Former Mexican President Luis Echeverria Alvarez (1970-1976), remembered for his “dirty war” against political opponents, died on the night of Friday to Saturday July 9 at the age of 100, a announced the executive. “I send my respectful condolences to family and friends,” current president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador tweeted about his distant predecessor.
From the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI, in power for sixty years until 2000), Echeverria is accused of being one of those responsible for the student massacres of October 2, 1968 in Mexico City as Minister of the Interior, and the suppression of another student movement on June 10, 1971, as president.
Acquitted in 2009 for lack of evidence
A lawyer by profession, Echeverria was the first Mexican president to be sued for his responsibility in the massacre of two hundred students in the Tlatelolco neighborhood just before the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Placed under arrest warrant at home, he was finally acquitted in 2009 for lack of evidence.
The president was also accused of enforced disappearances during the “dirty war” against opposition groups from the 1960s to the 1980s. Echeverria died two weeks after the announcement of the opening of the “dirty war” military archives to the relatives of the victims.
On the diplomatic level, he had supported the experience of democratic socialism in Chile, and welcomed Chilean refugees to Mexico after the overthrow of Salvador Allende by General Pinochet in September 1973.
Father of eight children, Echeverria was Mexico’s ambassador to Unesco in Paris after leaving the presidency.