14 ‘Indian’ muncipalities in Mexico among the poorest in the world

From: EFE, 27/11/09
At least 14 Indian municipalities in Mexico are among the poorest cities in the world, and another 122 are on the verge of being included on the list prepared by the United Nations, the coordinator of the book entitled “Morir en la miseria” (Dying in poverty), Miguel Badillo, told EFE. The journalist and chief editor of the magazine Contralinea said that the work collates 14 reports that describe the world’s poorest cities, with an average per capita income level of less than $2 per day, with illiteracy rates greater than 60 percent and with a complete lack of health services, potable water, sewers,adequate housing and development.
The text describes the life of the poorest among the poor, who are found not only in the southern Mexican states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Guerrero, but also in the wealthier north in Chihuahua, Sonora and Sinaloa, Badillo said. “Those municipalities are among the poorest in the world, according to human development indexes, and they are similar to those in southern Africa. That is to say, they don’t have access to basic requirements, they don’t have food, potable water, housing, health centres or medicines and (their residents) dress in rags,” Badillo said.

The reporters who wrote the stories included in the collection visited the 14 municipalities presented in the work, including Cochoapa el Grande, Metlatonoc (Guerrero), Caicoyoacan, Santa Lucia, Miahuatlan and San Martin Peras (Oaxaca), Chalchihuitan, Santiago el Pinar, Chanal, Sitala, Mitontic (Chiapas), Mixtla de Altamirano and Tehuipango (Veracruz), Batopilas (Chihuahua) and La Angostura (Sinaloa). The population in those cities is condemned to a slow death through starvation, malnutrition and lack of medical attention, and the lack of efforts to help the people there constitutes “authentic genocide” being committed by the Mexican authorities, Badillo said.

Although some families might be on the lists of the government assistance programmes, the aid does not really get to them because of the remoteness of the country’s mountainous zones where many of them live, and due to the corruption of the authorities, the journalist said. “When a cheque arrives with some aid, they must spend several hours and even days getting to a town to cash it,” Badillo said.

In Mexico, there are thousands of people who are living in sub-human conditions, similar to those that prevail in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa, he added. The government, meanwhile, said that the recession had increased from 14 million to 19 million the number of people in the country who are living in extreme poverty.


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