In the 1960s Mexico was experiencing increasingly insistent social protests, such as the Doctors' Movement in 1964, however, it was not until 1968 that the Student Movement became what historians describe as "a watershed" in the democratic life of the country.

We are not warriors, we are students, that's what we are, let all of Mexico know that we are its children, we are the youth," said a student of the 1968 Movement. Mexico was preparing to celebrate the Olympic Games, a conflict between students of CECyT 2 and 5 of the IPN against the Isaac Ochoterena High School, derived in police abuse, which generated a massive mobilization and strikes in educational institutions.

This crime was the culmination of crimes that could be considered crimes against humanity, perpetrated by the Mexican government against the students.

On July 30, the army evicted the Antiguo Colegio de San Ildefonso, which led to the condemnation of the then rector Javier Barros Sierra. On August 2, the National Strike Council was constituted to elaborate its list of demands and the student protest gained more strength; on August 27, a great mobilization was held which reached the capital's Zócalo, joined by the civil society and in which slogans were launched against President Gustavo Díaz Ordaz.

Although the government assured that it was maintaining a dialogue with the Movement and the army withdrew from the UNAM and IPN facilities, on October 2, the students called for a mobilization in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas. On that day, the massacre was committed. The National Human Rights Commission considers that it was a massacre in which more than 300 people were killed.