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Panel to analyze Mexico's election
  February 3, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

A video and panel discussion of the upcoming national elections in Mexico is scheduled at California State University, Bakersfield on Friday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. in the Student Union multipurpose room.

Titled “Mexico at the Crossroads: A Discussion of Mexico’s Upcoming National Election,” the event will feature a panel of experts who will analyze the elections, plus a video of a recent debate by representatives of the three main political parties that occurred in Los Angeles.

“Mexico is at a crossroads internationally and domestically, and the national election scheduled for July will help determine what direction Mexico is going to take,” said Gonzalo Santos, a CSUB sociology professor and organizer of the event. He said two main processes are unfolding in Mexico today:

  • An internal process involving the transition to a fully democratic system that began with the election six years ago of the right-of-center Partido Accion Nacional (PAN) candidate Vicente Fox to the presidency and a Congress controlled by no single party. These two events broke the decades-long stranglehold of the Partido de la Revolucionario Institucional, or PRI as it is known. This year a left-of-center party, the Partido de la Revolución Democrática, or PRD, has been ahead in the polls to win the presidency.
  • An external process that is shaping Mexico’s relationships with the United States and neighboring countries in Latin America. “The country is at a crossroads in choosing a course for its relations with the United States and Latin America at a time when Latin America is moving boldly to the left, becoming autonomous and independent from the major world powers,” Santos said. “Will Mexico be part of that, or turn more toward integration with the United States? This election will help determine that.”

In addition to Santos, panel members are:

  • Jasmine Bañuelos of Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán (MEChA).
  • Mark Martinez, CSUB political science professor.
  • Jess Nieto, executive director of Heritage of America Educational and Cultural Foundation
  • Anthony Nuño, professor of modern languages at CSUB.
Panel moderator is Melissa Gonzalo, anchor/reporter for Telemundo KKEY Channel 11.

The panel discussion is sponsored by Faculty for Social Awareness (FSA) at CSUB, Telemundo KKEY Channel 11, MEChA, CSUB Chicano Studies Program, and the CSUB Office of Student Affairs.

The event is free and open to the public; parking is free in lots K and L. The event is mostly in English, and refreshments will be served.

For more information, please contact Santos at (661) 654-2191, or via e-mail at



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