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CHEESE CAKE Qbel Ikanproo \(loud ON THE RIVERWALK SERVING SANDWICHES TO SEAFOOD, FROM 11:30 UNTIL 11:30 EVERY DAY OF THE WEEK; OPEN TILL MIDNIGHT IN THE METRO CENTER, SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS student movement was ill-defined. There was the belief that they were part of the process of the Mexican Revolution, that there was a direct connection between their movement and the railway workers’ struggle of 1958, that their movement was somehow related to Castro’s revolution. In the place of realism were “empty formulas, rigid programs, dogmatic oversimplifications, vacuous high-flown phrases and slogans . . . Their acts were real, their interpretations imaginary.” Yet, there was something about the political tactics of the leaders of the movement, students from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, professors, and schoolteachers, that appealed to the Mexican people. Demands for direct and open dialogue with the government, for an end to government control of labor unions, for the liberation of political prisoners like Demetrio Vallejo jailed eleven years The government never gave full account of the dead, wounded, and imprisoned. earlier for his part in the railroad workers’ protest broadened popular support. Impassioned and articulate speakers invoked images of Che Guevara and traditional icons of the Revolution, Villa and Zapata, turning out large numbers of people on short notice. All of this and the Olympics. On October 2, ten days before opening ceremonies, the government moved against the students. A detachment of Mexico’s Olympic Batallion sealed off the Plaza de Tres Culturas, a labyrinthine pre-Cortesian archeological park in the Aztec market barrio of Tiatelolco, where a student gathering was in progress. For five hours, into the morning of October 3, while a helicopter circled above, soldiers and granaderos trained their weapons on students and bystanders. At dawn, mothers and fathers of middle-class families lined up outside makeshift morgues to identify sons and daughters. President Diaz Ordaz had restored tranquility to the city and closed the door, for decades, on public dissent in his republic. The government never gave full account of the dead, wounded, and imprisoned. In his Tres Culturas en Agonia, Jorge Carrion claims that 400 were killed or wounded and 800 impris oned. Reporters from England’s daily, the Guardian, claimed that 325 were killed during the assault. In 1971, faculty committees from the National University and the Polytechnical Institute published a list of names of 132 students wounded, 39 killed \(not in. . . it was during this moment frozen in history that their government stood revealed. three disappeared. Military camps in the Federal District and several states were converted into prisons, and many arrested at the time of the attack were detained for more than two years. In the United States, the massacre at Tiatelolco was a two-day wire service story in most big city dailies. In Mexico, particularly for the nation’s youth, it was an enormous human rights tragedy. It stifled public dissent, and, in a sense, was the crucible in which the Mexican left of today was made. For a generation of Mexicans, it was during this moment frozen in history that their government stood revealed. The people, la rata, had tried their hand at confrontational direct democracy; their paternalistic government had responded. Within a year, Luis Echeverria, Di’az Ordaz’s Secretary of Internal Affairs, whom many considered the architect of the Tlatelolco assault, was paraded before the public as el tapado, the presidential designate of the dominant Institutional Party of the Revolution political system as a dedocracia, where the incumbent president, with the gesture of a dedo successor. Diaz Ordaz’s selection of Echeverria appeared to be official sanction of his handling of the student protest. Political lines that had been blurred by PRI’s seduction of the Mexican left were brought into clear public focus. Critics of the majority party’s handling of the student protest raised the question of North American involvement in the internal affairs of Mexico. Beyond claims that Diaz Ordaz had sacrificed his nation’s children to ingratiate himself to Lyndon Johnson, by dealing firmly with communist dissenters, there were recriminations of C.I.A. involvement in the repression of the student movement. In late August, Lincoln Gordon, a Johns Hopkins administrator with state department connections, had visited Mexico City. Among those sympathetic to the student cause, his public attack on the protesters, in a speech sponsored by the American Chamber of Commerce of Mexico, was interpreted as a signal from Washington. The United States involvement was never proven, but, in the absence of fact, many Mexicans shared the suspicions of socialist labor leader Vicente Lombardo Toledano, who had said that “to believe that the Central Intelligence Agency of the North American government had refrained from acting in Mexico is to live outside of reality.” One hundred and eight nations participated in the Nineteenth Olympic Games. South Africa was barred; none boycotted. President Diaz selected a theme: “With peace, anything is possible.” American sprinters John Carlos and Tommie Smith were sent home after raising clenched black fists during playing of the American national anthem at their awards presentation. The United States won 45 gold medals. Mexico won three. The only official to protest the government’s action at Tlatelolco was Mexican poet Octavio Paz, who resigned his position as his country’s ambassador to India and returned to Mexico City. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 23