Border-centric think tank turns 30

U-T San Diego, 9/4/12

It would be hard to imagine northern Mexico today without Colef, as the institution is commonly known. The think tank’s 112 researchers delve into climate change policies in Baja California, land-use planning in Nogales, the effects of open space on youth and urban violence in Ciudad Juárez, labor conditions in Matamoros’ maquiladora factories, Tijuana’s latest expressions of popular culture, Mexico’s legal protections for migrants and other timely topics that often have repercussions in Mexico and the U.S.

“What the Colef did was make the border relevant,” said Tonatiuh Guillén, its president, a 53-year-old Ciudad Juarez native and a specialist in public administration. Colef, he said, has been instrumental in bring attention to issues that were long ignored by the centers of political and academic power. Today, its eight offices make it the only research institution in the United States or Mexico with facilities all along the international border.
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