Mexico’s oldest living ex-president turned 100

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last time Echeverria was seen in public was last year. He was wearing a sombrero and slumped in a wheelchair, lined up for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Mexico’s oldest living, former President Luis Echeverria turned 100 on January 17th. But the centenarian’s birthday wasn’t widely celebrated. Instead, he was remembered as an architect of Mexico’s brutally repressive Dirty War.

Echeverría played a fundamental role in some of Mexico’s most painful modern moments, especially the 1968 and 1971 massacres of students and pro-democracy protesters.

Some say he was the mastermind of repression and a key architect of Mexico’s state terrorism machinery.

Adela Cedillo, a history professor at the University of Houston, says that as secretary of the interior and then president, Echeverria built clandestine prisons and torture chambers, ostensibly to quash a small guerrilla movement in the height of the country’s decades-long Dirty War.

De Saturninojuarez – Trabajo propio, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=106781965

Echeverria plunged the country into heavy debt. After Mexico’s decades-long one-party rule had ended, he was charged in 2006 with genocide and placed under house arrest. But the case was later dismissed.

But Mexican historian Enrique Krauze says the former president has never admitted any wrongdoing.

The last time Echeverria was seen in public was last year. He was wearing a sombrero and slumped in a wheelchair, lined up for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Luis Echeverría Alvarez

With information from Excelsior

Mexico Daily Post