UCSJ Vice-Rector Receives Prestigious Award from Mexican Culture Ministry

March 22, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

sl2UCSJ Vice-Rector Receives Prestigious Award from Mexican Culture Ministry
Award for untiring defense of Mexican national culture and personages

Mexico City — The University of the Cloister of Sor Juana is proud to announce that Vice-Rector Sandra Lorenzáno has been awarded Mexico's prestigious Orden de la Águila Azteca award, granted to foreigners in recognition of unfailing loyalty and humanitarian service to the Nation of Mexico, and to the protection of its Offices from cultural threats.

"It is in a truly exceptional way that Dr. Lorenzáno, an Argentine national, has allowed us to avoid grave threats to our Nation's dignity," said Consuelo Sáizar, the President of CONACULTA, Mexico's cultural ministry, as part of her comments during the award ceremony, which took place on March 17th.

"In November, political artist Jesusa Rodríguez approached me in broad daylight and in public and asked me, to my very face, whether I wasn't ashamed to work for a government 'with blood on its hands,'" remarked Saízar. "Knowing that Ms. Rodríguez was due to participate at the so-called 'Encuentro de Performance y Política' at UCSJ, which my Ministry was co-sponsoring, I spoke to my good friends the co-sponsors, the rector and vice-rector of UCSJ (Carmen López-Portillo and Sandra Lorenzáno), and asked them to guarantee to me that Rodríguez would behave in a dignified and proper manner towards me and the Administration which I serve."

"Dra. Lorenzáno did make these conditions clear to Ms. Rodríguez, but when Ms. Rodríguez was not forthcoming with the appropriate assurances, Dra. Lorenzáno courageously cancelled the Encuentro," said Sáizar. "This award recognizes her integrity and her profound respect for our national institutions."

Until December 7, the UCSJ was due to host the Encuentro, a Americas-wide meeting of performance activists who work at the intersection of arts and politics. This major event was to involve more than 50 universities and hundreds of participants—including Jesusa Rodríguez, who is a notorious opponent of the current Government and has openly supported López Obrador with her "art" in past elections.

Lorenzáno's decision to cancel the Encuentro was a difficult one, but in light of Ms. Rodríguez's rudeness to the Mexican Cultural Minister, this decision has been accepted graciously by all the Encuentro's participants.

The UCSJ is named after Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, a 17th-century protofeminist nun and advocate for intellectual freedom who appears on Mexico's 200-peso bill. The site of the UCSJ campus is on Sor Juana's original cloister in Mexico City's historic district. At the end of her life, Sor Juana was silenced by the Catholic Church and forced to sell her books and musical and scientific instruments, and to write the words "Yo, la peor de todas" (I, the worst of them all) in her own blood.

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