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2 October 1968: A scene straight out of Hell

2 October 2008

Malcolm Beith in today’s The (Mexico City) News:

“The soldiers fired at the buildings, from the buildings, and then, into the masses,” Félix Hernández said. “The plaza was full, there were kids there. We could see that many were dead. The massacre was brutal.”

The bullets were indiscriminate, according to eyewitnesses who lived to tell their story. Women, children – even the white-gloved special forces, by some counts – were fired upon.

“In a few minutes the whole thing became a scene straight out of hell. The gunfire was deafening,” recounted one witness in Elena Poniatowska’s “The Night of Tlatelolco.”

Unable to get past soldiers and Olympic special forces to help those below, Félix Hernández and his fellow students ran to the third floor of the Edificio Chihuahua, and knocked on a friend’s door. About 20 of them crammed into the friend’s apartment, sneaking glances out the window every now and then to survey the carnage in the square. The soldiers were firing everywhere.

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