Calderón to Teach at Harvard Despite Protests

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MEXICO CITY—Harvard University has confirmed that former Mexican president Felipe Calderón will assume a teaching position starting Jan. 28 at the university’s Kennedy School of Government, reports La Opinión. Calderón’s position will be for one year, through an academic fellowship.

The news comes on the heels of efforts by several advocate groups in Mexico and the United States to block Calderón’s appointment, criticisizing Harvard for selecting a “politician accused of the deaths of at least 60,000 missing and tens of thousands who have been displaced because of his war on drugs, which began on December 6, 2006.” Activists also launched an international, online petition through Change.org urging Harvard not to confirm the former Mexican president.

“We recognize that not everyone agreed with his policies or methods, as with all world leaders, but one of the fundamental principles of the Kennedy School and all U.S. universities is the free exchange of ideas,” said David Ellwood, director of the Harvard Kennedy School in a statement regarding the appointment of President Calderón.