There is a state of impunity 53 years after the genocide was recognized by the Mexican authorities, but there is not a single genocide perpetrator punished for the events that shook Mexico on October 2, 1968.
The only person charged with this crime is former President Luis Echeverría, however, he was on house arrest for two and a half years. On March 26, 2009, the federal justice exonerated Echeverría Álvarez of the crime of genocide committed against students in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in Tlatelolco. He was released with the reservations of the law.
This means that the Federal Public Prosecutor's Office would have the obligation to continue the criminal action and gather new evidence to request a new arrest warrant in this matter. Twelve years have passed in which the prosecutor's office in charge has not taken any action to seek new evidence against Luis Echeverría, the only one charged with this crime, and with this, the case goes unpunished once again," said Víctor Guerra, full counsel for the Committee of 1968.
He emphasized that Echeverría is the only one accused in the facts, but there are a series of officials from other levels who were also part of the investigation for October 2, 1968. Many of them are already dead, but there are several officials from the current government who participated in the facts.
The people who managed the Olimpia Battalion and who executed the Galeana operation are from the Secretary of National Defense, but there are no processes against the military commanders. There are people identified from the Olimpia Battalion, but the Prosecutor's Office has not called them to account because at the end of the story what we see is that during all these years there has been a cloak of impunity for the crimes.
They have no real interest in criminally punishing the material and intellectual authors of these events. Echeverría is alive and because of his place in the chain of command he should be accountable, but the Public Prosecutor's Office in the case has done nothing to prosecute him," the lawyer claimed in an interview. The victims of the attack do not have the authority to ask the Secretary of National Defense (Sedena) for the files of October 2, 1968, where they would surely find those responsible for ordering and executing the Tlatelolco genocide.
"We cannot call anyone to account. That function belongs to the Prosecutor's Office. It is important to remember that when the Special Prosecutor's Office for Political and Social Movements of the Past was created, it derived all the criminal activity. At that time the Prosecutor's Office did carry out an investigation and laid the groundwork to establish that what happened on October 2, 1968, was genocide and that is extremely relevant because, in modern times, genocides are punishable by the International Criminal Court," explained Victor, but the Court asks that all legal remedies be exhausted in Mexico so that they can intervene in an international manner.
"However, this cannot be done because the Prosecutor's Office does nothing, the case is open, but does not move forward, it is a very perverse obstacle to not go to the international instances. On the 50th anniversary, the Committee of the Victims of 1968 filed an injunction due to the inaction of the Public Prosecutor's Office and as soon as the injunction came in, they carried out investigative procedures, but when it was concluded, they stopped working.
At the end of August, we spoke with Andrés Manuel López Obrador and formed a working group to create a Presidential Commission for the Investigation of Past Crimes. However, this commission does not have the power to call and criminally punish those responsible. It can reach a knowledge of the facts, but it will not have consequences. In that meeting we asked for the creation of a special prosecutor's office to handle the case of genocide that could have authority and criminal action against those implicated in that night and that impunity would be overcome with justice", declared Victor Guerra.