In Mexico City on the night of October 2, 1968, at least two hundred students - among thousands protesting election fraud and campaigning for university reform - were shot dead in a bloody showdown with government troops in Tlatelolco Square. Hundreds more were arrested, and imprisoned for years. Yet these events are nowhere to be found in official histories: that very night the bodies were collected and trucked away and the cobblestones washed clean, and government denial of all involvement began. To this day no one has been held accountable for the official acts of savagery.
One member of the crowd that night, Paco Taibo, would become an international literary figure; '68 is his account of the events of October 2, and of the student movement that preceded them, available for the first time in English, with a new epilogue by the author. In provocative, anecdotal prose, Taibo here claims for history "one more of the many unredeemed and sleepless ghosts that live in our lands."
Now available for the first time in English, Mexican author and essayist Taibo's beautifully realized memoir of the Oct. 1968 Tlatelolco student massacre in Mexico City documents "The Movement" of students that, at one point, was half a million strong. Taibo begins more than a decade before the massacre, when the movement was inchoate and the "invisible enemy" was purely an intellectual concern. He evokes relationships, passions and arguments lovingly. (Relevant section titles include "Of Women and Mattresses," "And Sometimes We Believe in the Informative Value of Tremors Running Through the Atmosphere" and "In Which the Virtues of the National Anthem Are Rediscovered.") The Cuban revolution and the Vietnamese resistance galvanized democratic idealists across Mexico, and The Movement turned to action: widespread propaganda dispersion, silent demonstrations, flash rallies, community organizing and the 123-day strikes in high schools and universities across the country. Then, as the impact of the student revolt in Paris in May 1968 reverberated throughout the world and governments became increasingly reactive, 200 protesting students were murdered in Tlatelolco Square by government military police, and hundreds more were arrested and jailed. In the days and weeks following, the corpses of the slain students disappeared, the facts were contorted by government-controlled media, and reality turned to myth. Today, over 35 years later, much of the truth remains uncovered, but Taibo's memoir goes a long way toward setting the record straight.--Publishers Weekly