Three years in a row!
Mexican communications tycoon Carlos Slim Helú has been appointed as the richest person in the world by Forbes business magazine. It is the third consecutive year Mr. Slim tops Forbes’ magnates list.
During the past year, Mr. Slim lost five billion dollars; however, he is still at top of the list, with a net worth 69 billion dollars (€52.06 bn.) according to Forbes. He is followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates on ($61 billion), and American investor Warren Buffett on ($44 billion).
And yet, Mexicans live in poverty
Official figures show Mexico has 112’ 336, 538 inhabitants, but only 50’ 273, 465 of them are economically active. In 2008, a study mentioned in Mexican newspaper El Universal [es] revealed over 12% of the economically active people in Mexico earned the minimum wage which nowadays is approximately $ 4.79 dollars a day, just $1,724.4 dollars (€1,299.94) a year.
Los Angeles Times published a report showing 46.2% of population in Mexico lives in poverty. According to the country’s National Council of Social Development Policy Evaluation (CONEVAL in Spanish) at least 10.5% of population lives in extreme poverty, which means they live on less than $1.25 dollars a day. Let us remember Joseph Wresinski in 1996 defined extreme poverty as the absence of one or more factors enabling individuals and families to assume basic responsibilities and to enjoy fundamental rights.
Poverty is not the only issue Mexicans have to deal with. Over 50,000 people are reported to have died from drug-related violence since Mexican president Felipe Calderón launched his crackdown against cartels in 2006. However, living in Mexico seems to have paid-off for Mexican magnate Carlos Slim who has managed to remain relatively untouched by financial crisis and the so called war on drug cartels.
Telmex and Telcel (Slim’s enterprises) have been investigated for violations to competition laws and both companies are known in Mexico not only for being the biggest in their respective fields, but for the high-cost and low-quality service they provide.
As a Mexican I can only feel shame for a country supporting policies that allow inequality, and social disparity. If the system only works for people like Mr. Slim and his tycoon-buddies, then is a system which no longer works for people and therefore ought to be replaced.
March 8th, 2012.
 $62.33 mexican pesos a day.