Foreword The 1990s were unquestionably a time of transition and reorientation in several aspects of Latin America and the Caribbean's economic, social and political development. As in any period with these characteristics, the effects of long-standing processes mingled and interacted with incipient change. When the decade ended, ECLAC wished to contribute to the evaluation of the main events that marked the consolidation of reform in the region, recognizing of course that the speed of progress varied from country to country and from sector to sector. This publication offers an analysis of the international situation and the connections between this and the region; of new approaches to macroeconomic management, and the effects of these; of the development of production activities, both in the industrial, mining, agricultural and forestry sectors and in services; of developments in the social sectors, including trends in employment, poverty and income distribution, gender equity, the demographic transition, public social spending and social sector reforms; of the creation of sustainable development potential and territorial restructuring; and of economic and social developments in the English-speaking countries of the Caribbean. As the title indicates, the picture is one of light and shadow, progress, stagnation and reverses: a chiaroscuro that not only gives a more realistic idea of the events of the period but provides the basis for a more subtle appreciation of the main issues that are emerging on the regional horizon. José Antonio Ocampo, Executive Secretary, ECLAC.