VICTORIA E. RODRÍGUEZ
For the past seventy years, Mexico has been considered simultaneously authoritarian and democratic. Total dominance of the government by the Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) enabled it to retain unchallenged control of the political and economic structures until the early 1990s, leaving little room for other political parties to participate in the process of government. The presidential election in July 2000 brought about the loss of the PRI's monopoly and opened the door for a new era of democratic practices. However, the process of change from a “Perfect Dictatorship” to that of a consolidated democracy is far from complete. This lecture will explore the evolution and durability of this remarkable system, as well as the prospects for change.Victoria E. Rodríguez is an associate professor at the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. Her books include Opposition Government in Mexico (University of New Mexico Press, 1995) and Women's Participation in Mexican Political Life (1998).
NAFTA AND MEXICO'S FUTURE AS A TRADING PARTNER &emdash;DID ANYBODY HEAR A SUCKING SOUND?
Thomas M. Fullerton, Jr.
Many U.S. corporations have moved product assembly and other manufacturing functions across the border, and Mexico runs a growing trade surplus with the U.S.
The economic relations between the United States and Mexico have become symbiotic. Has NAFTA been good for the U.S., has it been good for Mexico, and what (if any) dangers lie ahead? William C. Gruber is vice president and director of the Center for Latin American Economics of the Federal Reserve in Dallas, Texas.
THE OIL IS OURS!&emdash;WHITHER PEMEX?
MICHELLE M. FOSS
Pemex is one of the largest oil companies in the world and one of the U.S.'s biggest suppliers. It is also inefficient and corrupt. Will the special status of Pemex in the Mexican psyche enable it to repel all efforts at reform? Will Mexico ever again be open to private investment in the search for oil and gas? Where else in Mexico's energy sector is positive change likely to occur? Michelle M. Foss is an assistant research professor at the Energy Institute of the Bauer College of Business, University of Houston.
NARCOTICS AND CORRUPTION&emdash;DOES THE RULE OF LAW HAVE A CHANCE?
Mexico is now the principal conduit for illegal drugs coming into the U.S., and drug cartels have corrupted many of the Mexican police and military officers charged with narcotics enforcement. Will the ocean of money that has drowned the rule of law in Colombia do the same thing in Mexico? Jorge Chabot is with Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economica (CIDE) in Mexico City.
VICENTE FOX &emdash;ARE THE DINOSAURS FINALLY EXTINCT?
President-elect Vicente Fox has pledged to address many endemic problems in Mexico&emdash;corruption, impunity, poverty, policial unrest in Chiapas, emigration, and many others. But has he promised too much? Can he really bring change to Mexico? This lecture will reflect upon Fox's first one hundred days in office and on the likelihood of those promises becoming reality. Peter Ward holds the C. B. Smith Sr. Centennial Chair in U.S.&endash;Mexican Relations at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a professor of sociology. He is also a professor in the Lyndon B.Johnson School of Public Affairs and the author of Colonias and Public Policy in Texas and Mexico: Urbanization by Stealth (University of Texas Press, 1999).