Cuahtemoc Cardenas, former Mexico City mayor and 1999 Mexican presidential candidate, spoke to more than 250 students, faculty and community members Thursday, Nov. 15 at The University of Texas-Pan American.
Cardenas, son of late Mexican President Lazaro Cardenas, lectured on U.S.-Mexico relations, with topics covering migration policies, bilingual education, economic policies, environmental issues and more.
"I want to discuss with you about problems we share, as we share a long and common border that at the same time unites and distinguishes our people and our two nations," he said.
Cardenas explained the need for both countries to come to an agreement on issues affecting residents along both sides of the border.
"Emigration to the United States has served the Mexican government," Cardenas said. "Undocumented Mexicans in the United States are estimated from six to 10 million. The only existing possibility for Mexican migrants to enter and work unmolested in the United States is through the guest workers program."
The former Mexico City mayor also spoke on the economic problems faced by the Mexican government and expressed ideas on improving the flow of the economy within the country.
"Mexico's economic policies in these last decades have not contributed to economic modernization or to the establishment of a healthy and equitable relationship with the world - particularly with the United States," he said.
"If Latin American nations aspire - as I am convinced they do - to participate as equals with other nations and other multi-national blocs in the globalization process and share decisions and benefits, they will have to integrate into a bloc of nations with common history and common goals, and create a fair and solidaric relationship with the United States, Europe and other countries."
Cardenas' speech was followed by a question-and-answer session. Among the issues discussed were his plans to run for president in the next elections, civil rights for indigenous people, and political and fiscal corruption.
In addition, Dr. Rodolfo Arévalo, UTPA provost/vice president for Academic Affairs, presented Cardenas with a plaque of appreciation on behalf of the University.
Cardenas' visit was part of the Global Week 2001 conference, "The Challenges of Globalization in the 21st Century." It was organized by the UTPA Center for International Studies to promote academic and cultural activities from different countries for students, faculty and the community.