Latin American Politics: A Perspective from Mexico

Public Policy Lecture Series Fall-Winter 2014

This season’s Public Policy Lecture Series brings three top-notch speakers to Reed to discuss the relationship between the United States and Latin America—focusing on questions of security, immigration, trade, and drug trafficking in Mexico—and to share their visions about the future of the region.

Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza: “Mexico and the United States: Challenges and Opportunities”

Saturday, November 8, 2014
2 p.m., Vollum lecture hall

Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza

Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza was appointed ambassador of Mexico to the United States in January 2013, previously serving as ambassador to the Court of Saint James, United Kingdom. He is the only official in history to have held the three top civilian security positions in the Mexican cabinet: attorney general, secretary of public security, and director-general of Mexico’s civilian intelligence agency. Medina-Mora Icaza negotiated the Border Security Agreement between the United States and Mexico in 2002, and coordinated the legal advisory group to the Mexican government during negotiations for the North American Free Trade Agreement. He holds a degree in law from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and is the author of two books. Diplomat magazine recognized Medina-Mora as diplomat of the year for the Americas in 2012. This talk examines the concept of North America and the relationship between the United States and Mexico by focusing on questions of trade, migration, and drug policy. Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.

Javier Osorio: “Understanding Drug Violence in Mexico”

Thursday, December 4, 2014
7 p.m., Psychology 105

Javier Osorio

Javier Osorio, assistant professor in the political science department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY, received a PhD from the University of Notre Dame. His research interests are focused on political violence—particularly large-scale criminal violence in Latin America—and on repression-dissent dynamics, human rights, political clientelism and vote buying, political corruption, and transparency. Osorio has been a fellow at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University and at Yale University, and held appointments at the World Bank in Mexico and the Federal Electoral Institute in Mexico. This talk intends to explain the Mexican war on drugs by contrasting a broad variety of international, socioeconomic, geographic, and political factors. The leverage of big data analytics and data visualization tools challenge traditional explanations of violence and reveal new aspects in the dynamics of drug-related conflict across time and space. Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.

Alma Guillermoprieto: “How to Be Mexican”

Wednesday, February 4, 2015
7 p.m., Vollum lecture hall

Alma Guillermoprieto

Born in Mexico and raised between Mexico and the United States, Alma Guillermoprieto is a MacArthur Fellow and a winner of the George Polk Award for foreign reporting. In the ’90s, for The New Yorker and other magazines, she wrote a remarkable series of stories on Latin America, covering everything from the Colombian Civil War to the “Dirty War” in Argentina. She later collected these stories into two books, Looking for History and The Heart That Bleeds, to form a definitive portrait of Latin America during the “Lost Decade.” Now, with globalization reshaping traditional Mexican ways of life, Guillermoprieto asks, what does it mean to be a Mexican today? How is it different from what this meant a decade ago? How Mexican are the new Mexicans? Drawing from one of the most respected bodies of journalism of the past three decades, Guillermoprieto seeks to answer these questions. Sponsored by the Elizabeth C. Ducey Political Science Lecture Fund.