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Voices of Resistance & Change Mexico 1968 Massacre Article Analysis Discussion

Voices of Resistance & Change Mexico 1968 Massacre Article Analysis Discussion

Question Description

Part 1. Instructions:

1. Required Readings:

Read the document (I will send you)

  • Poniatowska, “The Student Movement of 1968 ” (pgs. 555-556 and middle 562-568 only)
  • After the Earthquake” (pgs. 579-middle 581 & middle 587-top 589 only)
  • Contreras, “Economic Policy in Mexico” ( continued: pgs. 8-12)
  • Salinas Speaks Out on Free Trade
  • NAFTA Should Have Stopped Illegal Immigration, Right?
  • Subcomandante Marcos, “The Long Journey from Despair to Hope

1. Complete Voices of Resistance and Change Reading Quiz (Part I)

question 1

“The Student Movement of 1968” by Elena Poniatowska

a. Asserts that the 1968 protesters were a tight alliance of peasants, workers, and middle and upper class students

b. Asserts that students protested against the state even though they knew that the state was likely to repress them violently

c. Is a secondary source text

d. Asserts that the Echeverría government ultimately rebuilt a relationship with students through a vehement campaign that included zealous efforts to regain student support, such as giving students six busses when they only asked for two

e. Asserts that as a result of the 1968 student movement, the PRI lost some credibility in the eyes of the Mexican public in the aftermath of the massacre

f. Is a primary source text

g. Asserts that the Mexican Revolution and its implementation in subsequent decades made little change in the lives of peasants because peasants received land, but did not receive the water, credit, or tools to cultivate that land

question 2

According to “After the Earthquake”

a. An international relief organization donated water barrels to impacted communities, but the delivery of those barrels was delayed by several days because the government wanted the PRI logo on them before distribution

b. The PRI tied to co-opt, bribe, or out-do local community organizers who were providing social assistance after the earthquake

c. The PRI anonymously donated chickens for a New Year’s dinner to feed the homeless, and it continued this tradition every year after the earthquake

d. Communities generally embraced the PRI efforts to provide assistance after the earthquake and rejected the efforts by local unions and socialist organizations

2. Complete Voices of Resistance and Change Reading Quiz (Part II)


According to Contreras

a. The election of Vicente Fox in 2000 marked an end to the PRI’s political monopoly and the transformation toward neoliberal, market-oriented economic policies that the PRI had been promoting

b. NAFTA marked a government led effort to return to import substitution industrialization

c. The old economic order was replaced in the 1980s with economic liberalization, deregulation, and massive privatization

d. The 1980s market a period in which education rates increased and infant mortality decreased

question 2

According to “Salinas Speaks Out on Free Trade”

a. The Mexican population was demanding that that the reforms being carried out by the Salinas government continue

b. NAFTA would decrease the level of immigration into the US from Mexico

c. Mexico’s economy became vibrant, with a balanced budget and low inflation under Salinas

d. Mexico would begin a new infrastructure program to build new highways and reconstruct old roads

e. NAFTA would not result in jobs leaving the US for Mexico

question 3

According to “NAFTA Should Have Stopped Illegal Immigration, Right?”

a. Proponents of NAFTA argued that the agreement would create jobs and prosperity within Mexico so that Mexicans would have no need to immigrate into the US

b. The Mexican government invested heavily in infrastructure improvements throughout the country

c. Many Mexican manufacturers were unable to compete with lower-wage labor in China

d. NAFTA only slightly decreased immigration from Mexico to the US

question 4

In “The Long Journey from Despair to Hope”, Subcomandante Marcos asserts that

a. “Middle Mexico” embraces the cultural nationalism of the Mexican Revolution

b. Men and women within each level of Mexican society have the same fundamental experiences because they share the same economic status

c. After many years, the Mexican government finally succeeded in unifying the Mexican people

d. The sins of the Zapatistas include not being satisfied with handouts and insisting on democracy, liberty, and justice for all

e. “Lower Mexico” is comprised of the working poor, who are at the lowest level of Mexican society

3. Required Viewings: (As you read this part. Talk about what you think. You must ask one question about this readings on this discussion (1 page only)

Part 2. Reply those 2 question. (6-7 sentences)

1. Perhaps one of the biggest issues we learn about this week is the massacre of university students in Mexico in October of 1968. A “unique, massive, and essentially peaceful protest movement” (Poniatowska 555) composed of middle class students that “protested against misery, imposition, and corruption” (Poniatowska 556) against their government. As we know, this was eventually met with a shootout between federal troops and the students, with no clear reports or data available about casualties (discussed in the NPR podcast) available. Then, according to Poniatowska, Mexico returned to its usual indifference the day after the massacre, seeming to forget or ignore what had just occurred as the Olympics approached.

My question is, what parallels can you draw between the events of the recent protests in the United States (motivations and responses from the government/other people) and the movement of students in Mexico in 1968? Do you think that in the United States, it will be as though “life returned to insulting normality?” (Poniatowska, 565) as it is described for Mexicans in “The Student Movement of 1968”? Finally, briefly, do you think that this movement was successful, or that it attained any of its goals?

2. Through this week’s readings, we can clearly see how the perception of NAFTA has changed from its inception. In 1992, President Salinas de Gortari hoped to “institutionalize” changes brought by NAFTA and by neoliberalism including lower inflation, greater foreign investment, a smaller deficit, while at the same time increasing expenditures on social programs (1). However, 12 years later in 2004, Carlos Contreras critically evaluates NAFTA’s effects. While there was some economic growth, the growth was unequal. Contreras labels the Zapatista’s rebellion as an “ominous sign” of this unequal growth that led to another round of political and economic crises (9). In 2007, Louis Ochitelle’s evaluation of NAFTA finds that the foreign investment that President Salinas de Gortari and other proponents of NAFTA believed in just “did not happen” (2). As a result, Mexico lost many jobs and migration to the US increased. NAFTA remains a divisive issue today. Even more recently, President Trump made renegotiating NAFTA an important part of his platform, and the revised USMCA just came into effect on July 1st of this year.

We have seen a theme of Mexico slowly being integrated into the global economy, do you think that NAFTA was essential for Mexico’s development and this integration? What are some pros and cons of this integration? Ochitelle’s article states that “more than a trade agreement is required for countries to converge economically” (4). What other steps do you think the Mexican government should have taken to ensure this convergence?

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