[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 30 June 2006, 20:38 GMT 21:38 UK
Warrant for Mexico ex-president
Former President Luis Echeverria
Echeverria may be the first ex-president to face criminal charges
A Mexican court has issued an arrest warrant for former President Luis Echeverria, accused of genocide for an alleged massacre of students in 1968.

The decision came two days before Mexicans vote to elect a new president.

Mr Echeverria, 84, allegedly ordered the killing of student protesters in 1968, days before the Olympic Games opened in Mexico City.

Prosecutors say up to 300 people may have died when government agents hidden among regular soldiers opened fire.

Mr Echeverria was interior minister in 1968 at the time of the killings in Tlatelolco Square.

Mr Echeverria, who is frail and in poor health, is expected to be held under house arrest

House arrest

He has acknowledged that some died in Tlatelolco Square in 1968.

But he denies allegations that he posted snipers on scores of buildings to fire into the crowd and gave orders to fire.

Students march to mark the 1968 massacre
Mexican students still mark the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre
His lawyer, Juan Velasquez, told the Associated Press the killings were not part of an extermination policy, adding that Mr Echeverria would not serve time in prison because of his age.

Special prosecutor Ignacio Carillo has tried and failed twice to bring genocide charges against Mr Echeverria.

Hundreds died or disappeared during Mexico's "Dirty War" on leftists under Mr Echeverria's presidency between 1970 and 1976.

Outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox, who leaves office in December, has vowed to bring to justice those responsible for killings and oppression in the country's past.

A recent leak of a draft version of a report on the Dirty War was rejected as invalid by Mr Fox, who has said he will only comment on a final version, as yet unreleased.

Mexico rejects 'dirty war' leak
02 Mar 06 |  Americas
Mexico 'dirty war' crimes alleged
27 Feb 06 |  Americas
No arrest for Mexico ex-president
22 Sep 05 |  Americas
Mexico ex-leader genocide charge
20 Sep 05 |  Americas
Ex-Mexico leader escapes charges
23 Feb 05 |  Americas
Families angry at Mexico ruling
25 Jul 04 |  Americas
Mexico allows 'dirty war' trials
30 Jun 04 |  Americas

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific