Mexico Cancels Conference On 1960s And 1970s Rights Violations Raising Claims Of Censorship

Mexico's Department of the Interior reportedly revoked funding on Friday for a conference on the government's violent anti-insurgency policy from the 1960s to the 1980s, raising claims of censorship.

The conference had been scheduled to begin in two days time. Organizers said they were forced to cancel the event, which would have focused on the period known in Mexico as the "dirty war."

The decision has caused confusion among academics, some of whom have accused the government of censoring debate about an infamously violent period of modern Mexican history.

The event, hosted by the Colegio de Mexico, would have included presentations from historians from the United Kingdom to Argentina, members of Mexico's "dirty war" inquiry panel, and officials from the Department of the Interior itself.

One of the speakers, academic and human rights activist Sergio Aguayo, first announced the news on the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, claiming a government official had expressed concerns to him that "enemies of the government" were participating in the conference.

"There are different points of view because that is why there is academic freedom," Aguayo posted, calling the government's decision "absurd."

The government's "dirty war" inquiry, which was co-organizing the event, later confirmed on social media that funding had been cut, and the conference was cancelled.

The Department of the Interior has not acknowledged the cancellation and did not respond to The Associated Press' request for comment.

Since 2021, government officials have been investigating historic crimes committed during the period when the government waged a campaign of violence against leftist guerillas, dissidents and social movements in the 1960s, 70s and '80s.

They withdrew their inquiry last month, however, after discovering military officials were allegedly destroying, hiding and altering documents.

Even decades later, over 2,300 victims of the "dirty war" or their relatives are thought to be alive today, many still searching for justice, investigators announced in their latest findings.