University of Pittsburgh
February 2, 1999


Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 3 -- Was Brazil's financial crisis an anomaly, or are conditions percolating in other Latin American countries that will have a ripple effect on the United States and other nations around the world? As democratization takes hold in Latin America, what is the appropriate role to be played by national, state and municipal governments?

These questions and others will be addressed by Jose Octavio Bordon, former president of Argentina's Peronist Party, when he speaks on "Reform of the State and Political Decentralization in Latin America," on Monday, Feb. 8, from 3 to 5 p.m. in Room 2K56 of the University of Pittsburgh's Forbes Quadrangle, Oakland.

"Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American countries are currently struggling with complex economic and political issues that relate to the role of the nation and its states and municipalities. A prime reason why the current crisis exists in Brazil is because a state governor put a moratorium on paying that state's debts" says Billie E. DeWalt, director of Pitt's Center for Latin American Studies. "This exacerbated an already severe economic crunch. The big question now is how this will affect Argentina."

Bordon, a visiting senior fellow with the Inter-American Dialogue, was governor of the province of Mendoza, Argentina from 1987 to 1991, and served in the country's senate, where he chaired the foreign relations committee. He is president of the Andean Foundation and has been a visiting professor at Georgetown University. Previously he was president of the Peronists (the party currently in power in Argentina) but was instrumental in starting a third party movement in Argentina.

The lecture is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, International Management Development Institute, Center for International Studies, and Center for Latin American Studies.