Latin America: poverty down except in Mexico and Honduras

The UN Economic Comission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC, CEPAL in Spanish) released a report on Nov. 29 showing that the poverty rate in Latin America had dropped from 48.4% to 31.4% between 1990 and 2010, while the indigence rate fell from 22.6% to 12.3%. Despite the progress, 174 million people continue to live in poverty, and their situation is likely to worsen because of rising food costs, according to the UN commission, which is based in Chile.

Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia were the countries that showed the most improvement, according to the report. Only Honduras and Mexico showed an increase in poverty rates, 1.7% for Honduras and 1.5% for Mexico. The Honduran and Mexican economies are both especially dependent on exports to the US, and the global economic crisis that started in 2008 hit Mexico harder than other countries in the region. (MercoPress, Montevideo, Nov. 29; La Jornada, Mexico, Nov. 30)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Dec. 4.