Mexico: bodies found from Tlatelolco massacre?

After two decades of silence, architect Rosa MarĂ­a Alvarado MartĂ­nez come forward July 9 to say that at least three bodies—likely the remains of student protesters killed by the army at Mexico City’s Tlatelolco Plaza in 1968—are buried under a hospital near the massacre site. Alvarado said the bodies were discovered in 1981 when the hospital was being renovated, but plainclothes men identifying themselves as police officers threatened to kidnap and kill her son if she went public. The site had previously been a vocational school where student occupiers confronted soldiers during the October 1968 protests. While official reports claim only 25 were killed at Tlatelolco later that month, human rights advocates have claimed up to 350 dead.

Ignacio Carrillo Prieto, a special prosecutor appointed under the previous administration to investigate the massacre and other abuses of the “dirty war” against leftist dissidents says the bodies should be exhumed and identified. Carrillo said the vocational school was strafed with machine-gun fire in the days before the massacre, and victims likely went unreported. “This is about clandestine burials,” he said. President Felipe CalderĂłn closed Carrillo Prieto’s office earlier this year—an act the special prosecutor now protests. “We cannot continue closing these investigations for no cause,” Carrillo said.

Alvarado’s revelation was made in a formal complaint to the Prosecutor General of the Republic (PGR). “It has weighed on my conscience,” she said. “I am still afraid.” (NYT, July 11)

See our last posts on Mexico, the dirty war and the contemporary human rights crisis.