Mexico Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma Barragán visits BYU students

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BYU students with Ambassador Barragá following his lecture on Friday, Oct. 13 . Following the lecture, students were able to speak with and ask questions to him. (Angela Hernández)

Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma Barragán addressed a group of BYU students in a lecture discussing U.S.-Mexico relations on Friday, Oct. 13 in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium.

Ambassador Barragán began his lecture by emphasizing how much he enjoys speaking to academic communities, students, future leaders and decision-makers such as those in attendance at the event. Barraggán said throughout his lecture he hoped to share “the remarkable nature of the bilateral relationship that has evolved between Mexico and the U.S.” 

Throughout his address, Ambassador Barragán expounded upon how the relationship between Mexico and the U.S. came to be. Diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Mexico were established on Dec. 12, 1822. 

“This year, we commemorate the 200th anniversary of diplomatic relationships between Mexico and the U.S. and reflect on the implications of our shared history. Our shared history represents one of the most remarkable transformations in neighboring countries’ relationship,” Ambassador Barragán said.

The United States’ and Mexico’s relationship has been built around the same principles and both parties have been able to benefit from each other’s commercial, cultural and educational exchange because of their proximity.

“It has evolved from invasion to strategic cooperation and a shared pursuit of a future built upon common values,” Ambassador Barragán said. 

The relationship between the U.S. and Mexico has evolved over time, Ambassador Barragán said. One of their main relationships is economic integration, which is the process of two or more states in a certain geographic area reducing the range of trade barriers. Barragán also explained the U.S. and Mexico rely on each other for training purposes, which allows both countries to maintain a good reputation with each other.

“There are also different ways that we can connect and be better through our alliance and through our natures because they are bilateral alliances in communities,” Ambassador Barragán said. 

In his closing remarks, Ambassador Barragán invited all those in attendance to find ways of understanding and communicating the benefits of the U.S.-Mexico bilateral relationship with others.

“Our futures can be improved by working together and understanding ourselves as a cohesive unit. If our history had moments that divided … build a future that unites sharing a region of competitiveness, innovation and shared values,” Ambassador Barragán said.

All BYU students and faculty were welcome to attend Ambassador Barragán’s lecture. Many BYU students of Mexican descent were able to participate in asking questions and learning more about the ambassador and his duties to better help his country.

Carlos Geovani Vigueras Flores, a BYU pre-business student from Mexico State, explained Ambassador Barragán’s address was especially impactful for him because of his Mexican heritage.

“Our conversation reminded me of how important it is to be here representing Mexico as a student and to remember that the better I learn, the better qualified I will be to work with the needs of my country and community,” Flores said.

By having Ambassador Barragán visit campus, Mexican BYU students were able to feel a sense of belonging.

“It was such a surprise to see an important Mexican leader give a lecture at BYU. It made me feel very proud of the university I attend. I am very happy for the good relation my university has with the government of my country,” BYU student Adrian Ramirez said. 

According to Jen Nishiguchi, executive assistant for the international vice president’s office, BYU hosts several ambassadorial lectures each semester. Nishiguchi explained these lectures provide students and faculty who study foreign languages, history, politics and culture with the unique opportunity to further their international learning.

With the recent visit from not only Ambassador Barragán, but also the prime minister of Samoa and the president of Hungary, BYU has demonstrated its dedication to its mantra, “the world is our campus.”

Students walk with Ambassador Barragán to ask him questions. They were able to walk a bit on campus before his departure to other activities. (Angela Hernández)
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