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Luis Echeverría Álvarez

Echeverría Álvarez, Luis (lōēsˈ āchāvār-rēˈä älˈvärās) [key], 1922–, president of Mexico (1970–76). A lawyer, he was formerly a law professor. As a member of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary party, he held numerous party and government posts beginning in the 1940s. As secretary of the interior (1964–69), he gained prominence for his stern handling of student demonstrations during the 1968 Olympic games in Mexico City Much later (2003) he was implicated in a cover-up of the government's responsibility for the massacre of demonstrators in Oct., 1968, but was not prosecuted because too much time had passed under Mexico's statute of limitations. Although he faced no strong challenge in the presidential election, he campaigned strenuously. As president, he introduced agricultural technical assistance programs, promoted public works, and furthered Mexican control of industries by placing limits on foreign investment. A "dirty war" against Mexican leftists was conducted during his presidency, and in 2005 the Mexican supreme court ruled that under the statute of limitations he could be charged with human rights abuses in connection with government attacks on leftists while he was in office. Subsequent charges of genocide were dismissed for insufficient evidence. An appeals court reinstated the charges in 2006 only to have a lower court drop them because of the statute of limitations, but the charges were then reinstated again and, in 2007, again dropped, because of a lack of evidence. In Dec., 1976, Echeverría Álvarez was succeeded as president by José López Portillo.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Mexican History: Biographies


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