We are keeping a careful eye on Mexico because trouble
there would mean trouble here. The student riots in Mexico City thirty
years ago are still vividly remembered, and the anniversary has been marked
by meetings, notably one at the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)
attended by five
Ronald Hilton - 10/02/98
previous rectores (university presidents), as well as the present one.
The occasion was the unveiling of a monument to the university president
at the time of the riots who defended the university's autonomy. There
were again demands that all the documents about the riot be released.
The charge is
that soldiers started the violence and killed some students. Who gave
the orders, President Echeverria or his minister of the interior (gobernacion)?
The riots were allegedly used as a pretext for the government's attempt
to abolish the university's autonomy and give the police the right to function
on the campus. The difference with the U.S. "Pigs off campus!" campaign
is that, as noted, the protest is backed by all (?) the living UNAM ex-presidents.
This raises the global question as to whether students can riot and then
retreat to the refuge of their campuses. This would be intolerable, so
the question as to who started the violence in Mexico City is crucial.