As Mexico City swore in its first female mayor on Wednesday, Claudia Sheinbaum, she pledged she would dissolve the infamous Granaderos anti-riot police which has been used to violently suppress protests.

The Granaderos police unit was popularly known to violently repress people’s dissent and control opposition groups. In 1968, Mexico’s president Gustavo Diaz Ordaz ordered the unit to shoot into crowds demanding the freedom of political prisoners. The fatal shooting became known as the Tlatelolco Massacre. Sheinbaum cited the demands of the 1968 student movement, which organized to stop “the use of armed forces to repress the people,” in her decision.

According to the Voice of America (VOA), Sheinbaum said, “The police are there to protect the people, and we don’t need a police force to repress them.”

Sheinbaum adds, “The then-president Diaz Ordaz said the terrible phrase: ‘We’ve been tolerant but everything has a limit.’ A month later the student massacre was ordered.” 

Sheinbaum is also the joint recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for her work as a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. She is also a close associate of Mexico’s current president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Amlo), who is also a popular leftist politician. Both their electoral victories signal a new wave of left-wing politics and activism in Mexico. They also campaigned on promises of new citizen security and renewed respect for free press and political dissent.