Featured, Tijuana

Tijuana University Hosts Mexican Presidential Debate

May 20, 2018

By Mario A. Cortez

In what marked the first event of it’s type in a Mexican border city, the University of Baja California, Tijuana was the site of the second scheduled debate between Mexico’s top four presidential candidates this past Sunday, May 20.

As the city where topics related to theme of “Mexico in the world” were to be discussed, Tijuana was chosen by Mexican electoral authorities due to its geographical location and its social, political, and economic importance.

This border city has the world’s busiest border crossing, with a daily average of 50,000 vehicles and 25,000 pedestrians which cross daily, this in addition to the constant flow of commercial vehicles which transport a yearly estimate of $20 billion in merchandise across the border.

Tijuana also plays a major role in migration routes, as it is where many international workers set off for the United States, and is also the city that receives many deportees from the United States regardless of national origin.

Prior to the debate, Lorenzo Cordova Vianello, president of Mexico’s National Electoral Institute (INE), shared some words about the venue hosting the debate.

“It is a privilege to be on the Tijuana campus of the Autonomous University of Baja California to hold the second presidential debate,” he said.

Cordova Vianello then made a series of acknowledgements in which he included the dean of UABC, Tijuana’s campus, its student community and administrators.

“We would like to extend our thanks for allowing us, for this second debate, to have a public university serve as a venue for a presidential debate,” Cordova Vianello continued.

Beyond taking place in a border city, the debate was also said to be innovative in its format, as it featured a town hall format which has never been used in Mexico.

Under this town hall setting, 42 select individuals representing different communities or groups had an opportunity to directly ask the candidates a question.

After the debate’s conclusion, Juan Manuel Ocegueda Hernandez, UABC, Tijuana dean, said he was happy to have hosted the event successfully.

“We are all very happy, everything came out alright,” the dean said. “It was many days of hard work and coordination with the Presidential Estate and the INE to carry out this grand event”.

“We are very happy that our university was selected to ”carry out this grand event of Mexican democracy, as it is an opportunity to project our image and prestige both nationally and internationally,” concluded Ocegueda Hernandez.

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