I did not study at CIDE. In fact, many of my ITAM professors and friends, in the first half of the 1990s, had little contempt for that institution. Not because of its quality, or because of its politicization—nor in any way that students, scholars, and academics in the social sciences have been apolitical. The reason was different, Friedman. Many sages of education in those years concluded that higher education, though high, yielded more private profits to those who received it than public profits. In this line of thinking, this type of education must be private, even costly, because it is believed that the social benefit derived from high-ranking graduates and graduate students is much less than the private benefit.
During my years at IMCO I have been greatly impressed by the academic quality and ethical qualities of the graduates of that institution. Senior people in everything. With an unusual treatment of mathematical and statistical tools expected from the world of exact sciences, but with a great culture of the social sciences, and with a special social sense.
Fausto Hernández Trillo wrote and described a very different view of macroeconomics from that of most of his colleagues and contemporaries. Carlos Elizondo, President of the University, is one of the smartest political scientists I know, along with Maria Amparo Cassar and other professors at that institution. Jana Palacios, MBA senior economist specializing in public policy, has completed one of her two graduate degrees at CIDE, and the difference is notable with other ITAM alumni: Jana is more human than the average Itamite. It’s the same with Miriam Gronstein: my friend, great energy lawyer, Etamite and former professor at CIDE, a teacher who left a mark on all the cidites I met who were her students.
At IMCO we had Melina Ramirez, an exceptional economist with obsessive-compulsive disorder, who has been a major contributor to building institutional databases. We had Carlos Grandet, a young researcher with as talent as few people, who is today a data science asset at a major bank in the country. A year ago, Valeria Moi, Managing Director of IMCO, brought in Manuel Toral, who gave us an excellent course in data science through the statistical platform R. César Reséndiz, a young political scientist who graduated from CIDE, is today in the Public Policy Lab directed by Eduardo Sogo in the institution. Ana Laura Martinez, a physician from the institution, is a bastion of her research on discrimination in the financial sector. Gustavo del Ángel, quien fuera mi profesor en el iTAM, encontró vocación en el CIDE con alumnos verdaderamente excelentes, muy bien seleccionados, no solamente por sus credenciales académicas: también el person for CIDE admitma licatur de queest de posíar Social sciences. There’s more: John Scott, Senior Researcher on Poverty and Public Expenditure, Alejandra Elizondo, Enrique Cabrero, Sergio Lopez Ayalon, Ana Laura Magaloni, Macario Chitino. The list of notable Mexicans and foreigners who graduated there is endless.
I have certainly omitted many CIDEites who have made their mark in my life, in the institutions I have worked in, and who have certainly contributed to the humanization of neoliberalism like myself. A thousand apologies to those I didn’t mention. But because of CIDE’s contributions to Mexico, it is an institution that we must take care of and preserve. It is a democratic institution, where the opinion and voice of academics, students, workers and managers are given.
The neoliberal science does not exist, as some officials in this administration describe it. By a miracle they did not say “Jewish science” or “Heretical science.” To destroy a pluralistic and excellent institution like CIDE is a crime. Few things could set Mexico back worse than these academic purges and massacres. We hope that the President of Mexico will pick up this message, even if it is indirect: If his admiration is for Juárez, he should seek gradual reforms in built Mexico, not the destruction of everything, as in independence, as in revolution. There are false premises and promises in violent and polarizing struggles that destroy everything.
Opinions are the responsibility of the author, and do not represent the view of the persons or institutions mentioned.
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