Mexico is been going through some hard times lately, however, dire as the situation may seem, this isn't the worse we've had to outlive. There was a time when freespeech and democracy were only a dream. Such were the times in 1968 when the massacre of Tlatelolco occurred.
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemn to repeat it." ~George Santayana.
When they came out of the restaurant, it was dark already.
"I'll bring your car in a minute," said a young man in a blue uniform.
They kept talking happily about their plans for the night. They were going to the movies. There was nothing in particular that interested them but she needed to get out, be distracted. Anything to helped her forget twenty years ago today she'd lived through a nightmare that changed her life, robbed her hope, and killed her friends.
Back then, the day had started immersed in the jovial attitude that only free spirited youngsters can provide. The air was full with optimism and faith; faith in the possibility of change, and in the strength of civility and democracy. A hundred conversations were happening at the same time, all deep in meaning but light in spirit. Even when the speeches commenced and one of the leaders took hold of the microphone, it was hard to concentrate on the single voice above the many indistinct conversations. His speech was inspired, filled with a passion that ignited in her the unequivocal certainty that they would make a difference. Later on, all those feelings would falter and die, suffocating in the deep silence charged with pain and tragedy that marked the end of the night.
In hindsight, hell had begun quite beautifully.
A bright red light cut through the sky from the roof of one of the buildings surrounding the square; the same buildings that later turned the place into a death trap. Gee, fireworks for the closing might be a bit much, she'd thought. Then, out of the corner of her eye she saw someone taking the microphone forcibly from the speaker's hands and shove him to the floor. She couldn't understand what they were saying since the sound of more pyrotechnics filled the air. Screaming students ran in every possible direction, but she stood in the middle of the square, confused. Around her, all hell broke lose.
There was a pungent odour of burned powder assaulting her nose, the remnants of the firearms that had quieted the students. There was also the smell of burned flesh and death, but that was something she was trying to block from her mind. She needed to think straight, she couldn't allow her heart to control her mind.
A very young boy passing rigth next to her fell to the ground violently, growing underneath him was a puddle of blood; still, she didn't move. Armed men were atop every building. The only way out was to her back, where she could see military vehicles blocking the way, and panic finally set in. She ran like all the others, though she knew there was no escape. Her legs got caught and she fell flat on top of something warm and squishy that cushioned her fall. She glanced at her savior and found herself looking into the dead eyes of a woman; a single bullet hole scarring her forehead.
The explosion of more rounds deafened her screams.
"You're car's here, sir" said the man to her husband, who was still blabbing about how 'New Year's Eve' seemed to be a perfect choice of movie for them.
"You're right, babe. I really think it can make our night," she lied, but the crying of a hundred mother's who lost their children that night rang in her ears like Whispers from the undead.