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 "Mexico"

Mexico on the Brink

by Shannon K. O'Neil
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 »

Discussing Mexico at the Texas Book Festival

by Shannon K. O'Neil
C-SPAN2 C-SPAN2

This past Sunday I was in Austin, Texas at the Texas Book Festival. I had the honor of moderating a panel about two great books on Mexico, Ricardo Ainslie’s The Fight to Save Juárez – Life in the Heart of Mexico’s Drug War and Alfredo Corchado’s Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter’s Journey Through a Country’s Descent into Darkness. You can watch a video of our conversation here (starting at 5:15), courtesy of C-SPAN2.

North America’s Energy Boom

by Shannon K. O'Neil

The past week, I participated in an IMF panel discussion on the North American energy boom with fellow energy watchers Alejandro Werner, Director of the IMF’s Western Hemisphere Department, Alejandro Diaz de León Carrillo, Mexico’s Deputy Undersecretary for Public Credit of the Ministry of Finance, John Murray, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Canada, and Daniel Yergin, Vice Chairman of IHS, and moderator Enrique Acevedo of Univision. There were many thoughtful takes on what is and is not happening, and how it may affect not just regional but also global markets. You can watch it here: Read more »

Public Perceptions of Mexico’s Reform Agenda

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A man looks from his decorated balcony as police disperse protesters in downtown Mexico City, September 13, 2013 (Tomas Bravo/Courtesy Reuters). A man looks from his decorated balcony as police disperse protesters in downtown Mexico City, September 13, 2013 (Tomas Bravo/Courtesy Reuters).

Vianovo, a strategy consultancy, recently released a poll looking at Mexican impressions of the Peña Nieto government’s economic reform agenda. Interviewing 1,000 people in late August, they found that education reform is the public’s biggest priority—likely due to the teachers’ union protests (which snarled traffic around the capital for weeks) and to the heavy press as the Congress debated secondary legislation (passed in early September). Read more »

Trans-Pacific Partnership Negotiations Head to Washington

by Shannon K. O'Neil
U.S. President Barack Obama (C) speaks at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Leaders meeting at the Hale Koa Hotel during the APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 12, 2011 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters). U.S. President Barack Obama (C) speaks at the Trans-Pacific Partnership Leaders meeting at the Hale Koa Hotel during the APEC Summit in Honolulu, Hawaii, November 12, 2011 (Larry Downing/Courtesy Reuters).

One of the potentially biggest economic initiatives for Obama’s second term is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Started some seven years ago by four Pacific nations—Brunei Darussalam, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore—to spur trade by eliminating tariffs, the agreement has now expanded to encompass twelve nations, including the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Vietnam. The block’s combined GDP reaches some $28 trillion, with member countries conducting roughly a third of all global trade. Read more »

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 »

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 »

Corruption in Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil
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 »

Campaign Financing in Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil
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 »