the military itself. The government has to establish priorities – if it wants a violent militarized country, without education and a conscious youth,” he said.
But the young student believed that the State remains the same and that the current administration can promise one thing or another, while the army retains the same or greater power than before.
Activists also remembered the ninth anniversary of the 43 students who disappeared from Ayotzinapa on Sep. 26, 2014, with banners such as “We are not all here. We are missing 43,” a “state crime” in which authorities at all levels participated, including the army, as recognized by the government. EFE