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Pedro Ochoa drew a large crowd on his return as director of the federal Cultural Center of Tijuana on Friday as he outlined a broad agenda, including having the CECUT host an international film festival.
Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, the new president of the National Council for Culture and the Arts, presented Ochoa to an audience of more than 225 people, which included at least 60 members of the media.
Ochoa, who headed the center from 1989-1994, in recent years has been the cultural attaché at the Mexican Consulate in San Diego. "I am not here to repeat, but to renew," he said.
He said he hoped to develop even greater cross-border ties with the United States, mark next year's hundredth anniversary of the birth of the late Nobel Prize-winning poet Octavio Paz, and continue to work with the state's youth.
Following a reception, as if on cue following Ochoa's statement saying the center will continue to work hard with the region's youth, a group of students from the Símbolos Patrios primary school began streaming into the cultural center. The school is near the military base.
In a perhaps funny twist, the Notivisa TV news program's story and interview with Ochoa was done by Karina Muñoz, Ochoa's ex-wife.
Pedro Ochoa, the cultural attaché for the Mexican Consulate in San Diego and former head of the Tijuana Cultural Center, has been named to direct the Tijuana Cultural Center again.
Ochoa, who previously headed the Tijuana public library system, succeeds Virgilio Muñoz.
Ochoa, at left in photo, made a presentation about the cultural history of Tijuana at the Colegio de la Frontera Norte in December. At right is José Manuel Valenzuela, who was awarded Baja California's science and technology prize Feb. 11.
Ochoa was selected by Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, the president of the National Council for Culture and the Arts (Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes).
Ochoa previously served as CECUT's director from 1989-1994, under President Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
The new CECUT director told Reforma newspaper that Tovar wants to augment ties between the southern United States and Tijuana. The paper also said CECUT's budget was being reduced from 128 million pesos ($10 million) to 109 million pesos ($8.56 million).
Story, El Mexicano (PDF). Story, Frontera.
Story, El Sol de Tijuana.
El Mexicano cartoon of Ochoa (PDF).
U-T San Diego story by Sandra Dibble.