Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

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

A Strategy to Reduce Gun Trafficking and Violence in the Americas

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, July 29, 2013
A pink assault rifle hangs among others at an exhibit booth at the George R. Brown convention center, the site for the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meeting in Houston, Texas May 5, 2013 (Adrees Latif/Courtesy Reuters). A pink assault rifle hangs among others at an exhibit booth at the George R. Brown convention center, the site for the National Rifle Association's (NRA) annual meeting in Houston, Texas May 5, 2013 (Adrees Latif/Courtesy Reuters).

My CFR colleague Julia Sweig just published a policy innovation memorandum outlining “A Strategy to Reduce Gun Trafficking and Violence in the Americas,” where she argues that lax U.S. gun laws contribute to Latin America’s high rates of gun-related homicide and violence. The recommendations take domestic political challenges into consideration and offer a path for the Obama administration—in line with the Second Amendment—to both diminish the flow of guns and ammo to the south and to enhance the United States’ diplomatic standing in the region. Read more »

What’s Happening in Latin America

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Ably led by Marty Moss-Coane, host of Philadelphia’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane, Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, and I had a great conversation about Latin America yesterday. It ranged far and wide, from the protests in Brazil to the peace talks in Colombia, the violence in Mexico and Central America to the successes and challenges for democratic governance. You can listen here.

Corruption in Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil Thursday, July 18, 2013
Supporters of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, runner up in Mexico's recent presidential election, come together to form the word FRAUD as part of the "Expo Fraud" at Zocalo square in Mexico City, August 12, 2012 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters). Supporters of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, runner up in Mexico's recent presidential election, come together to form the word FRAUD as part of the "Expo Fraud" at Zocalo square in Mexico City, August 12, 2012 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

Follow Mexico’s headlines and you will see an uptick in high-level corruption cases. In this piece for Huffington Post, I discuss how Mexico has gotten better at exposing corruption but also why it still falls short in prosecuting the accused and convicting perpetrators of these types of crimes. Read more »

Latin America’s Secret Success Story

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Aviation technicians prepare a prototype of the new Embraer Phenom 100 executive jet at Embraer's factory in Gaviao Peixoto, 270 kms (168 miles) northwest of Sao Paulo, January 18, 2008 (Ricky Rogers/Courtesy Reuters). Aviation technicians prepare a prototype of the new Embraer Phenom 100 executive jet at Embraer's factory in Gaviao Peixoto, 270 kms (168 miles) northwest of Sao Paulo, January 18, 2008 (Ricky Rogers/Courtesy Reuters).

For the start of the Biennial of the Americas conference, I wrote an article for the Daily Beast on why Latin America is steadily growing in global importance. You can read the piece here or below. Read more »

Campaign Financing in Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, July 10, 2013
An electoral worker recounts votes at Mexico's electoral tribunal in Mexico City August 8, 2012 (Henry Romero/Courtesy Reuters). An electoral worker recounts votes at Mexico's electoral tribunal in Mexico City August 8, 2012 (Henry Romero/Courtesy Reuters).

With vote-buying allegations swirling around Mexico’s last presidential race and new ones appearing in the aftermath of the recent local contests, electoral reform could reappear on the congressional agenda. Front running the debates, the Centro de Estudios Espinosa Yglesias (CEEY) brought together a distinguished group of well-known academics such as María Amparo Casar and Javier Aparicio, former IFE (the Federal Electoral Institute) officials Benito Nacif Hernández and Luis Carlos Ugalde, and well-regarded pollsters Francisco Abundis Luna and Ulises Beltrán Ugarte among many notable others to evaluate Mexico’s current electoral system, and particularly to look at the issues of campaign financing. Read more »