April 15, 2004
Vol. 23 No. 14

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    Colloquium offers opportunity to discuss Mexico’s politics

    By William Harms
    News Office

    A colloquium titled “Consolidating Democracy in Mexico” will bring together some of Mexico’s leading policymakers, civic leaders, academic researchers, university students and leading members of the Hispanic community in the Midwest region. The event will be held Friday, April 23, and Saturday, April 24, at International House.

    “The turn of the century brought about unprecedented events and a crucial point in Mexico’s political scenario,” said Alonso Bustamante, president of the Chicago Society, which is organizing the event.

    Today, Mexico is a working electoral democracy, Bustamante said, adding that the redefinition of the political system presents new challenges. The colloquium’s objective is to offer a unique forum for debate and discussion of the challenges of institutional reform, party politics and civil society’s changing involvement in Mexico’s political life.

    “Mexico has been undergoing a dramatic political change fueled by strategic interactions and arrangements among political elites,” said Bustamante.

    The colloquium will open at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 23, with a keynote address by Santiago Creel Miranda, Secretary of Government for Mexico and the second highest member of the federal government. Others speaking at the session will be Emilio Kourí, Associate Professor in History and Director of the Mexican Studies Program, and Fredrich Katz, the Morton D. Hull Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus in History and the College.

    The colloquium continues with a panel discussion from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday with a keynote address titled “Adapting and Reforming Institutions for Democracy” by Jose Woldenberg, former Federal Electoral Institute President.

    From 2 to 4 p.m., a panel discussion, titled “The Changing Role of Political Parties,” will take place, and from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m., a third panel will be held on the topic “Media and Non-Governmental Actors: New Roles and Challenges.”

    At 7 p.m. former Tinker Visiting Professor at the University Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas, who is a three-time presidential candidate and founder of the Revolutionary Democratic Party, will give a keynote speech.

    The Chicago Society is sponsoring the event with the Center for Latin American Studies, the Mexican Studies Program, the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies, the International House Global Voices Program, the Student Government and the Mexican Fine Arts Center Museum.

    For more information, visit http://chicagosociety.uchicago.edu/mexico/.