Newswise — Feb. 17, 2015) —U.S. ties with Latin America have never been more critical. The U.S. now recognizes the region as one of its fastest-growing trade partners, a key ally in developing alternative fuels, as well as its largest source of immigrants—both documented and undocumented—and illegal drugs. Furthermore, as Latin America’s global impact steadily increases, the United State’s dominant influence in the region is waning. Latin American countries have not only grown more independent but are also forging closer ties with other global powers including China and India.

In recognition of this complex and changing landscape, the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah will present the 17th Annual Rocco C. and Marion S. Siciliano Forum, Considerations on the Status of the American Society. This year’s theme is “The Future of U.S.-Latin American Relations.”

The 10 day conference, which starts on Feb.23, will consist of 16 events including art exhibits and a documentary screening. The events are free and open to the public.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 239:45 AM FORUM“Marching to a Unified Future: Latinos in Utah and the Nation” Armando Solorzano, University of Utah Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies Hinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall, 255

12:00 PM KEYNOTE ADDRESSArturo Valenzuela, former U.S. Asst. Secretary of State for the Western Hemisphere and former NSC Special Assistant to the President for Latin AffairsMarriott Library, Gould Auditorium

1:00 PM ART EXHIBIT RECEPTION“Mexico at the Hour of Combat: Photographs of the Mexican Revolution by Sabino Osuna” Presented by Jim and Lyn HinckleyMarriot Library, 5th floor

2:00 PM RARE BOOKS DIVISION OPEN HOUSEThe Rare Books Division at the University of Utah Marriott Library presents a hands-on display of first editions, printed between 1552 and 2001, of Latin American literature. Marriott Library, 4th floor

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 249:30 AM FORUM“The Future of Utah – Latin American Economic Development” Val Hale, Executive Director, GOEDHinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255

12:30 PM FORUM“Education, Leadership, and Success: Carlos Martins, the English Teacher who Graduated more than 100 Millionaire in Brazil”Carlos MartinsHinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255

2:00 PM FORUM“Challenges and Opportunities in the Mexican Energy Market”Gustavo Almarez, Executive Director, Grupo Estrategia Politica (Mexico’s top lobbying firm)Hinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 259:30 AM FORUM“The Post Hemispheric Americas: Beyond Bridges and Borders in the 21st Century.”Evan Ward, Visiting Fellow, The Wheatley Institute, BYUHinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255

12:30 PM FORUMPeter Schecter, Atlantic Council, Director of the Adrienne Arsht Latin American Center Hinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255

7:00 PM SCREENINGScreening of celebrated film Underwater Dreams and discussion with featured immigrant entrepreneur Oscar Vasquez The Tower Theatre

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2610:45 AM FORUM“How Green Gold Will Save the Amazon”Mark Neeleman, Chairman and Founder of Bamazon Technologies Hinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255

3:00 PM FORUM“Indocumentado: Immigration and Youth in Crisis”Panel Discussion in partnership with the Bennion CenterHinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255

MONDAY, MARCH 210:30 AM FORUM “Hispanic Business: What the Fastest Growing Segment of American Enterprise Means for the U.S.”Javier Palomarez, President & CEO, United States Hispanic Chamber of CommerceHinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall, 255

12:30 PM FORUM“The Future of U.S. – Mexican Relations”Estivill Castro, Acting Mexican Ambassador to the United StatesHinckley Caucus Room, Orson Spencer Hall 255