MEXICO CITY — Several thousand students marched through Mexico City on Sunday to mark the anniversary of an Oct. 2, 1968, massacre in which troops fired on protesters at the capital’s Tlatelolco Plaza, killing an unknown number.
Violence that often marks the annual demonstration was avoided Sunday, with police guarding the march route and steel and wood barriers protecting businesses that are often vandalized.
This year’s march comes as radical rural teachers’ college students have battled authorities, blocking highways, hijacking and burning vehicles and kidnapping police in the western state of Michoacan, to demand teaching jobs and freedom for their jails colleagues.
Paula Rodriguez was one of the teachers’ college students from Michoacan marching Sunday.
“We have been subject to repression,” Rodriguez said, “because the government doesn’t want the teachers’ colleges to exist.”
The government has said it cannot offer graduates of the colleges guaranteed jobs, because recent reforms require applicants for teaching jobs to pass tests.
Also Sunday, one of the top leaders of the 1968 student movement, writer and columnist Luis Gonzalez de Alba, was reportedly found dead at his home. No further details were available.
Federal Culture Secretary Rafael Tovar wrote in his Twitter account that “I regret the death of Luis Gonzalez de Alba, writer, activist, journalist, protagonist of the nation’s life.”
According to his website, Gonzalez de Alba was arrested at Tlatelolco Plaza on the evening of the massacre and spent time in jail, like other student leaders.