The ENAH, a reviled institution - Arsenal

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For. Jose C. Serrano

Dr. Gilberto López y Rivas has spread in some informative media, his conviction of what has been the National School of Anthropology and History (ENAH) over 84 years.

It affirms that in its beginnings it was the Department of Anthropology of the School of Biological Sciences of the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN), in 1938, and later integrated into the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), in 1946, it is the higher education institution , public and free, considered the alma mater of generations of Mexican and Latin American specialists in various disciplines: social anthropology, physical anthropology, archaeology, ethnology, history, ethnohistory and linguistics.

Dr. López y Rivas was born in Mexico City 78 years ago. He has a degree in anthropology from ENAH, a master's degree in the same discipline from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), and a doctorate in the subject from the University of UTAH, United States. He is a researcher at INAH, a member of the National System of Researchers (SNI), senior researcher C at the INAH-Morelos Regional Center in Cuernavaca; He was a professor at ENAH and UNAM, visiting professor at the University of Havana, Cuba; from the University of San Carlos, Guatemala, director of the ENAH (1980-1983). He has published fifteen books focused on the social sciences.

For this researcher, ENAH in its 84 years of existence has been the main training space for academic staff of Mexican State agencies like INAH itself, and also of those who formed new anthropology departments and universities and social research centers, inside and outside of Mexico.

With a comprehensive perspective of the anthropological and historical sciences, rare in latitudes of the American and European educational field, the ENAH gained national and international recognition for its ability to maintain itself, in its intellectual, ideological and political diversity, as a venue for scientific production. of high quality, as well as reflection and critical thought that not infrequently aroused attacks from the enlightened right, which reached the extreme, as in the case of Octavio Paz, in January 1987, of demanding its closure for being “ a center of pseudo-Marxist ideology of dubious academic quality”, and despite the fact that Claude Lévi-Strauss, on one occasion, commented to the poet laureate that the ENAH “was one of the best schools in the world”.

This is the ENAH that the neoliberal policies of the previous and current governments have brought to the brink of ineffectiveness, by cutting the budget for the fulfillment of its academic, administrative and minimum maintenance functions of its facilities.

Today, like yesterday, the ENAH community, organized in a General Assembly of teachers, students and workers, has mobilized, proposing a path of work to solve its already historic structural demands, through inter-institutional negotiating tables, integrated by competent authorities.

There are other spaces that ENAH graduates can join, particularly physical anthropologists, who have a broad horizon in interaction with criminologists, criminalists, and forensic experts. His presence, for example, in the National Commission for the Search of Persons (CNBP) it would discourage the entrenched custom of hiring office managers, department heads, deputy directors who are expensive and unproductive in a field that urgently needs specialists in the identification of bodies and human remains of missing persons: the payroll to pay an obese bureaucracy is a great nonsense in times of austerity!

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