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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

University of Minnesota to Host Academic Conference "Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity"

Mexico is facing a human rights situation of grave proportions: According to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, 151,233 people have been killed in the past decade in a time of non-war, and thousands of women and girls are sexually assaulted or are victims of femicide. In this critical moment, the Human Rights Program, in conjunction with openGlobalRights, the Stassen Chair of International Affairs, and CIDE (Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas) in Mexico, is hosting an academic conference on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30, 2015, to bring attention and further discussion to the status of human rights in Mexico. Titled "Human Rights in Mexico: Crisis and Opportunity," the conference will bring together a talented group of scholars, practitioners, and experts to examine and reflect on a wide range of topics and issues related to the current human rights crisis in Mexico-from the role of civil society to the transnational human rights movements to the monitoring of violations.

Events on both days will be held in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, with the Thursday portion in the Humphrey Forum Room and the Friday sessions in the Conference Room 180. The conference is free and open to the public. All sessions will be presented in/translated to English.

The two-day conference schedule is as follows:

Thursday, October 29
Location: The Humphrey Forum
Humphrey School of Public Affairs (West Bank)
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

9:00am - Welcome and Introductory Remarks
· Alejandro Anaya (CIDE)
· Barbara Frey (Human Rights Program, University of Minnesota)
· James Ron (Stassen Chair of International Affairs, University of Minnesota)
9:15am-10:45am - Mexico's Human Rights Crisis: A General Overview
· Moderator: Alejandro Anaya (CIDE)
· Perseo Quiroz (Amnesty International), "A general overview of the human rights crisis in Mexico"
· Catalina Pérez-Correa (CIDE), "Extrajudicial executions by the armed forces"
· Regina Tamés (Grupo de Información en Reproducción Elegida, GIRE), "A general overview of the human rights of women"
· Paulina Vega (FIDH), "The perpetration of crimes against humanity in the framework of the 'War on Drugs:' What can be done to tackle impunity of international crimes?"
11:15am-1:00pm - Human Rights of Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons
· Moderator: Susan Gzesh (University of Chicago)
· Benjamin Waddell (Adams State University, Colorado), "Emigration, Crime, and Human Rights Violations in 21st Century Mexico"
· Ariadna Estévez (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México - UNAM), "What do you mean, 'was it the state or was it a criminal gang'? The human rights crisis in Mexico, hybrid power and challenges to asylum"
· Javier Treviño (CIDE), "The violation of human rights of migrants in transit through Mexico"
2:00pm-4:30pm - Civil Society, Human Rights, and the Democratic Process
· Barbara Frey (University of Minnesota), "Changing Mexico's Global Reputation: Transnational Advocacy against Disappearances" 
· Luis Daniel Vázquez (FLACSO México) (**Presentation in Spanish**), "Calidad de la democracia y violaciones de los derechos humanos" ["Quality of democracy and human rights violations"]
· David Crow (CIDE), "Do human rights protect criminals? Crime and Attitudes Towards Rights in Mexico"
· Karina Ansolabehere (FLACSO México), "The judiciary and human rights"
· James Ron and Kassi Absar (University of Minnesota), "Public attitudes towards local human rights organizations in Mexico"
Friday, October 30
Location: Conference Room 180
Humphrey School of Public Affairs (West Bank)
301 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455

9:00am-10:45am - The Interaction Between the Global and the Local
· Moderator: James Ron (University of Minnesota)
· Janice Gallagher (Brown University), "Citizen action, the rule of law and human rights" 
· Sandra Serrano (FLACSO México), "Domestic reception of Inter-American jurisprudence"
· Alejandro Anaya and Natalia Saltalamacchia (CIDE and ITAM), "The limits of the transnational socialization of international human rights norms"
· Oscar Chacon (National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities), "Opportunities for transnational advocacy"

11:00am-12:00pm - Discussion: Enforced Disappearances in Mexico
· Moderator: Karina Ansolabehere (FLACSO México)
· Michael Chamberlin (Centro Diocesano para los Derechos Humanos Fray Juan de Larios)
· José Antonio Guevara (Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights)
The conference is co-sponsored by the Institute for Global Studies, the Human Rights Center, the Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change, the Arsham and Charlotte Ohanessian Chair in the College of Liberal Arts, la Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO-Mexico), and the Ohanessian Endowment Fund for Justice and Peace Studies of the Minneapolis Foundation.