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Felipe Calderon Harvard fellowship: protest petition gathers steam

Some 35,000 people have signed a petition urging Harvard to cancel the former Mexican president’s academic appointment.

Felipe calderon harvard petitionEnlarge
Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon. (Luis Acosta/AFP/Getty Images)

Some 35,000 people have signed an online petition urging Harvard University to cancel a fellowship the university awarded former Mexican President Felipe Calderon in November 2012, BostInno reported.

Calderon, a Harvard alum, started his stint as the first Angelopoulos Global Public Leaders Fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School this month. While in the one-year academic position, he will give lectures and help write case studies about government and public policy, ABC News reported.

In 2006, Calderon launched a military offensive against Mexican drug cartels, according to ABC News.

More from GlobalPost: Mexico President Felipe Calderon defends war against drug cartels

Claiming that he is partly responsible for the deaths of more than 60,000 people in that war, Border Patrol Agent John Randolph and Mexican citizen Eduardo Cortes both started petitions asking Harvard to withdraw the fellowship, BostInno reported.

Their two petitions were later combined into one, which reads in part:

Decision makers at Harvard University have chosen to ignore Calderon's 100,000 drug war murdered and his 25,000 drug war missing and award him a fellowship.

Any moral or ethical integrity that Harvard has ever had has been submerged in Calderon's blood-soaked fellowship.

“I started [the petition] out of outrage,” Randolph told BostInno. “Calderon’s legacy is one of blood and corruption, and Harvard does not seem to care. Americans are very uninformed about the Mexican drug war, and my hope is to bring awareness to it.”

In a recent interview with the Cambridge Chronicle, Kennedy School Dean David T. Ellwood said Harvard was standing by its choice.

"We recognize that not everyone agreed with his policies or his approaches, as is the case with all world leaders, but one of the fundamental tenets of the Kennedy School and all American universities is a free exchange of ideas," Ellwood told the Chronicle. "In keeping with that educational mission, the school has a long and proud tradition of allowing our students the opportunity to engage with world leaders and to ask difficult questions on important public policy issues."

notimexico More than 1 year ago
John Randolph More than 1 year ago
The words on Harvard's coat of arms say "Veritus", which means "truth". I say that Mr. Calderon's fellowship denies and insults Harvard's motto by ignoring the truth of his 100,000 drug war dead and his 25,000 drug war missing. Calderon, the Harvard elite and their moneyed Mexican students all live in a world separate from the realities of Mexico's bloodied drug war streets. Defenders of Calderon will praise him as a heroic fighter against organized crime. Common sense dictates that the Mexican government, their politics, military, and law enforcement agencies are all primarily run by organized crime. Calderon's drug war was and still is nothing but a corporate (cartel) take over propagandized as a war on drugs. Harvard students, please ask Mr. Caldron why the world's number one Mexican drug lord, El Chapo Guzman, is still running free? Read "Drug War Mexico" by Watts and Zepeda if you are at all interested in the truth of Harvard's and Calderon's cozy little relationship.
bootsielon More than 1 year ago
This is all America's fault. If you're making a petition against a Mexican President receiving a fellowship from Harvard... then you should demand justice be brought against the weapons providers of the drug cartels... that is the fault of the american government. Not only does the american government seek to take the freedom away from american citizens, it knowingly turned a blind eye to the sales of arms to criminals, knowing mexico is not a country that is free in terms of gun ownership . You should be demanding regime change in the US instead of making a petty demand against a puppet of the american government.
John Randolph More than 1 year ago
You say "This is all America's fault"? Not true. It is the bi-national elite's fault which includes the US and Mexican narco-political and /drug war elite. Why do you think we are attacking both Harvard and their Mexican Drug War CEO too? This blood stained relationship is a microcosm of the 1% run US government.