Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

O'Neil analyzes developments in Latin America and U.S. relations in the region.

The Famosa "Merida Initiative"

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, October 22, 2007

So the long awaited “Plan Mexico” has finally been announced by President Bush. He is asking for $500 million for Mexico in the coming year, and $1.4 billion over the next two years. Smaller amounts of money – $50 million – will be provided to Central American countries. The package stresses equipment and training to bolster the Mexican government’s current fight against narcotraffickers. Read more »

Migration, Aeromexico style

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, October 22, 2007

Flying yesterday from JFK to Mexico City on Aeromexico’s afternoon flight, I sat next to a Mexican man in his late twenties. We started talking when he asked me to translate a few words on the English language customs form that were handed out.

He was returning to Mexico “ to a small town in Morelos “ after almost two years in the New York area. The main reason was to see his family: his wife, children, parents, and other relatives. While he never had working papers, during his two years he held jobs in restaurants, hotels, and most recently in a supermarket. He came to the United States with four friends, easily crossing the border, ending up in Los Vegas, flying to Boston, and then making his way down to New York. Read more »