Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

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

Future U.S. Policy Toward Latin America

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, January 14, 2008

As the primaries proceed, little attention had been paid to Latin America. Given the de facto integration of the Hemisphere through migration, trade, and other links, it is high time that U.S. foreign policy focus more attention on Latin America.
In this interview I lay out four main areas the next administration should focus on to reframe and redirect policy toward the region. These include: energy, public security, migration, and poverty and inequality. It is a tall order, but any progress on these fronts would be welcome after the recent years of neglect.

Fixing Social Security in Latin America (Again)

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I recently published this article in the Americas Quarterly policy journal, which was republished in Business Chile.

While some in the United States still talk about the introduction of private individual accounts as the way to “save” social security, even the Chileans are rethinking their once vaunted private pension system. After nearly three decades of private pension management, the Chilean system is again poised for reform. This article looks at the dwindling support for private pension systems in Chile and other Latin American countries, the reasons behind this shift, and the potential directions for this wave of social security reform.

Changing the Merida Initiative Priorities

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, January 7, 2008

I’ve finally seen a full breakdown and explanation of the numbers behind the first year of the Merida Initiative, the Bush Administration’s proposal to cooperate with and aid Mexico in the fight against drugs and terrorism. It can be found here in the second Appendix. This ambitious plan aims to better arm Mexico’s front line civilian and military agencies, to create new roles and offices necessary to better monitor and fight crime, to transform the workings of police and judicial institutions, and to increase the role of civil society organizations in these processes. Read more »