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March 35th anniversary tlatelolco massacre { October 2 2003 }

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   http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/10/02/international2027EDT6905.DTL

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/10/02/international2027EDT6905.DTL

Students march to mark 35th anniversary of Mexico's Tlatelolco massacre
E. EDUARDO CASTILLO, Associated Press Writer
Thursday, October 2, 2003
2003 Associated Press

(10-02) 19:28 PDT MEXICO CITY (AP) --

Several thousand students and political activists marched through downtown Mexico City Thursday to mark the 35th anniversary of the Oct. 2, 1968 massacre of student protesters in the city's Tlatelolco plaza.

About 15,000 people gathered in the Tlatelolco plaza, and then marched about 1.5 miles to the city's main square, chanting "Oct. 2 will never be forgotten."

Small groups of protesters separated from the main march and smashed dozens of store windows, battered cars, spray-painted slogans on walls and tossed rocks and bottles at police.

Police arrested 75 people -- including 50 youths under age 18 -- on suspicion of robbery, assault and property damage.

City police chief Marcelo Ebrard said a small group of 250 violent protesters were trying to spark a police reaction.

"Evidently, they were looking to start a confrontation between police and the rest of the protesters," Ebrard said.

The main body of protesters carried banners demanding that President Vicente Fox bring to justice those responsible for the massacre, in which snipers and army troops fired on a pro-democracy student demonstration.

While the government has never released firm figures on those killed, estimates range from 38 to several hundred people.

In a press statement, Fox's office repeated his pledged to "find out the legal and historical truth about the events" of 1968. His administration has opened secret government files and appointed a special prosecutor to look into the crimes.

"Both of these decisions symbolize how far we have come," Fox's statement read. "This administration once again offers to protect human rights ... so that events like those of October 1968 are neither forgotten, nor repeated."

Mexico City Mayor Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador ordered flags flown at half-mast to commemorate the killings.

The once-secret government files indicate the massacre was touched off when snipers under the command of the Mexican government fired into the crowd.

At least 360 government gunmen were present, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Government officials at the time said armed dissidents provoked the deadly clash by firing on police during a protest against Mexico's lack of democracy.

2003 Associated Press



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