Teachers, Students & Protests – Weekly News Summary: April 26

April 26, 2013

Coffee by Flikr user samrevelThe Mexico Institute’s “Weekly News Summary,” released every Friday afternoon summarizes the week’s most prominent Mexico headlines published in the English-language press, as well as the most engaging opinion pieces by Mexican columnists.

What the English-language press had to say…

The much lauded Pacto por México was put to the test following the release of an audio recording in which PRI officials are heard discussing how to benefit electorally from a government anti-poverty program. The Los Angeles Times called it “the most serious political crisis of [Peña Nieto’s] young government.” Plans to announce a new reform to Mexico’s banks were postponed as Secretary of the Interior Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong convened an emergency meeting with party leaders.

A small group of masked individuals seized the rectory building inside UNAM’s campus in Mexico City, protesting the expulsion weeks earlier of five students from one of the university’s preparatory high schools who were accused of vandalism. Meanwhile, members of the teachers’ union in Guerrero attacked the local offices of the four major political parties, setting the office of the ruling party, the PRI, on fire. The states of Oaxaca and Michoacán also experienced unrest.

Read the rest of this entry »


Mexico authorities ready to retake occupied university rectory

April 24, 2013

UNAM Biblioteca photo by Omar OmarLos Angeles Times, 4/23/13

Mexico’s top law enforcement agencies said Tuesday that they were poised to order the removal of a group of masked individuals who have occupied the main administrative building of the national university since Friday. The occupation of the university’s rectory tower is linked to a relatively minor political dispute at one of the campus’ public feeder high schools, yet the incident has struck a nerve at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM by its Spanish acronym, which has an enrollment of more than 330,000 students this year.

Students have gathered outside the rectory to vigorously debate the merits of the building’s occupation. Some argue in support of those inside; others say their right to an education is being infringed.

Read more…


Event Announcement: Mexico and the United States in 2030

March 27, 2012

On April 11th, 2012 Ambassador of Mexico to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, will deliver a keynote speech: “Escenarios de Prospectiva: Mexico-Estados Unidos 2030” (Prospective Scenarios: Mexico-United States 2030) at the Ciudad Universitaria of UNAM in Mexico City.

The event is sponsored by the graduate studies department at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM – Posgrado), the research entity Centro de Investigaciones sobre América del Norte (CISAN) and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (WWICS).

Andrew Selee, Director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, will provide commentary along with Clemente Ruiz Durán, Coordinator of the Post Graduate Program of Economics at UNAM.

View the invitation here.


Universities and military are the institutions with the best public image, according to UNAM survey (in Spanish)

August 23, 2011

CNN México, 8/23/11

Seis de cada diez mexicanos creen que el uso del ejército en el combate al narcotráfico en México es facultad exclusiva del presidente. Y un 57% cree que los diputados deberían autorizar al primer mandatario el uso de las fuerzas armadas para garantizar la seguridad en el país, de acuerdo con la más reciente encuesta nacional de cultura y legalidad realizada por el Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas de la UNAM.

Definido como uno de los temas a discutir en el proyecto de Ley de Seguridad Nacional (LSN), solo el 19.1% dijo que la decisión de emplear o no al ejército en actividades contra el narcotráfico deben tomarla el ejecutivo y el Senado en conjunto, mientras que un 16.9% consideró que solo el Senado debería poseer esa decisión.

Read more…


Bathed in Light, a Locus of Sadness Begins to Heal

July 17, 2011

New York Times, 7/17/11

The view from a night flight about to land in this ancient-now-massive metropolis has suddenly brightened. Outside the left-side windows on most approaches, rising from the drab haze of street lights, a web of red and blue lights tower over downtown.

A new building? Nope. Some kind of new neon advertising? Definitely not.

The connected crystals of red and blue light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, are actually public art — an electronic veil for the former Foreign Ministry to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National University of Mexico, which now owns the 20-story building.

That such a visibly stunning effort is now a landmark after only seven months may not be surprising here in a cityscape with the color and curves of a tortilla. But move closer to the lights, and playfulness suddenly gives way to a remarkable realization: the project sits in the heart of Tlatelolco, a plaza synonymous with Spanish destruction and Mexican dictatorship.

Read more…


Opinions: UNAM celebrates 100th anniversary

September 22, 2010

Mexico Institute, 9/22/2010

The National Autonomous University of Mexico, or UNAM, opened a century ago today. President Porfirio Díaz and the Minister of Public Instruction and Fine Arts, Justo Sierra Méndez, proceeded over the opening cermony, celebrating the centennial anniversary of the beginning of the fight for independence from Spain. The university has historically produced many of Mexico’s scientists, politicians, lawyers, artists, economists, anthropologists and more. Several analysts and politicians have commentary today on the university, including:

Miguel Ángel Granados Chapa writes in Reforma about the history of the university: Sierra’s long-time dream of opening a public university, the first decade during the revolutionary period and rector José Vasconcelos, who ten years after the inauguration, pushed the university to have a national impact. Its legacy on national development stands today.

In El Universal, Mauricio Merino writes fondly of the scientific and artistic contributions of his alma mater, calling it the greatest university in Latin America and a source of proud for all Mexicans. He adds, “It has given Mexicans with only a willingness to learn,  the opportunity and the means to grasp it.”


University Chancellors Ask Calderon to Change Strategy (in Spanish)

April 29, 2010

El Universal, 4/29/2010

Students and chancellors of public and private universities of the region expressed their concern about increasing insecurity on their campuses to President Calderon.  They asked that the struggle against organized crime not center on police and military combat, but that it confront the issue with an integral strategy.

Yesterday, the chancellors of the institutions affiliated with the National Association of Universities and Institutions of Higher Education (ANUIES) held a meeting in Monterrey with the President, offering to provide training for police forces in their insitutions.

The issue of insecurity at universities took center stage after the death of two students from the ITESM–Jorge Antonio Mercado Alonso y Francisco Javier Arredondo Verdugo–and, two days ago, of a student from the UNAM, also in Monterrey.

Read more…


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