Removing Plaque of Gustavo Diaz Ordaz from Charro Statue In Presidio Park San Diego

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I am petitioning the city of San Diego to remove the plaque bearing the name of Mexico's former President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz from the Charro statue located in San Diego's Presidio Park. The statue itself is a beautiful representation of the Vaqueros who once settled in the San Diego region. However, the statue is at this time forever linked to a very hardline former Mexican President, Ordaz was personally responsible for the Tlatelolco massacre of 300 to 400 unarmed protestors and wounded or arrested around 1400 more in Mexico City on October 2, 1968.


A Brief overview of President Ordaz’s regime: 


President Ordaz oversaw and was responsible for the Tlatelolco massacre where the Mexican Armed Forces opened fire on October 2, 1968, on unarmed civilians protesting, killing an undetermined number, in the hundreds. This event took place in the Plaza de las Tres Culturas in the Tlatelolco section of Mexico City. The events are considered part of the Mexican Dirty War when the government used its forces to suppress political opposition. At the time Ordaz claimed that the protestors fired on the military which sparked the military reaction and the slaughter of innocent unarmed protestors. It has been revealed in documents released by the Mexican government that the protestors did not fire on the Mexican military. Ordaz had snipers placed around the Plaza de las Tres Culturas who fired into the crowd so that Ordaz was able to put the protest down. This is exactly what he did after his snipers fired a few rounds the military responded and killed an undetermined number of people. But most statistics of the day say that the number of dead was somewhere between 300 and 400 people killed and another 1400 wounded or arrested by the Mexican military.

This President has been seen with such animosity in his native Mexico that in 2018 the government in Mexico City removed all the plaques bearing Ordaz’s name from any public place space in Mexico City. So, the question is if the Mexican people and government do not wish to have Ordaz’s name remembered in their capital city, why should we have it memorialized on a statue here in San Diego. The Charro statue which is in San Diego’s Presidio Park in Old Town is a magnificent statue and a fitting tribute to the vaqueros who settled here in San Diego. We are not requesting that the statue be removed as it is a fitting tribute to San Diego’s settlers. We are only requesting that the plaque bearing the Ordaz’s name be removed or replaced.

We are asking the city of San Diego to remove or replace the plaque on the statue in Presidio Park in San Diego. We are suggesting that the city replace the plaque with one which is a more fitting tribute for the Mexican people who donated the statue in 1970. We are suggesting to the city of San Diego that the plaque be replaced with one that says that the statue was donated to the City of San Diego by the people of Mexico on the 200th anniversary of their founding. We fully intend to bring this issue before the City Council of San Diego and the Mayor of San Diego. Right now, we are gathering signatures so that we may proceed to the City Council to execute our request. 

We currently have the full support of Iris Engstrand, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, from the University of San Diego. She is a well-known historian and as written many books relating to California, Spanish and Western history. She is a well-known historian of San Diego History who has served as a trustee of the San Diego Museum of Natural History and the San Diego Maritime Museum, among many other honors she has received. 

We are in the process now of waiting to get a comment from the Old Town Chamber of Commerce and we are seeking a response from the Old Town Planning Commission. We are looking forward to their responses. We will also be going to the city with our petition to remove and replace the plaque.

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