International Monetary Fund


Topic Summary

Topic: Mexico’s Bankruptcy of 1982 and the Debt Crisis of the 80s

In August 1982, Mexico declared its inability to pay off its international debt. Although Mexico was not the first nor the largest economy to declare bankruptcy, the 1982 Mexican crisis was the prelude of a series of highly indebted developing countries’ crisis and the one that alerted the IMF about the risks of collapsing of the international banking system. The International Monetary Fund’s actions towards the Mexican crisis was especially important as they were later used as a model to be applied in other indebted countries.

Through plans to restructure countries’ debts and lending of resources to pay the interest of debts associated with adjustment programs, the International Monetary Fund played a role in defining the outcomes of the debt crisis of the developing world. The actions available to the Fund and their impact on countries’ social and economic policies will mostly drive the debate in this committee.

Director’s Letter

Dear Delegates,

Welcome to the International Monetary Fund Committee! My name is Arthur Vieira, and I am super excited to exercise my role as your director for HMUN 2020.


I am a sophomore concentrating in Government with a possible secondary field in Economics. I was born and raised in Juiz de Fora, Brazil. Prior to Harvard, I collaborated in a social project called CID that organizes and hosts events to discuss marginalized social issues in the suburbs of my hometown. I also worked as a private tutor with students from disadvantaged backgrounds in local public schools. What has brought me to Harvard is my passion for public governance and international relations. Last year, as an Assistant Director for IMF at HMUN I had my first-ever experience with Model United Nations. I was so touched by the quality of the debate I witnessed that here I am proud to help run this conference again! In addition to activities related to HMUN, you are most likely to meet me on campus working on one of the activities and events of the Undergraduate Brazilian Association!

It is a great pleasure to serve as a director for the International Monetary Fund, 1982! My goal is that after this experience you acquire a comprehensive view of the role and importance of this committee, as well as of the major social and economic policies the International Monetary Fund is implicated with. This year, we have the special opportunity to run the IMF in a historical setting. More specifically, in 1982 in the context of the Debt Crisis of Latin America and other developing regions. My hope is that you discuss and gain interest in the complex decisions the IMF has made and how important they have been to the countries and populations subjected to it. I hope you can embrace your countries’ perspectives with kindness and empathy.  If on the last day of the conference you leave HMUN feeling like you have changed simply because you learned or experience something meaningful, our goal was reached.

I look forward to meeting each one of you. I cannot wait to hear your stories and see you all flourish debating, negotiating, and drafting resolutions. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me if you have any question or concern. I will be glad to help you.


Arthur Vieira

Director, International Monetary Fund 1982

Harvard Model United Nations 2020