Examples Of Inequality In Mexico

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The fact that Mexico is a highly unequal country is a well-known fact at least since Alexander Von Humboldt’s definition of the region then known as New Spain. Von Humboldt indeed, a botanical geographer that travelled in Latin America at the beginning of the nineteenth century, defines the region as “the country of inequality”. Unfortunately, this is still true in the twenty-first century. Inequality in Mexico is more pronounced compared to Latin America’s average. In fact, it ranks 4th in the world, falling behind only South Africa, Honduras and Brazil (CIA World Factbook).
Moreover, more than 55 million people in the country, which accounts for more than half of the population, still live in poor conditions. Even more worrying, the top 1% Mexicans (income) has an average annual income 47 times larger compared to the
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How did Mexico become ‘the country of inequality’? According to Juan Carlos Moreno-Brid, Deputy Director of the ECLAC (Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean), Mexico was already unequal in Pre-Hispanic times. Unquestionably, inequality dramatically spread out during the 300 years of Spain’s colonial reign. When the Spanish conquistadors arrived in Mexico in 1519, they surprisingly found relatively advanced agriculture-based communities and a population of almost 25 million indigenous. (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences 2014) Nonetheless, by the early seventeenth century, the native population of Mexico had been reduced from about 25 million to fewer than 1 million. It was the worst demographic collapse in human history. As Mexico appeared to be the most thriving of Spain’s colonial possessions, Spain decided to rule the colony with an iron fist. Indeed, colonial viceroys were pure dictators and corruption was at the order of the day in the colonial administration. (O’Neil
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