Former Mexican President Vicente Fox will speak on democracy's prospects in Latin America, as well as the escalating drug war in Mexico and the global financial crisis.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox will discuss the future of democracy in Mexico and Latin America at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 8, at the Irvine Barclay Theatre as part of the UC Irvine Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Series.

The former president also will address the escalating drug violence in Mexico, which has claimed more than 6,300 lives since January 2008.

“The Mexican government’s battle with drug cartels is of great concern to us all,” says Bernard Grofman, director of UCI’s Center for the Study of Democracy. “The situation in Mexico directly affects major cross-border flows of people and commerce. Fox’s talk will interest anyone who cares about democracy, economy or international affairs.”

Fox was chosen to deliver the Peltason Lecture on Democracy because of his significance in Mexican democracy, says Grofman. Fox’s election in 2000 ended the Institutional Revolutionary Party’s 71-year rule.

Prior to his election, Fox served as chief executive of Coca-Cola in Mexico and governed his home state of Guanajuato. He continues to be involved in current affairs as president of Centro Fox, an institute for the study of democracy, and as co-president of the Centrist Democrat International, an organization of more than 100 political parties from Europe and Latin America.

The Chancellor’s Distinguished Fellows Series features global scholars speaking on the challenges and possibilities of our increasingly interdependent world. The Peltason Lecture on Democracy was established in 1999 to honor Jack Peltason, UC president and UCI chancellor emeritus, and his contributions to higher education and the study of the democratic process.

The lecture is free and open to the public. Tickets will be available at the Irvine Barclay Theatre box office starting at 2 p.m. April 8, with a limit of one ticket per person.