MCALLEN, RGV – IBC Bank is bringing Duncan Wood, director of the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, back to South Texas for a series of speeches about the AMLO presidency.

The Woodrow Wilson Center, chartered by Congress in 1968, is the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum for tackling global issues through independent research and open dialogue to inform actionable ideas for the policy community.

Wood, who was born in Britain, is an internationally renowned specialist on North American politics, Mexico and U.S.-Mexican ties who lectures and publishes on hemispheric issues and relationships.

An authority on energy policy, international banking regulation and corruption, Wood is currently co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Transparency and Anti-Corruption, and is a member of the editorial board of Foreign Affairs Latinoamérica.

Wood last visited the region in November 2018, when he reviewed the presidency of Andrés Manuel López Obrador at events in Brownsville, McAllen, Laredo and San Antonio. That trip also was hosted by IBC Bank.

This year’s events in Brownsville and Laredo are private. This year’s event in McAllen is co-sponsored by the Rio Grande Valley Partnership (RGVP) and is open to the public – although most tickets have already been allotted. It takes place at the McAllen Performing Arts Center on Thursday, Jan. 16, starting at 11:30 a.m.

This year’s event in San Antonio is co-sponsored by the Asociación de Empresarios Mexicanos and is open to the public. It takes place at The Argyle on Friday, Jan. 17, starting at 11:45 a.m.

“We look forward to hosting Duncan Wood as he provides an update on Andrés Manuel López Obrador and his administration at year one of the presidency,” said Sergio Contreras, president and CEO of RGVP.

“The audience will have the opportunity to hear first hand recent initiatives in Mexico and its impact to the business environment.”

Adrian Villarreal, president of IBC Bank in McAllen said Wood’s visit to South Texas could not be more timely.

“There have been so many changes in Mexico and especially now with the changes in NAFTA or USMCA as it is now called,” Villarreal said.

“The policies of President López Obrador can have an impact on our customers. I think it is going to be of great service to our customers and everybody in our community to learn about what is happening in Mexico from Mr. Wood’s perspective. After all, he is one of the leading people involved in tracking these things.”

Dora Brown, senior vice president of IBC Bank in McAllen, said she was alarmed by a recent opinion piece in the New York Times about the economic situation in Mexico. It was titled and the author was Jorge Castañeda Gutman, a political scientist and former Mexico foreign secretary.

“We are at year one for Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s as president of Mexico. A recent headline – López Obrador Is Cruising, Mexico Is Not – in the New York Times was enough to raise both eyebrows and valid concerns about what’s happening in Mexico,” Brown said.

“Crime is up, economic stagnation has set in and AMLO’s social programs continue to grow. Yet, the president remains widely popular. When he ran for office, AMLO promised four percent growth. This past year, Mexico fell into a recession, and some economists believe it could get even worse in 2020.”

What does this all mean, Brown asked, in an email sent to reporters to promote the Wood visit.

“Well, it is complicated and that is why we are bringing in an expert. Duncan Wood, director of the Mexico Institute at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC, is an expert in Mexico policy, trade, energy and so much more and we are proud to announce his return to Texas,” Brown said.

“We hope you will join us as he takes a look back at AMLO’s first year in office, the transformation of Mexico under the Morena Party, the final steps of USMCA, and an informed look at the future of Mexico under AMLO.”

Brown added that as a community bank, IBC Bank is committed to creating economic opportunity in the communities it serves. “The bank and its’ leaders strive to return value to their customers, and do that by keeping them well-informed on issues that affect their business,” she said.

Editor’s Note: The Rio Grande Guardian wrote three stories about Duncan Wood’s visit to South Texas in November, 2018. Click here to read the story headlined: “Wood: AMLO wants to go down as one of the great Mexican presidents.” Click here to read the story headlined: “Wood: López Obrador seen as Mexico’s last best hope.” Click here to read the story headlined: “Wood: Texas businesses, government, must engage with AMLO administration.”