Echeverria cleared of genocide

Last Thursday, a federal court ruled that the 1968 student massacre in Mexico City’s Tlatelolco Plaza was genocide but dismissed charges against former President Luis Echeverria.

Jesus Guadalupe Luna, chief judge in the case, said the massacre was ruled a genocide “because government authorities at the time jointly conducted a prearranged and coordinated action aimed at exterminating a national group of students from various universities.”

But the judge said there was no evidence linking Echeverria to the coordinated killings.

“None, absolutely none, of the evidence provided by the attorney general’s office indicates the participation of Luis Echeverria Alvarez in the preparation, conception or execution of the genocide,” Luna said at a news conference.

The court also ordered authorities to revoke Echeverria’s house arrest, in effect since November.

Federal prosecutors did not indicate immediately whether they would appeal. They have 10 days to file, Luna said.

The massacre, which happened shortly before the Mexican-hosted Olympics, is said to have left 25 people killed, even though human rights groups claim the number might be as high as 350. Echeverria was exonerated in a separate charge of genocide in 2005, for a similar massacre that took place in 1971.

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