Shannon K. O'Neil

Latin America's Moment

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

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Showing posts for "Latin America"

Foreign Direct Investment and Jobs in Latin America

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Employees work at an assembly line at a Ford manufacturing plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo June 14, 2012 (Paulo Whitaker/Courtesy Reuters). Employees work at an assembly line at a Ford manufacturing plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo June 14, 2012 (Paulo Whitaker/Courtesy Reuters).

In 2012 Latin America received its largest amount of foreign direct investment (FDI) to date: $170 billion or 12 percent of global flows. These flows went into a range of sectors from mining and petroleum production to high skilled and low skilled manufacturing to telecommunications and electricity. Read more »

Review of Smuggler Nation

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Oxford University Press, 2013. Oxford University Press, 2013.

In Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America (Oxford University Press, 2013), Peter Andreas, a professor in the Department of Political Science and the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, illuminates the long history of U.S. smuggling. From inciting the Revolutionary War (and later helping George Washington and his troops gain the advantage) to jump starting America’s Industrial Revolution through stolen technology and human know-how, from later perpetuating the slave trade and the Civil War, to more recently providing workers for U.S. farms and service jobs (all the while catering to America’s vices), smuggling has been part of the breadth of U.S. history. Read more »

A Strategy to Reduce Gun Trafficking and Violence in the Americas

by Shannon K. O'Neil
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

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.

Latin America’s Secret Success Story

by Shannon K. O'Neil
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 »

Inside the 2012 Latino Electorate

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Placards and campaign stickers sit on a table at the Latino regional headquarters for the Obama campaign during election day of the U.S. presidential election in Milwaukee, Wisconsin November 6, 2012. Placards and campaign stickers sit on a table at the Latino regional headquarters for the Obama campaign during election day of the U.S. presidential election in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 6, 2012 (Sara Stathas/Courtesy Reuters).

During the weeks surrounding the 2012 presidential election, many analysts and observers, including myself, wrote about the Latino electorate’s arrival onto the political scene. A record breaking 11.2 million Hispanics voted and their concentration in swing states including Colorado, Nevada, and Florida, pushed Obama to victory. A new Pew Hispanic report, however, shows that this demographic still lagged its electoral potential last November. Despite the surge in absolute numbers, less than half (48 percent) of eligible Latino voters cast ballots, compared to 66.6 percent of blacks and 64.1 percent of whites. Read more »

The Presidential Inbox: Latin America

by Shannon K. O'Neil

As part of the Council on Foreign Relations’, “Presidential Inbox” series, I sat down yesterday with Arturo Valenzuela, former assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, and Sergio Galvis, a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, to talk about the issues that Obama will face in his foreign policy toward Latin America. You can watch the event here or below. Read more »

Diverging Inequality in Latin America and the United States

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Overview of the shantytown known as Villa 31, home of some 20,000 poor Argentines and immigrants from neighboring Paraguay and Bolivia, is separated by train tracks and a road from the city's richest neigborhood, Recoleta, in the center of Buenos Aires, October 19 (Enrique Marcarian / Courtesy Reuters). Overview of the shantytown known as Villa 31, home to some 20,000 poor Argentinians and immigrants from neighboring Paraguay and Bolivia. It is separated by train tracks and a road from the city's richest neighborhood, Recoleta, in the center of Buenos Aires, October 19 (Enrique Marcarian/Courtesy Reuters).

Most everyone agrees that inequality matters. Studies by the World Bank, the IMF, and by academics (such as Richard Wilkinson of the University of Nottingham) demonstrate how harmful inequality can be, affecting a whole host of factors, ranging from economic growth rates to teenage pregnancy rates and crime. Read more »

How the U.S. Sequester Will Hit Latin America

by Shannon K. O'Neil
Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officers work at Washington's Reagan National Airport outside Washington, February 25, 2013 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). Transportation Security Agency (TSA) officers work at Washington's Reagan National Airport outside Washington, February 25, 2013 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

With the United States quickly approaching its Friday sequester deadline, the federal government is bracing for cuts. Much of the $85 billion in spending cuts will hit domestic programs and services—everything from wildlife reserves to childcare services. But the reverberations will also be felt in Latin America and the rest of the world. Read more »