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Despite National Programs, Mexico Poverty Levels Haven't Declined in 20 Years

Angelica Enciso - La Jornada
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March 2, 2015

Despite 17 years of conditional transfer programs (like Oportunidades and Prospera [in which poor families are given cash grants in exchange for fulfilling certain conditions, such as keeping their children in school and having regular health exams]), in 2012 Mexican poverty was similar to that of 1992. Achieving improvement in socioeconomic conditions of the population still remains to be achieved, according to Paula Hernandez Olmos, the national Coordinator of Prospera. [The Peña Nieto administration recently replaced the Oportunidades program with Prospera.]

In 1992, 53.1% of the population was in material poverty, while in 2012 it was 52.3% according to the measurement of income poverty reported 2 years ago by the National Council for Evaluation of Social Development Policy.

Hernandez Olmos began her presentation at a press conference with an assessment of the last 20 years of work fighting poverty, which "has not been encouraging". Although the amount of resources for Oportunidades "has risen considerably, income poverty has not fallen substantially."

Furthermore, the amount of the population that has escaped poverty through these programs is unknown. In 2012, of 600,000 families that left Oportunidades upon improving their living conditions, 70% returned to poverty and have gradually been reinstated into the program, she said.

Read the rest at Mexico Voices

Translated by Brittany Doss

Mexico Voices is a blogging endeavor aimed at raising the awareness of U.S. citizens regarding the destructive impact of the U.S. economic policy and the War on Drugs on Mexico — on its people, their economic and physical security and their human rights, on the nation’s dysfunctional justice system, and on the rule of law and Mexico’s fragile democracy. Visit the website at

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