In this year of centennial and bicentennial celebrations, the social reality of Latin America does not offer a reason for festivity. Least of all in Mexico, a country which, notwithstanding stubborn politicians’ rhetoric assuring us that the gravity of our present is not significant, is plagued by a crisis that has increased social inequality, violence and a general lack of safety. And if impoverishment is what permeates every level of society, isn’t it natural that one would begin fantasizing about drastic solutions which question the effectiveness of our government and its institutions? This ultimate test for democracy is the theme for the main articles in the present edition, written by two specialists in the matter: Joshua Kurlantzick and José Woldemberg. Complementing the fall issue, John Hart and Rogelio García-Contreras have shared some refl ections that walk between the Mexican Independence and Revolution. We also offer an interview with Gilbert Vicario, curator of the most important contemporary collection of Latin American art, which is on exhibition in the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, under the title Cosmopolitan Routes. Latin American art from the XXth and XXIst Century.