Chanting slogans and carrying banners with Echeverria’s face accompanied by the words “mass murderer” on them, the activists denounced the student massacres that took place in 1968 and 1971.
Echeverria’s death was confirmed earlier on Saturday by Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Twitter.
Later in the day, the former president’s friends and relatives carried out a small funeral service in the west side of Mexico City.
Echeverria took office in 1970 promising a democratic opening for the country but oversaw six of the harshest years of a so-called “dirty war” against dissidents.
His 1970-1976 presidency was tainted from the outset by accusations that he ordered troops to open fire on thousands of peacefully demonstrating students in the Mexico City area of Tlatelolco on Oct. 2, 1968, while serving as interior minister.
As an elderly man, Echeverria escaped attempts by Mexican prosecutors to indict him for genocide for his role in the two infamous massacres of student protesters that helped define an era of heavy-handed state repression.
He denied wrongdoing and refused to testify about crimes that have not been fully cleared up to this day.
In 2006, a judge ordered Echeverria to be placed under house arrest for his connection to the student killings. But in March 2009, a court ruled the army crackdown did not qualify as genocide and upheld prior rulings that a 30-year statute of limitations for the crimes had expired.