Mexico-United Kingdom Year

Last week I was in London participating in two events that formed part of a year’s program of celebration of relations between the UK and Mexico that consists of events in both countries.

The first, on Wednesday November 18, was organised by the King’s College London Mexican Society, with the support of the Mexican Embassy. I participated in a panel on “Realities and Challenges of Mexican Contemporary Indigenous People” with David Lehmann, Diana Pritchard and Stephanie Black Leon, who is the Human Rights Officer at the Embassy. A lively audience asked some very good questions and we had an excellent discussion. More details, photos and (still to come at the time of this post) an audio recording of the event are available from the Society’s blog at

My second UK-Mexico Dual Year engagement was on Friday, November 20, hosted by the British Academy, and also supported by the Mexican Embassy. Our theme was the challenges facing Mexico at the start of the 21st Century and we invited a very distinguished group of Mexican scholars to address a variety of topics. Professor Mercedes González de la Rocha, from CIESAS, spoke on “Social Protection and Poverty in Mexico”, followed by her CIESAS colleague Professor Guillermo de la Peña, who addressed the issue of “Citizenship and Diversity in Mexico”. Professor Enrique Cárdenas Sánchez, Executive Director of the Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias, then spoke on “The Mexican Economy Today, in a Historical Perspective”, and after lunch Professor Agustín Escobar Latapí, from CIESAS, addressed the question of “Mexican Migration: A Changing Picture”, before the conference closed with Professor Lourdes Arizpe Schlosser, of the Centro Regional de Investigaciones Multidisciplinarias, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, who spoke on “Society and Violence”. I had the privilege of chairing and leading the discussion for the sessions of Guillermo de la Peña and Lourdes Arizpe. The event attracted a good audience, and everyone who participated felt that the day was really successful. Every speaker was a major authority on their topic, able to provide an up-to-date picture that stimulated a wide-ranging discussion of the key problems and challenges that Mexico faces today. For more details click here.

In a week’s time I will be going to the International Book Fair in Guadalajara to participate in a panel on the British contribution to anthropology in Mexico which is also part of this UK-Mexico Dual Year Program.