Esther Orozco

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Esther Orozco
Born25 April 1945 (1945-04-25) (age 74)
ResidenceMexico City
Alma materAutonomous University of Chihuahua and National Polytechnic Institute.
AwardsUNESCO/Institut Pasteur Medal (1997) and L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science(2006).
Scientific career

María Esther Orozco Orozco (born 25 April 1945)[2] is a Mexican biologist, researcher and politician. She has received the UNESCO/Institut Pasteur Medal (1997), the L'Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science (2006)[3] served as rector of the Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM) and has run for governor of Chihuahua representing the Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD).[4]

Orozco received a bachelor's degree in Chemistry from the Autonomous University of Chihuahua and both a master's degree and a doctorate's degree in Cell biology from Cinvestav. She has worked at the Institute of Experimental Pathology of the same institution, co-founded of the Center for Scientific Research and Applied Technology and, from December 2006 to April 2010, served as director of the Institute for Science and Technology of Mexico City.[5]

As a visiting scholar, she has lectured at Harvard University and the Weizmann Institute of Science.[4]

Politically she is affiliated with the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution, for which she ran unsuccessfully for governor of Chihuahua in 1998.[4] She is also a prominent pro-choice activist in the Mexican capital.[5]

Autonomous University of Mexico City[edit]

Orozco served as rector of the Autonomous University of Mexico City (UACM) from 21 April 2010[6] to 13 March 2013, when she was ousted by 25 dissenting members of the administrative board; a group that consisted of nine students representatives, fifteen academics and a member of the staff.[7]

According to the Associated Press, during her rectorate she had tried to reduce the inefficiencies and low graduation rate of the university, as only a few dozen of its nearly 15,000 students had actually graduated since the institution was founded eleven years before,[8] 52% had a grade average lower than 2.5 out of a 10-point scale and academics routinely prevented external evaluation.[9] However, her proposals were resisted by members of the staff and student community, who claimed that a previous election for the university's administrative board was rigged and accused her of corruption and financial mismanagement.[8][10]

After months of protests, and despite her ratification by 28 members of the board,[11] dissenting members appointed Marxist philosopher Enrique Dussel as substitute; a measure supported days later by the Executive, the Legislative Assembly and Human Rights Commission of Mexico City through a jointly signed letter.[12]


  1. ^ Mirna Servín (2 November 1998). "María Esther Orozco Orozco: Una pasión que obtiene reconocimientos" (in Spanish). La Jornada. Retrieved 29 November 2007.
  2. ^ "Resumen curricular" (PDF). 3er Congreso (in Spanish). Centro de Investigación en Materiales Avanzados. Archived from the original (PDF) on January 29, 2007. Retrieved 7 March 2009.
  3. ^ "Premia la UNESCO a Esther Orozco" (in Spanish). Mexican Academy of Sciences. 2 March 2006. Retrieved 29 November 2007.
  4. ^ a b c López, Alma (29 September 2008). "Esther Orozco: una ciencia sin barreras" (in Spanish). Expansión. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2008.
  5. ^ a b "María Esther Orozco Orozco" (in Spanish). Revista Líderes Mexicanos. 2 July 2007. Retrieved 29 November 2007.[dead link]
  6. ^ "Nuevas de la UACM Esther Orozco, rectora". La Jornada. 8 May 2010.
  7. ^ "Consejo de UACM aprueba la revocación de Esther Orozco como rectora". Excélsior (in Spanish). Notimex. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  8. ^ a b Stevenson, Mark (15 October 2012). "Mexico Raids Seized Campuses, Battle Protesters". Associated Press. Retrieved 13 May 2014. The Mexico City strike was called to protest a crusading rector who wanted to clean up inefficiency and low graduation rates (only a few dozen of the university's nearly 15,000 students have actually graduated in the 11 years since the university was founded. The rector's proposals sparked opposition from professors and employees, and the protesters said they took over the campuses because of fraud in voting for the university's administrative board, and said they have the support of a majority of students.
  9. ^ Archundia, Mónica (5 May 2011). "4,590 sin pasar una sola materia en la UACM" [4,590 without passing a single subject at the Autonomous University of Mexico City] (in Spanish). El Universal. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  10. ^ Mayorga, Juan Pablo (14 November 2012). "Una huelga deja sin clases a más de 14,000 universitarios en el DF". CNN Mexico (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  11. ^ "Ratifican a Esther Orozco como rectora de la UACM". Excélsior (in Spanish). 7 March 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Desecha Corte controversia de Orozco para recuperar la Rectoría". Proceso (in Spanish). 8 May 2013. Retrieved 13 May 2014.

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