A team of law students from Universidad de Chile has won the second annual Campeonato Mundial de Debate en Español (CMUDE), or World Debating Championship in Spanish. The event is the world’s largest debate competition in the Spanish language, and this year’s competition involved 72 teams of students from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Spain, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, and Chile.
In addition to winning the team event, U. de Chile law students Daniel Iribarren and Nicolás Palma turned heads in the “best speaker” competition, winning awards for first and third place, respectively.
Over 140 students participated in CMUDE, which took place August 20 through August 26, 2012 at the Universidad Andrés Bello in Santiago. The 2012 event had nearly double the number of teams participating as the previous year, which was held in Caracas, Venezuela.
Competition was fierce for Iribarren and Palma, but their final debate on the subject “without God there is no law” scored the highest number of points and took first place.
The CMUDE competition is structured in the same way as the World Universities Debating Championship, an English language debate competition which has become one of the largest annual student events in the world.
Competitions involve nine rounds, with the strongest performing teams advancing as the tournament progresses. In each debate session, two teams form a “pro” side and two the “against” side, with the debate topic announced 15 minutes before competition begins. Scoring is done by students or former students from the competing institutions, and teams are evaluated in areas such as logic, structure, argumentative strategies, and improvisational skills, among others.
Universidad Andrés Bello was proud to host the event, and emphasized the potential for the competition’s growth on their website.
“This project is of great importance for our university and the Debate Society since we believe that it is vital to continued growth, and to giving more and better opportunities for students to debate in our native language. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world and by organizing this tournament we will give continuity to the project started last year by Venezuela, and allow Spanish debating to begin its own traditions.”
Congratulations to Daniel Iribarren, Nicolás Palma, and all CMUDE participants!