Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

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

Many Stories, One Juárez

by Shannon K. O'Neil Monday, November 25, 2013
People release white doves after a religious service celebrated in Ciudad Juárez, January 30, 2011 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters). People release white doves after a religious service celebrated in Ciudad Juárez, January 30, 2011 (Stringer/Courtesy Reuters).

I had the great honor of participating in a fundraiser in El Paso last week—organized by the Somos Fund—to support after school programs and scholarships for kids affected by violence in Ciudad Juárez. It has now been almost four years since the Villas de Salvárcar massacre, where gunmen burst into a birthday party and gunned down fifteen young people in what was a case of horrifying mistaken identity. Since then, the families have channeled their grief into improving Ciudad Juárez for the many youths still living there, and the funds raised at the event will go toward supporting their work. (You can also donate here by typing Somos Fund under the project name). Read more »

Mexico on the Brink

by Shannon K. O'Neil Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Federal riot police stand guard outside the alternative senate building in Mexico City, October 23, 2008 (Daniel Aguilar / Courtesy Reuters). Federal riot police stand guard outside the alternative senate building in Mexico City, October 23, 2008 (Daniel Aguilar / Courtesy Reuters).

A few weeks ago, the Legatum Institute’s released its global Prosperity Index—which I wrote about here—that took both macro-economic indicators and social well-being into consideration. In the Index, Mexico’s rankings were solidly mixed—landing in the bottom quarter in security but jumping to the upper tier in measures of its economy. In a longer piece I wrote for Legatum, titled “Mexico on the Brink,” I take a more in-depth look at Mexico’s varied performance, outlining where the country is doing well and where it needs some improvement. It begins: Read more »

How Latin America Fares in the Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index

by Shannon K. O'Neil Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Legatum Prosperity Index Legatum Prosperity Index

The Legatum Institute, a London-based policy organization, just published its annual Prosperity Index. Using eighty-nine indicators across eight indices—economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital—it moves beyond more standard macroeconomic country rankings to take into account income and social well-being. Questions range from if citizens have “helped a stranger in the past month” to a nation’s “incidence of tuberculosis.” With the scores tallied up, here is a look at where Latin America’s prosperity by their measures stands. Read more »