April 24, 2012

Panel plots Mexico’s future pre-election

As the uncertain road leading to Mexico’s presidential election this July continues to wind, former government officials from the capital joined leading political theorists and commentators at International House on Saturday, where a series of panels weighed in on the future of Mexican politics, the stability of its economy, and the security of its cities.

Delivering the keynote address was Cuauhtémoc Solórzano, a founder of Mexico’s leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, which nearly secured a victory in the country’s 2006 presidential elections, and the former head of government of the Mexico City Federal District. Throughout his speech, governmental reform was the resounding note.

“If we are to build a future of development, welfare, and expectations, of succinct progress for every Mexican, regardless of where he or she lives, where and in which family he or she is born, which of the activities she or he is dedicated to,” he said, “present Mexico has to be completely rearranged.”

According to Eduardo Arnal, the Consul of Mexico in Chicago, the timing of the conference could not have been better.

“With elections in Mexico a little more than two months away, it’s hard to imagine a better time than this to hold a conference about the future of Mexico. It’s also refreshing to have such a forum where you can find very diverse perspectives,” he said.

The first of the conference’s three panels, titled “Elections, Democracy, and Equality,” was led by Jesus Marquez, a Mexican scholar and political analyst as a frequent commentator on the Mexican media, and Gina Zabludovksy, a political science researcher at Mexican National University.

“I hoped to bring the interest of Mexican politics and present situations and how women in Mexico and in the world have changed in the last years,” Zabludovsky said in an interview.

While Zabludovsky sought to depict a fresh and changing landscape in Mexican politics—and to trumpet women’s role in it—Marquez insisted the contrary.

“I think I would use the word ‘boring’ as the basic mark of this campaign. I think we are living in the most boring elections that we’ve lived in the recent history of Mexico,” Marquez said.

After the first panel was one titled “Poverty, Economy, and Development,” followed by one on “Security, Organized Crime, and Human Rights.”

Jonathan Grabinsky, president of the association, pointed out the large Mexican and Hispanic populations at the University, saying that prior to the conference, there wasn’t enough discussion of issues in Mexico and that disparity inspired the event.

Mexicanos en UChicago hosted the panel discussion titled Mexico Tomorrow 2012.