MASSACRE IN MEXICO by Elena Poniatowska


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The shooting of Mexican students on October 2, 1968 has faded in the memories of most Americans and here, in a brief foreword, Octavio Paz mourns that in Mexico too its only legacy has been the snuffing out of an embryonic popular protest movement and a few token reforms that have buffed up the image of the governing PRI. Elena Poniatowska, journalist and novelist, has assembled a montage of testimony that recreates the chaotic optimism of the 1968 demonstrations, the terror (and shock) of mass jailings and beatings, and above all the blood-soaked massacre of Tlateloco--a boy screaming ""am I losing much blood?"", wounded Italian reporter Oriana Fallaci begging for an ambulance, a woman recalling ""I felt something sticky underfoot. I turned around and saw blood."" Earlier, in the same emotionally charged manner, Poniatowski interweaves statements of student protesters and their families and--with the exception of a few committed faction leaders--they reflect naive, hopeful generational rebellion, sounding on the whole more like Kent State than Latin America. Paz' short and despairing introduction, which is the only attempt at overview here, praises this as a work of ""passion"" rather than ""cold objectivity."" Certainly it is passionate and, while some may question the method--the splicing together of partisan memories recorded years after the event--this is a story that has not been effectively told before. Call it the grito of Tlateloco, a cry of protest and the subjective manifesto of Mexico's suppressed, potentially explosive, middle-class dissenters.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1975
ISBN: 0826208177
Publisher: Viking