Mexico

Foreign Affairs Article

Mexico Makes It

Author: Shannon K. O'Neil

Even as Mexico continues to struggle with grave security threats, its steady rise is transforming the country's economy, society, and political system. Given the Mexico's bright future and the interests it shares with the United States in energy, manufacturing, and security, Washington needs to start seeing its southern neighbor as a partner instead of a problem.

See more in Mexico; Economic Development; Latin America and the Caribbean

Backgrounder

Mexico's Drug War

Author: Brianna Lee

Since 2006, the Mexican government has been in embroiled in a bloody drug war, which has failed to significantly curb trafficking. The ongoing conflict poses mounting challenges for Mexico, which is trying to polish its image as an investment hotspot, as well as the United States, its most important regional partner.

See more in Mexico; Drug Trafficking and Control

Audio

Media Conference Call: Jorge Castañeda and Shannon O'Neil on Nieto and U.S.-Mexico Relations

Speakers: Jorge G. Castañeda and Shannon K. O'Neil
Presider: Bernard Gwertzman

Listen to CFR Senior Fellow Shannon K. O'Neil and former foreign minister of Mexico Jorge G. Castañeda discuss President-elect Enrique Peña Nieto and the future of U.S.-Mexico relations.

In an op-ed that appeared this week in USA Today, O'Neil argued that the main obstacle to better relations between the two countries is Americans' perceptions of Mexico and its people:

"In Americans' psyches, drugs dominate. When advertising firm GSD&M and Vianovo strategic consultants asked Americans to come up with three words that describe Mexico, nearly every other person answered 'drugs,' followed by 'poor' and 'unsafe.' Other questions reveal Americans see Mexico as corrupt, unstable and violent, more problem than partner. Americans had more favorable views of Greece, El Salvador and Russia."

Read O'Neil's USA Today op-ed "Mexico Isn't a Gangland Gunbattle."

In the November/December issue of Foreign Affairs, Castañeda and historian Héctor Aguilar Camín claim that there is a political mandate in Mexico that calls for less corruption, greater rule of law, and improved economic justice:

"Mexicans' clamor for prosperity is no longer negotiable, and today, the country is less than a generation away from becoming the full-fledged middle-class society it aspires to be. But only if it gets to work now."

Read Camín and Castañeda's essay "Mexico's Age of Agreement."

See more in Presidents and Chiefs of State; Mexico

Op-Ed

Mexico Isn't a Gangland Gunbattle

Author: Shannon K. O'Neil
USA Today

Shannon K. O'Neil says, "[American] perceptions reflect the Mexican reality that dominates headlines: soaring crime rates and gruesome murders in a war against drug traffickers. But this window into Mexico overlooks an economic transformation and deepening ties with the United States that reflect a dramatically different country."

See more in Economic Development; Mexico; Latin America and the Caribbean; Emerging Markets

Foreign Affairs Article

Mexico's Age of Agreement

Authors: Héctor Aguilar Camín and Jorge G. Castañeda

Mexico has long been hostage to unchallengeable traditions: its nationalist approach to oil wealth, overly sensitive attitude toward sovereignty, entrenched labor monopolies, persistent corruption, and self-serving bureaucracy.

See more in Mexico; Elections