First person poniatowska

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First person poniatowska

  1. 1. At that moment he gave me a kiss to give me courage and he said in a soft voice, but very firm: “Let’sgo!” He took me by the hand when he saw that I was paralyzed with fear. “Come on, let’s go, you’reOK!” I tried to move forward. “Get down! Crawl! You can’t stay here!” The bullets were flying by uson all sides. Then he threw himself down on the ground and he started to drag me like somebodydragging a suitcase…Magdalena Salazar, Psychology student at the National Autonomous University of MexicoExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 202.We knocked on all the doors of the April Second Building and nobody opened. A lady who lived inTlatlelolco and had gone with her little girl for bread got hysterical and started to scream. We wantedto help her and we passed a slip of paper under the door of an apartment that said, “Let in a lady withher little girl.” They answered with another slip of paper: “We can’t, we’re afraid.” Like that, inwriting. I lost the paper, I mean, I didn’t even think of keeping it. I think they answered so we’d stopbeating on the doors because Lina and I were pounding really, really hard. I don’t know where we gotso much strength; I think it was from sheer terror.María Ángeles Ramírez, student of the School of Anthropology, employee of the Secretary of PublicEducationExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 201.We passed one floor after another and in the central section of Chihuahua, I dont remember on whatfloor, I felt something sticky under my feet. I turn around and I see blood, a lot of blood and I tell myhusband: "Look, Carlos, theres so much blood--there was a massacre here!" Then one of the sergeantstells me, "Maam, its obvious youre not used to blood, because youre making a big fuss over a littlebit." But there was a lot, a lot of blood, to the point where I felt the stickiness of the blood on myhands. There was blood on the walls, too; I think the walls of Tlatelolco have their pores filled withblood. All of Tlatelolco—the whole place breathes blood. More than one person bled to death therebecause that was too much blood for one person.Margarita Nolasco, anthropologistExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 171.My boyfriend and I went up the stairs towards the rooftop, some ten floors, and it was like I did iteffortlessly. I heard people fall on the stairs and then on the roof I saw a kid of fourteen or fifteen whowas running ahead of us between the sheds where the servants lived and they skewered him with abayonet.Enriqueta González Cevallos, elementary school teacherExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 224.
  2. 2. I didnt have the slightest sympathy for the Student Movement; their list of demands always seemedabsurd: "Get rid of Cueto." For what? Theyll just replace him with someone exactly the same. Everyone of their points was naive...But the barbarity of the punishment, the fury of the authorities againstthe young people, the absolute disproportion between the offense and the repression made me change.Now the government has succeeded in turning them into heroes.Héctor Mendieta Cervantes, Doctor of Neurology.Excerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 224.On his eyebrow he had a huge cut that washed his whole face in blood. I said to him, joking, "What,you got in a boxing ring?" And he burst out crying, I thing because of the shock, because hes alwaysbeen a calm, stoic kid.José Merino Gasca, engineer, fatherExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 193.Where do the students go when they get out? The ones from the National University or from thePolytechnic—where do they go when they finish their studies? To private industry or government.Somewhere else, maybe? Then, what were the marchers going to demand? What were they askingfor? What did they want, if, in any event, sooner or later they’d be part of the establishment theyoppose?Heriberto Alarcón Pimentel, industrialistExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 95.We went up to the second floor and knocked on the doors of some apartments without getting ananswer. Then we went up to the next floor and so on like that. We were desperate, going up and upand nobody would open for us. We heard the pounding of the heels of the boots of the soldiers whowere coming behind us. Then I stopped in front of the door of an apartment and screamed, “Let mywife in with the kids, at least!”Ramón Oviedo, geological engineer with the Mexican Petroleum InstituteExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 224.The situation is very difficult. We can’t shoot all over the place because the order is to return firedirectly. Since we’ve been here they’ve fired at us continuously and with high caliber weapons…Life’s hard, you know, and you have to earn it. Unfortunately we have to follow the order because ifwe take one step back our own comrades will kill us indiscriminately.A sergeant of the 19th Infantry BattalionExcerpted and translated from:Elena Poniatowska. La noche de Tlatelolco: testimonios de historia oral. 2. ed. México, D.F.: Ediciones Era, 1998. 242.

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