Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

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

Obama Heads to Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, April 29, 2013
Mexico's President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto listens to U.S. President Barack Obama (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington November 27, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters). Mexico's President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto listens to U.S. President Barack Obama (R) in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington November 27, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).

When President Obama arrives in Mexico this week he will face almost two completely different governments when it comes to discussing security and economic relations. In an op-ed that I wrote for the Dallas Morning News (you can access it here or below), I discuss these differences and what the challenges will be for the bilateral relations going forward. Read more »

Why Mexico is Key to American Prosperity

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, April 26, 2013
A worker carries the flags of Mexico and the U.S. during a march through the streets of Salinas, California May 1, 2006 (Robert Galbraith/Courtesy Reuters). A worker carries the flags of Mexico and the U.S. during a march through the streets of Salinas, California May 1, 2006 (Robert Galbraith/Courtesy Reuters).

When President Obama travels to Mexico next week to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, they will have no shortage of topics to talk about. This past week, I spoke with Kai Ryssdal of “Marketplace” about what their conversations on bilateral trade might cover. You can listen here.

Mexico’s Transformation, and My Own

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, April 19, 2013
View of the 'Diana Cazadora Monument' (C) and the new 'Torre Mayor' skyscraper (L) on Mexico City's elegant Reforma Avenue, June 25, 2003. View of the 'Diana Cazadora Monument' (C) and the new 'Torre Mayor' skyscraper (L) on Mexico City's elegant Reforma Avenue (Daniel Aguilar/Courtesy Reuters).

In anticipation of my talk next Tuesday in Los Angeles, I wrote the following piece for Zocalo’s Public Square:

As my plane touched down at Benito Juárez airport in early 1994, I didn’t know that it was the start of a twenty-year relationship with Mexico. Read more »

Immigration Reform and the Latino Electorate

by Shannon K. O'Neil Thursday, April 18, 2013
A new U.S. citizen waves a U.S. national flag in front of a display of flags of the more than 40 nations represented by the more than 90 immigrants becoming U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts A new U.S. citizen waves a U.S. national flag in front of a display of flags of the more than 40 nations represented by the more than 90 immigrants becoming U.S. citizens during a naturalization ceremony at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts (Brian Snyder/Courtesy Reuters).

For today’s ask an expert feature on cfr.org, I answered the question: “After immigration reform, how would the large and newly legal Hispanic population influence U.S. politics?” You can read my thoughts here or below. Read more »

Venezuela’s Election and the Future of Chavismo

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, April 16, 2013
A woman walks past a mural depicting Venezuela's acting President and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro (R) and Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez in Caracas April 12, 2013 (Tomas Bravo/Courtesy Reuters). A woman walks past a mural depicting Venezuela's acting President and presidential candidate Nicolas Maduro (R) and Venezuela's late President Hugo Chavez in Caracas April 12, 2013 (Tomas Bravo/Courtesy Reuters).

On Sunday some fifteen million Venezuelans headed to the polls to choose between Nicolás Maduro (Chávez’s heir apparent) and Henrique Capriles (the opposition’s leader). In an election many expected to be a sweep for Maduro, official tallies showed Capriles falling short by less than 300,000 votes (1.6 percent of the total). Though it now seems unlikely that an electoral apparatus firmly in the hands of Chavistas will allow a recount or overturn the results, this doesn’t necessarily mean the end of Venezuela’s democracy. And having Maduro at the helm in the coming months and years should complicate the legacy of Chavismo, helping Venezuela’s opposition in the medium to long term. Read more »

Silicon Valley Takes on Immigration Reform

by Shannon K. O'Neil Friday, April 12, 2013
A girl holds up a banner while people take part in a rally to demand that Congress fix the broken immigration system at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, April 6, 2013 (Eduardo Munoz/Courtesy Reuters). A girl holds up a banner while people take part in a rally to demand that Congress fix the broken immigration system at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, April 6, 2013 (Eduardo Munoz/Courtesy Reuters).

As the U.S. Congress looks to embark on immigration reform soon, many things have changed since the last try in 2007. One of the most important is the role of business—which is increasingly vocal and organized. The most recent announcement comes from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has just launched FWD.us along with backers Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, and Ruchi Sanghvi of Dropbox, to advocate for immigration reform and, in particular, for more high skilled immigrants. They join AOL founder Steve Case in the public debate, as well as Laurene Powell Jobs, who engineered the website “The Dream is Now,” that lets dreamers (undocumented youth) tell their own poignant stories. Read more »

Plagued by Crime, Mexico Creates New Police Force

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Members of the federal police participate in a ceremony to mark Federal Police Day in Mexico City June 2, 2011 (Jorge Lopez/Courtesy Reuters). Members of the federal police participate in a ceremony to mark Federal Police Day in Mexico City June 2, 2011 (Jorge Lopez/Courtesy Reuters).

Since entering Los Pinos last year, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto has wasted no time in pushing some of Mexico’s most-needed economic reforms through Congress, but the same has not been true for the government’s security strategy. Last week I spoke with Larry Mantle on KPCC’s “Airtalk” about Peña Nieto’s proposed new police force and what it could mean for the country’s security situation. You can listen here.

Launching Two Nations Indivisible

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Last night I discussed my new book, Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead, with Chris Sabatini, Senior Director of Policy at the Americas Society/ Council of the Americas and Lisa Schineller, Managing Director of Sovereign Ratings at Standard and Poors. Our talk touched on issues ranging from Mexico’s political and economic history to its recent judicial and labor reforms, and  looked at Mexico and the United States’ increasingly intertwined relationship. You can watch the video of the event here or below. I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments section, on Twitter, or on Facebook. Read more »

Announcing Release of Two Nations Indivisible

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Yaritza Hernandez is seen through an American flag as she waves a Mexican flag during a rally in support of immigration rights in Washington, May 17, 2006 (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters). Yaritza Hernandez is seen through an American flag as she waves a Mexican flag during a rally in support of immigration rights in Washington, May 17, 2006 (Jim Young/Courtesy Reuters).

Dear friends,

I’m excited to announce that Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States, and the Road Ahead is now available from Oxford University Press. Read more »