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On the night of October 2, 1968, there occurred a bloody showdown between student demonstrators and the Mexican government in Tlatelolco Square. At least two hundred students were shot dead and many more were detained. Then the bodies were trucked out, the cobblestones were washed clean. Detainees were held without recourse until 1971.
Official denial of the killing continues even today: In the first week of February 2003, Mexico’s Education Secretary Reyes Tamiz ordered a new history textbook that mentions the massacre-Claudia Sierra’s History of Mexico: An Analytical Approach-removed from shelves and classrooms. (Public outcry led Tamiz to reverse his decision days later.) No one has yet been held accountable for the official acts of savagery.
With provocative, anecdotal, and analytical prose, Taibo claims for history “one more of the many unredeemed and sleepless ghosts that live in our lands.”
“I introduced Paco Taibo’s ’68 in my Global 1960s course last year, supplementing other texts on late-60s Mexico. I found it gave students a profound sense of the experience of activism, and of the difficulties involved in its memorialization. Rather than incorporating the events into a passive narrative of trauma and its victims, Taibo II restores the lived possibilities of the incredible 100 or so days prior to the massacre: the risks, the excitement, the sensed potential for real transformations. Highly recommended.” — William Marotti, University of California, Los Angeles