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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The Politics of Latin American Energy

by Shannon K. O'Neil
An aerial view of the final stage of the construction of the new P-56 semi-submersible production platform for the oil company Petrobas at the Brasfels shipyard in Angra dos Reis (Sergio Moraes/Courtesy Reuters).

There has been a lot of talk about the shifting geopolitical weight from the east to the west due to the growth of energy resources in Latin America. Ever growing oil discoveries off the coast of Brazil, hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of shale gas in Argentina, and booming energy markets in Colombia and Peru have led many to bet on Latin America as the next energy frontier. Tempering the enthusiasm is the stagnation or even decline in output in other places — Bolivia, Mexico and Venezuela — despite the buried potential riches. Read more »

Debating Amnesty and Immigration Policy

by Shannon K. O'Neil

Yesterday I had an exchange with my CFR colleague, Ed Husain (who has a fantastic blog, “The Arab Street,”), about my last post on Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” plan. I wanted to post it here, to add to the lively debate on the issue of amnesty, and immigration reform more generally, and he graciously agreed. Below is our conversation: Read more »

Mexico’s 99 Percent: How the Next President Can Reduce Poverty and Inequality

by Shannon K. O'Neil
A boy from the "Insurgentes de la Paz" (Peace Insurgents) school receives lessons inside an old bus turned into a class room in the settlement of Pueblo Nuevo, Oaxaca (Courtesy Reuters).

It is campaign season in Mexico, and aside from security issues, front-runners Enrique Peña Nieto of the PRI and Andrés Manuel López Obrador of the PRD are focusing on poverty and inequality. Both criticize the past two PAN governments for not improving the lot of Mexico’s poor, and for perpetuating if not exacerbating an uneven playing field that benefits the few and not the many. In a recent campaign stop in the Southern state of Veracruz, Peña Nieto came down hard on the PAN, saying “[the PRI] knows what Mexico hasn’t achieved in the past decade. We haven’t forgotten that more people are poor, that we haven’t had the economic growth that creates jobs that the public demands.” Read more »

Reads of the Week: Police Pay in Mexico

by Shannon K. O'Neil

Police pay became a hot topic of discussion over the past two weeks with the release of a Mexican government report breaking down police salary by state.  The disparities are stark — with police officers in Tamaulipas earning monthly salary of just $268, while their counterparts in Aguascalientes bring home about $1,342 a month. Read more »

Revitalizing the Border Governor’s Conference

by Shannon K. O'Neil

Governors (L-R) Jose Guadalupe Osuna Millan of Baja, Humberto Moreira Valdes of Coahuila, Texas Governor Rick Perry, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jose Natividad Gonzalez Paras of Nuevo Leon, Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano and Eduardo Bours Castelo of Sonora pose as characters from the movie "Terminator" at the 26th Border Governors Conference (Courtesy Reuters).

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