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Pomona College Symposium Focuses on Mexico's Upcoming Presidential Election

Pomona College presents a two-day symposium on “The Mexican Presidency 2006-2012: Neoliberalism, Social Movements and Electoral Politics,” April 3-4, 2006, offering an opportunity to engage the most pressing issues confronting Mexico on the eve of presidential elections in July.

In a rare opportunity north of the border, attendees will hear from leading Mexican scholars, intellectuals, novelists and activists, who will analyze the country’s political landscape and social movements. The presentations will be in both English and Spanish with translation provided.

April 3: “The Challenges Mexico Faces,” 4:15 p.m.

  • Alejandro Alvarez Béjar, a professor of economics at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), will look at the disarray of the political party system and emerging social forces in his talk “The 2006 Mexican Elections: the Rise of Populism and the End of Neoliberalism?”
  • Cultural anthropologist Olivia Ruiz, of the El Colegio de la Frontera Norte, will give a talk on “Migration and Borders: Present and Future.”
    The panel will be held in the Pomona College Smith Campus Center, Room 208 (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont).

April 4: “The Political Struggle,” 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

  • Mexican historian and writer Adolfo Gilly, UNAM, will speak on “One Triangle, Two Campaigns.” His most recent book in English is The Mexican Revolution (New York Press, 2005).
  • Carlos Montemayor, renowned novelist and political analyst, will follow with an examination of “Which PRI Wants to Win the Elections?”

April 4: “Civil Society and Popular Resistance,” 4:15 p.m.

  • Historian Rosalva Aída Hernández Castillo, a research professor at Center for Research and Higher Studies in Social Anthropology in Mexico City and author of Histories and Stories from Chiapas: Border Identities from Southern Mexico (2001), will examine “The Indigenous Movement in Mexico: Between Electoral Politics and Local Resistance.”
  • Activist and researcher Mercedes Olivera, Violencia Femicida, Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas, will focus on “Violence against Women and Mexico’s Structural Crisis.”
  • Richard Roman, of the University of Toronto, and activist Edur Velasco Arregui, Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Azcapotzalco, will give an overview on “The State, Elites and the Unions: The Recycling of Mexico’s System of Labor Control.”

Both April 4 events will be held at the Pomona College Smith Campus Center, Rose Hills Theater (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont – on the lower level).

The symposium is sponsored by Pomona College and the Latin American Perspectives journal, whose March volume focused on Mexico’s upcoming presidential election and contained articles from these and other analysts. For more information, call (909) 607-2348 or (909) 607-2920, or e-mail

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, provides its students with a challenging curriculum in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts, and an unsurpassed environment for intellectual inquiry and growth. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.