March Speaking Tour with Enrique González Ruiz

CIPO-Van is pleased to announce two events with Mexican human-rights scholar Enrique Gonzáles Ruiz who currently teaches at Mexico City’s Metropolitan Autonomous University (UAM). The events will be held at the UBC Liu-Institute on Thursday, 17 March, 3-4:30 pm, and at the SFU Harbor Centre on Friday, 18 March, 5-7 pm. Please see below for details.

War on Human Rights? The Mexican Army under Calderón

A Talk by Enrique González Ruiz.

Thursday, 17 March 2011, 3-4:30 pm at the UBC Liu-Institute for Global Issues, 6476 NW Marine Dr

In contemporary Canadian media coverage of Mexico two images of the country prevail: Mexico as a new member in the global club of liberal democracies after the end of national PRI-rule in 2000, and Mexico as a failed state immobilized by escalating drug violence and corruption.

But is it really true that a well-meaning national government is beleaguered by social and criminal forces that it is too weak to confront alone? Is it true that violent drug cartels face off against an essentially democratic, representative, and peaceful state? Should Canada thus continue to send funds and support to the Mexican military and police forces?

In fact, the Mexican security forces charged with carrying out President Felipe Calderón’s ‘drug war’ have themselves been charged with committing horrific human rights violations. Nor is it always possible to separate criminal violence and state violence, as highly-trained military and police personnel make up some of the highest cadres of the drug cartels. Political solutions to the wave of violence currently confronting Mexican society will need to be aware of these linkages.

In this talk Enrique González Ruiz will address the human rights abuses committed by the Mexican army as well as the drug cartels and discuss political possibilities for dealing with criminal groups in Mexico without further contributing to the militarization of society.

The talk will be co-sponsored by theUBC  Liu-Institute and CIPO-Van.

Democracy at Gunpoint: Violence and Politics in Contemporary Latin America

A Roundtable Discussion with William French (UBC), Maxwell Cameron (UBC), Micol Seigel (IU, Bloomington), and Enrique Gonzalez Ruíz (UAM, Mexico City)

Friday, 18 March 2011, 5-7pm, SFU Harbour Centre, 1700 Labatt Hall

This Roundtable will promote dialogue on the persistence (and in some cases escalation) of violence in contemporary Latin America in spite of the fact that the region is home to some of the most vibrant liberal democracies on the planet. Speakers will pay particular attention to the ways in which violence undertaken by both state and non-state actors shapes and perhaps threatens democratic practices across the region.

This event is co-organized by the SFU Latin American Studies Program, the BC Justice and Education Society, and CIPO-Van.


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