Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

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

Do U.S. Budget Cuts Threaten the IDB?

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, March 30, 2011
President of the IADB Luis Alberto Moreno and U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner at the 50th Inter-American Development Bank's general assembly (Jose Gomez/Courtesy Reuters).

President of the IADB Luis Alberto Moreno and U.S. Treasury Secretary Geithner at the 50th Inter-American Development Bank's general assembly (Jose Gomez/Courtesy Reuters).

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) just finished its annual meeting that brought 29 finance ministers, including Mexico’s Ernesto Cordero, Colombia’s Juan Carlos Echeverry and the United States’ Tim Geithner, to snowy Calgary.

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Justice in Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Behind bars inside a prison in Mexico City (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

CFR just released a very thoughtful report by David A. Shirk, “The Drug War in Mexico: Confronting a Shared Threat,” that explores the Mexican government’s capacity to fight organized crime. In it he argues that the U.S. should help Mexico address crime and corruption by focusing on building its judicial and law enforcement institutions. It can be accessed here.

A vivid take on the challenges Mexico’s justice system faces is presented in the extraordinary and award-winning documentary “Presunto Culpable” (Presumed Guilty). It tells the story of Antonio Zúñiga, who in 2005 was sentenced to twenty years in prison for a murder he did not commit, and two young attorneys turned filmakers, Layda Negrete and Roberto Hernández, who attempt to exonerate him. They bring a camera into the courtroom to expose the injustices, corruption and contradictions of a judicial system that presumes suspects guilty until proven innocent.

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Latin America’s Moment

by Shannon K. O'Neil Thursday, March 10, 2011
A child holding flowers during International Women's Day in Lima, March 8, 2011.

A child holding flowers during International Women's Day in Lima, March 8, 2011 (Mariana Bazo/Courtesy Reuters).

It is increasingly Latin America’s moment. Home to nearly 600 million people – almost a tenth of the world’s population – the region generates over $6 trillion dollars a year. With its fertile soil, huge mineral deposits, a wealth of clean energy, and vast oil and fresh water reserves, Latin America is the world’s breadbasket and a strong engine of global growth.

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Calderón’s Visit to Washington

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Calderon Obama visitI published the following CFR expert brief on the U.S.-Mexico summit this week.

The surprise announcement of President Felipe Calderón’s trip to Washington is a chance to right a teetering relationship. On March 2-3, the Mexican president will meet with U.S. President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House John Boehner, and members of the U.S. business community. This trip could prove an important turning point in U.S.-Mexico relations. It will, assuredly, be a defining test of Calderón’s statesmanship.

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