Mexican Movement of 1968

Armored cars at the “Zócalo” in Mexico City in 1968

“The Mexican Movement of 1968, known as the Movimiento Estudiantil (student movement) was a social movement. A broad coalition of students from Mexico’s leading universities garnered widespread public support for political change in Mexico, particularly since the government had spent large amounts of public funding to build Olympic facilities for the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games. Student mobilization on the campuses of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, National Polytechnic Institute, El Colegio de México, Chapingo Autonomous University, Ibero-American University, Universidad La Salle and Meritorious Autonomous University of Puebla, among others created the National Strike Council. Its efforts to mobilize Mexicans for broad changes in national life was supported by sectors of Mexican civil society, including as workers, peasants, housewives, merchants, intellectuals, artists, and teachers. The movement had a list of demands for the Mexican president Gustavo Díaz Ordaz and Government of Mexico for specific student issues as well as broader ones, especially the reduction or elimination of authoritarianism. In the background, the movement was motivated by the global protests of 1968 and struggled for a democratic change in the country, more political and civil liberties, the reduction of inequality and the resignation of the government of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) that they considered authoritarian. The political movement was suppressed by the government with the violent government attack on a peaceful demonstration on 2 October 1968, known as the Tlatelolco Massacre. There were lasting changes in Mexican political and cultural life because of the 1968 mobilization. … However, there was worker unrest before 1968, including the oil workers strike under President Miguel Alemán, put down by the army and a railway workers’ strike under President Adolfo López Mateos, put down by the army under the direction of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, then Minister of the Interior. Most strikes and political opposition had been from workers and peasants, but when Mexican medical doctors went on strike in 1965, the government was faced with middle-class professionals making demands of the government for better working conditions. …”
NY Times: 50 Years After a Student Massacre, Mexico Reflects on Democracy
El Grito: the film banned for revealing the truth about Mexico in 1968
NPR: What’s Changed Since Mexico’s Bloody Crackdown On 1968 Student Protests? (Video)

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
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