An appeals court on Wednesday cleared the way for the arrest and trial of former President Luis Echeverría on genocide charges in connection with the massacre of student protesters in 1968.
The court reversed earlier rulings that the statute of limitations had long since run out, saying it had two days to go.
The ruling is the final twist in a long battle by the administration of President Vicente Fox to charge and try Mr. Echeverría, who is 84 and in poor health, for his role in the deaths and disappearances of hundreds of students, leftist dissidents and guerrillas in the late 1960s and early 1970s, a period known in Mexico as “the dirty war.”
The decision was a victory for Mr. Fox, who leaves office on Friday. He staked part of his political legacy on holding government officials responsible for past atrocities instead of forming a truth commission with no ability to charge people with crimes.
For all the problems I've got with much of Fox's leadership, I really respect what he has done here and with border issues with the United States. Mexico has a long history of oppression, it is that long history that lead to unrest in response to the close election in July (which finally culminated with a legislative fist fight today). Fox's decision to put Echeverria on trial for these crimes is a positive step in moving Mexico from the de-facto dictatorship that it was under the PRI into a functioning democracy.