World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Mexico 68


Mexico 68

The Mexican Student Movement of 1968 was a 1968 Summer Olympics played an important role on the way the government acted. Both the government and the students acted according to their generational ideologies. This movement was influenced by the world’s movements at that time, like the Hippie movement. The movement influenced Mexican feminism and women played an important role in it. The events that happened from July–October 1968 are colloquially called Mexico 68.[1]


  • Context 1
    • The world 1.1
    • Mexico 1.2
      • Social 1.2.1
      • Political 1.2.2
    • Olympic Games 1.3
  • The movement 2
    • Purpose 2.1
    • Tlatelolco massacre 2.2
  • Role of women 3
  • Consequences 4
  • References 5


The world

During this time, the Vietnam War caused an ideological revolution around the world. With the introduction of The Pill, sexual liberation arose giving momentum to Mexico. Also, the hippie movement gave place to a "peace and love" ideology, adopted by students world wide who tried to extend it throughout society.[2] These were some of the reasons why many student movements took place around the globe, showing young people's dissatisfaction with the social situation.[1] [3]



There was an ideological clash between older adults and younger adults, caused by the differences between the generations to which they belonged. The newer generations were open-minded toward innovations and believed in a bright future, while the previous generations found themselves unprepared to accept all the new ideas. Because of this ideological clash, the new generation was repressed by the previous one, which resulted in the formation of young adult movements.


The government restricted citizens' freedom of speech and action. This caused them to live a more pacified life in some ways. However, people got tired of this lifestyle, becoming discontent and dissatisfied with their government. Mexico, like the rest of the world, was dealing with the clash of two ideologies, socialism and capitalism, which gave place to internal conflicts. According to the Constitution, the government had the right to use military force in order to maintain peace in the country.[1][2]

Olympic Games

The 1968 Olympic Games took place in Mexico, making it the first developing country to host this event. This represented an important source of income to the country because of the tourists who would come to attend the Olympics. Giving a good impression to the world could lead to the introduction of international investors. However the students were against these ideals. They did not believe that the appearance of Mexico to the world was a priority. They preferred a revolution resulting in the reformation of their country. "No queremos Olimpiadas, queremos revolución" (We do not want Olympic Games, we want a revolution).[3] The IOC threatened to move the Games to Los Angeles if the situation deteriorated.[1]

The movement


With all these repressions and constant injustices going on in the country, the younger generations decided to take justice into their own hands. Beginning in July 1968, many students' movements started to arise. Young adults, especially university students, tried to find a place for themselves due to the general repression of society, becoming attracted to what was considered socially unacceptable.[3] The purpose of many of these students' movements was to show their dissatisfaction with their society, trying to create a better world or a place to call home. This discomfort was heightened by the influence of music world wide such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, which many young adults identified with.[1][2]

Tlatelolco massacre

From July to September 1968, student movements started to arise and become stronger and more violent, to the point that the government stepped in. However, these meetings were usually under control, until October 2, 1968. At 5 PM in the Díaz Ordaz and commanded by Luis Echeverria, decided to dissolve the meeting. A student claims that at about 6:10 a helicopter dropped three flares over the plaza, quickly followed by the first gunshots.[4][5] People started to panic, and everyone started running to save their lives. However, no one came to their rescue. The rest of the city either did not care or decided to pretend indifference towards the students. The intense fire lasted for about 30 minutes.[1][3]

The next day, the newspapers tried to diminish the real intensity of the facts, portraying the students as the instigators of the massacre.[3] Most of the information given out was about the military men and how many were injured trying to protect their country from internal conflicts. Only two newspapers included some information about the students. However, all this information was being controlled in order to pretend everything was right with the country. It was not until 30 years later that the spectators and survivors could talk more openly about the facts.[2]

Role of women

Women played an important role in the movement of Mexico 68. According to Elaine Carey, the female participants in the movement lived through an intense social experience and a sudden expansion of their expectations as citizens and as women. Many women awakened to the political and social commitment that had made. Before the repression of the initial demonstration, there were already some student groups that gave women the opportunity to participate actively in the social movement. Because of this, feminist ideas started to spread and grow stronger. At the time, government officials tended to focus on the men in the movement, discounting the significance of the role played by women. As a result of this discrimination, men became the target of the government during the crackdown of October 2, 1968, leaving women behind. This gave female members the opportunity to keep the movement alive, determining its direction in the ensuing years.[6] One of the most important feminist groups was “Las Panchas Pomposas.”[6]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Xypolia, Ilia (2013). Gokay, Bulent; Xypolia, Ilia, ed. Turmoils and Economic Miracles: Turkey '13 and Mexico '68. Keele, UK.: Keele European Research Centre. p. 33.  
  2. ^ a b c d Castro, Genoveva; R. Blanco, C. Lasso and I. Rodríguez. "Cronología del movimiento estudiantil de 1968". RedEscolar. Retrieved 2011-10-16. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Ponitowska, Elena (September 1998). "Son cuerpos, señor…". Equis. pp. 3–8. 
  4. ^ a b c González, Víctor M. (June 2003). "México 1968…¡No se olvida!". Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 
  5. ^ Youtube footage in which flare drop is visible. Footage was recorded secretly by the government on the day of the massacre. See:
  6. ^ a b c d e f Carey, Elaine (2005). Plaza of Sacrifices: gender, power and terror in 1968 Mexico. USA: Editorial Dialogos.  
  7. ^ Soto, Cecilia (1998-11-11). "Las mujeres y el 68". Reforma. p. 18. 


  • Pérez, Javier; H. Magaña (February 2003). "Los Movimientos Estudiantiles en México". FES Zaragoza-UNAM. Retrieved 2007-11-07. 


Several social changes took place after this year. No longer would people have to live under strict and unbreakable rules. Because of this, there was more freedom of action under the law as well as freedom of expression without prior restrictions.[4] New ideas were formed and transformed daily life. The new feminist ideology allowed women to fight for their rights, increasing the social participation of women by a significant percentage. Women no longer only had to take care of the house and children, but could also become business women.[6]

The major change caused by this movement came at a political level. The citizens had the opportunity to live a new democracy in which their opinion could actually bring change in society. People no longer trusted completely in the government and would no longer live completely under the conscious control of their government, nor tolerate it anymore,[4] although they were not completely free. Octavio Paz resigned from the Indian embassy as an act of protest against the government's harsh repression of the student movements. However, there were also some older intellectuals who were in favor of the government, like Agustín Yañez.[3]

This social movement brought unavoidable consequences which permanently changed the future of Mexico,[1] but these political and social changes were not immediate, the repression continued with the Corpus Christi massacre in 1971.


These are some examples of women in the movement, however, there were many more like Alejandra Herrera, Vida Valero, Mercedes Perelló, among many others.[6]

Carmen Landa showed by her own example how changes have been made and how the feminist movement could change lives. Her introduction to feminism in 1968 lead her to become part of this movement.[6]

Rosario Castellanos covered a domestic women's strike in the United States in the name of feminism. She used the strike as an example in order to question concepts of Mexican femininity. With these actions, Rosario Castellanos opened the door to more discussion concerning feminism.[6]


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.