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Mexican opposition leader Cardena's to speak at Stanford Feb. 24

STANFORD -- Mexican National Democratic Front coalition leader Cuauhtemoc Cardenas will speak at Stanford University at noon Monday, Feb. 24.

Cardenas's campus visit is part of a five-day northern California trip aimed at building grass-roots American opposition to the long-time domination of Mexico's government by the Institutional Revolutionary Party. That party is led by President Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who spoke at Stanford last September.

Cardenas will speak briefly, in English, at Kresge Auditorium of the Stanford Law School and then discuss with Stanford faculty and students such issues as the U.S.-Mexico free trade agreement and Mexico's political future.

His Stanford appearance is sponsored by the campus Association of Mexican Students, the student government's speakers' bureau, and the Stanford Center for Latin American Studies.

Cardenas also has scheduled appearances in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Stockton, Santa Cruz, Stockton and Sacramento between Friday, Feb. 21, and Tuesday, Feb. 25.

"The overall purpose of the trip is to talk about issues like free trade, democracy and human rights in Mexico, both with Mexican people who live here and with Americans who have a different view," said Carlos Imaz of the Stanford Association of Mexican Students.

About 10 percent of Mexico's eligible voters live in the United States, Imaz said.

The Stanford discussion will be moderated by Terry Karl, associate professor of political science and director of the Center for Latin American Studies. Other participants are expected to include Stanford economist Clark Reynolds, who conducts research on U.S.-Mexico relations and is a professor in the Food Research Institute and director of the Americas Program at the Institute for International Studies; Rodolfo Stavenhagen, former president of the Human Rights Commission in Mexico and the Tinker Visiting Professor of Latin American Studies; Philippe Schmitter, a Stanford political science professor; and Ignacio Corona, president of the Association of Mexican Students.

Cardenas, a former Mexican federal senator and governor of the state of Michoacan, ran as a coalition candidate for president in 1988 and received 30 percent of the vote. Since then, he has been campaigning for an end to 60 years of one-party rule at the national level in Mexico.



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