Friday, April 24, 2009

Visit to Estudio Beccar Varela and Mi Amigo Roberto Crouzel

BUENOS AIRES -- Buenos dias from South America.

With the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law International Institute meeting now concluded, I am in full swing meeting with various prominent South American lawyers, law firms, and academics.

Today, for instance, I met with Robert Crouzel (right in picture; the very impressive Puerto Madero development is in the background), a lead partner with the well-known law firm of Beccar Verela in Buenos Aires.

As part of our meeting, Mr. Crouzel introduced me to a group of young and talented lawyers at the firm who are interested in environmental and natural resources issues. I described the LLM program in Denver as well as the fact that in August DU will be offering two one-week "short courses" that can be taken for credit in the LLM program.

I am more convinced than ever that based on the challenges that the world faces -- energy issues, lack of food in some parts of the world, the need for natural resources development -- South America, and in particular Argentina, are poised to play a large role in helping the world face our collective challenges.

This is not to suggest that I or anyone else for that matter has all of the answers regarding what role Argentina will play, but reality suggests that a few things be taken into account: This is a country of enormous size with a great deal of fresh water; it has significant expertise in raising livestock and grains for food; it is quite unexplored in terms of oil and gas and mining opportunities; and it benefits from a significant pool of attorneys who are looking ahead.

In 10 years time, it may well be that we will look back on the years from 2009-2019 as the decade when the promise of the Western Hemisphere came fully into bloom. North America needs a strong and economically prosperous South America and vice versa. The challenge for programs such as the DU LLM is to identify how best to set these developments in motion.

With the assistance of leaders like Mr. Crouzel and the work of young lawyers such as the ones I met, I am confident that good things will follow.

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