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WVU Law lectures to explore Mexican society

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — The West Virginia University College of Law is hosting a series of lectures October 28-31 that will explore Mexican law, politics, and social policy. The discussions will be led by three visiting professors from the University of Guanajuato in Mexico.

Admission is free and the public is invited to attend. All lectures will be held in the Marlyn E. Lugar Courtroom at the College of Law. 

Law professor Jim Friedberg is organizing the Mexico Week lectures. He hopes they will provide insight into Mexican society and dispel some of the myths surrounding the country that shares a 2,000 mile border with the United States.

“Mexico has a rapidly expanding economy and population,” he said. “It’s a country with immense human and natural resources and significant problems. We have to be partners in solving the problems of our North American continent.” 

Patricia Begné, a law professor at the University of Guanajuato, will discuss the Mexican legal system at 3:30 p.m. on Monday, October 28.

Katya Rodriguez will speak on Mexican poverty, welfare, and law reform at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 29. She is a social sciences research professor at the University of Guanajuato.

Professor Fernando Patron will address law, politics, and constitutional evolution in Mexico at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 30. Patron is the Director of the Department of Public Management at the University of Guanajuato.

The lecture series concludes with a panel discussion about meeting Mexico’s challenges in law, politics, and social policy at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 31. In addition to the Guanajuato professors, the panel will feature WVU professors Michele Stephens (history), Victor Mucino(engineering), and Arthur Rizer (law).

The University of Guanajuato, established in 1732, has had an academic relationship with WVU and the College of Law for over two decades.

Located in the highlands of central Mexico, Guanajuato was founded in 1559. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has been Morgantown’s sister city since 2008.

“The relationship between the two universities and cities has provided exceptional cultural and intellectual opportunities,” said Friedberg, who leads a biennial study abroad trip to Guanajuato with law professors Gregory Bowman and Jena Martin. The next trip will be in May 2014 and it’s open to all WVU graduate students. 

Mexico Week at the College of Law is supported by the Archibald McDougall Visiting Lectureship in International Law, which explores diverse points of view on issues critical to the global legal community. It is co-sponsored by WVU Latin American Studies.

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