October 07, 2010

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Jorge Castañeda, the former minister of external affairs for Mexico, will give the talk, "U.S.-Mexico Relations: A New Start?" on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Forum in the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the departments of International Relations and Latin American Studies, the University Lectureship Committee, and the Office of the President at Bucknell.

A distinguished professor of Latin American studies at New York University, Castañeda was the minister of external affairs for Mexico from 2000 to 2003.

As minister, he focused on diverse issues in U.S.-Mexican relations, including migration, trade, security and narcotics control; joint diplomatic initiatives on the part of Latin American nations; and the promotion of Mexican economic and trade relations globally.

"Castañeda may be a presidential candidate in the 2012 Mexican elections," said Stephen Stamos, professor of international relations at Bucknell. "His recent views and writing on immigration and the Mexican drug wars are particularly relevant, given the Nov. 2 elections."

Renowned political scientist
Born in Mexico City in 1953, Castañeda received undergraduate degrees from both Princeton University and Universite de Paris-I (Pantheon-Sorbonne), an M.A. from The Ecole Pratique de Hautes Etudes, Paris I, and his Ph.D. in economic history from the University of Paris.

He has taught at Mexico's National Autonomous University, Princeton and U.C. Berkeley. A senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (1985-87), and a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation research and writing grant recipient (1989-91), he is a member of the board of Human Rights Watch.

Since 2003, Castañeda has hosted "Voices of Latin American Leaders" at NYU, a series of conversations with prominent politicians, intellectuals and businesspeople from the region such as Ernesto Zedillo, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Carlos Slim, Gustavo Cisneros and Carlos Fuentes. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses at NYU.

Among his many books are Utopia Unarmed: The Latin American Left after the Cold War (1993); The Mexican Shock (1995); Compañero: The Life and Death of Che Guevara (1997); Perpetuating Power: How Mexican Presidents Were Chosen (2000); Somos Muchos: Ideas para el mañana (2004); La diferencia: Radiografía de un sexenio (with Rubén Aguilar, 2007); Y Mexico Por Que No? (2008); and Ex-Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants (2008). He is a regular columnist for the Mexican daily Reforma and Newsweek International.

In conjunction with the lecture, the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore is presenting a major display of his work.

Contact: Division of Communications