Originally published April 30, 2013 at 11:32 a.m., updated May 1, 2013 at 11:42 a.m.
Shannon O'Neil, Senior Fellow for Latin America Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
President Obama heads to Mexico later this week. It's his first since the country elected its new president. Economics, border security, drug wars and immigration are key topics expected to be part of the conversation between Obama and President Enrique Pena Nieto.
Observers say he'll find the new Pena Nieto administration accentuating economic policies over the security concerns that have dominated US-Mexico relations for the last few years.
In a way, that mirrors the priorities of Tijuana's Mayor Carlos Bustamante focusing on economic development in Baja after years battling drug cartel violence. San Diego Mayor Bob Filner and Bustamante are attempting to forge closer ties between the cities, even going so far as to suggest a joint bid to host the 2024 Olympic games.
"The US needs to start seeing Mexico as a partner instead of a problem. Our future depends on it," said Shannon O'Neil, senior fellow for Latin American studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
-Tequila Talk With Dr. Shannon O'Neil
Tuesday, April 30, 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Institute of the Americas - UCSD Campus, 10111 North Torrey Pines Road La Jolla, CA 92037,
-Book Signing U.S. Mexico Chamber of Commerce California Regional Chapter
Tuesday, April 30, 12:00 p.m.
Duane Morris LLP
Suite 2900 750 B Street
San Diego, CA 9210
-Book Signing Institute of the Americas-Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of California, San Diego
Tuesday, April 30, 6:00 p.m.
Institute of the Americas, Weaver Room
10111 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037
O'Neil, author of the book Two Nations Indivisible: Mexico, the United States and The Road Ahead, told KPBS there are many ties that bind both countries.
She said throughout the past three decades, there have been many changes in Mexico that are "overshadowed by the drug war."
She points to investments made in the country.
"The US exports to Mexico are double those to China, and only second to Canada," she said.