Thursday, October 2, 2008

El 2 de octubre no se olvida: Justice through music

The idiom: October 2nd will not be forgotten. Or has it? It has been precisely 40 years today since about four-hundred students in Mexico City were scandalously massacred for demanding their rights as students and receiving the resources they needed as students, instead of all attention being focused on the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. It is said the government was trying to "save" the country... but from what? communism? maintaining conservative and traditional Mexican values? or from rebellious students without a cause? whatever the excuses are, this horrendous act has not been justified from this unethical and conspicuous decision authorities requested. To those who know about October 2nd, it was a dividing point between working class citizens, students, campesinos, and other activists and the PRI, Mexico's ruling party for 7 decades.

I have researched a list of songs created in that time and further on in time, that counter-narrate the massacre, provide an alternative viewpoint (since the official version was never clear), and provide a sense of justice to those affected, and others for who fight for the sake of a just government.

For la nueva cancion, or the new song, key figures are:
Jose de Molina (songs: Ayeres, En esta plaza, representing the plaza of three cultures in Tlatelolco where the students were killed, from Aztec ruins, Spanish cathedral, and modern PRI buildings)
Oscar Chavez (entire album on Mexico 68, hence the title)
Amparo Ochoa
Angel Parra (song titled: Mexico 68, son of Violeta Parra, founder of the Nueva Cancion de Chile, NCCh)
Judith Reyes (album: Cronología del movimiento estudiantil)

Others from other genres like rock, folk, punk, ska, and so on are:
Banda Bostik: Tlatelolco 68
Pedro Calderon: Así fue
Grupo Masacre 68: Masacre 68
La Parranda Magna: 2 de octubre
Maldita Vecindad: 2 de octubre
Panteón Rococó: Nada Pasó
Rockdrigo González: ­Campeón olímpico de la muerte
Tres Botones: Guantes blancos (because the killers were dressed as civilians with one white glove to identify each other.)

Many other songs and artists are still on the search....

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