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Border & Immigration

Fronteras: Remembering A Massacre 50 Years Later & Día De Los Muertos

Fifty years ago, hundreds of students and civilians were massacred in Mexico City by the Mexican military just days before the opening of the 1968 Summer Olympics. On this episode of Fronteras, we look back at the events of Oct. 2, 1968 (0:16). Then, we’ll examine the centuries-old tradition of Día de los Muertos (7:15). And finally, we’ll visit a Día de los Muertos festival in San Antonio (16:57).

Credit WikiMedia Commons / Cel·lí
M8 Greyhounds at the "Zócalo" in Mexico City in 1968.

Survivors Of A Deadly Mexico City Protest May Finally Find Closure

Fifty years ago, a protest of thousands of students in Mexico City ended with military tanks on the streets and hundreds dead. The Mexican government only recently recognized it ordered the killing of students on Oct. 2, 1968.

For the first time since the massacre, a government official called it a “crime of the state.”

The Texas Standard’s Joy Diaz explores the survivors’ healing process.


Credit Belinda Menchaca
Belinda Menchaca, Education Director of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, in front of the community altar at the Galería Guadalupe.

Día De Los Muertos: ‘It’s A Way of Celebrating … Life’

Día de los Muertos is a holiday that some say dates back to the Aztecs. It’s believed that this is the day spirits of loved ones cross into the land of the living to commune with their descendants.

Belinda Menchaca is education director at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, which works to preserve traditional and contemporary Latino arts and culture. Menchaca tells us the significance of the holiday and what it means from a cultural standpoint.

Credit Lauren Terrazas / Texas Public Radio
An example of an altar at the Día de los Muertos festival at La Villita in San Antonio.

Día De Los Muertos: ‘We’re Always Remembered’

Some Hispanics of Mexican descent have never heard of Dia de los Muertos, or they simply never cared about it when they were children.

But as adults, some now appreciate the holiday for its cultural and spiritual beauty and for the potential it offers to connect them to others in their community. And the perfect place to make those connections is a Dia de los Muertos festival in downtown San Antonio. TPR's Lauren Terrazas takes us there.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1, and Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren