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Growing poverty impacts Mexican voters

06-30-2012 13:27 BJT

Behind these beautiful buildings there is another world in Mexico City where the average weekly salary is just 500 pesos around 40 U.S. dollars. Wealth disparity is a big social problem in Mexico.
CCTV’s Nitza Soledad-Perez spoke to some of Mexico City’s poorest citizens who hope to have their voices heard in this election season, too

Around an hour away from downtown Mexico City, poverty is more than a statistic. It is daily life.  We went to Santa Maria de Tulpetlac where flooded roads and junkyard sales are a graphic depiction of Mexico’s huge gap in wealth.

Eric Ortiz Mendoza, teenager living in poor neighborhood said, "There is a lot of difference, here we behave and dress differently, but they also act in different ways that we do.  They surround themselves with high class people and they stare down at us as we are nothing."

One of the biggest problems—teenagers dropping out of school.  The average resident of this community gets just 7 years of schooling.  For Eric is 17.  Society here isn’t teaching teenagers like him to dream big and it’s failing to provide him with a decent education.  Community workers explain there are plenty of social maladies that force these kids to quit school.

Esmeralda Reyes, Development Manager World Vision said, "Domestic violence is one of the reasons for teenagers to run off their homes and the economy too, the families do not have money to send their children to school."

Maria Felix has two children.  Abraham is only five.  She can’t work because they can’t afford child care.  But she tries to educate them and instill them with values that will break the poverty cycle.

Maria Felix Leon, Resident of Poor Neighborhood in Mexico City,said, "I tell them to value what they have and to notice what others lack, so when they grow up and become someone they help those in need. It is ugly to see people that get rich and powerful and forget the rest."

Abraham does not want his mother to cry and Eric wants to give a message to the presidential candidates with the elections less than 48 hours away

Eric Ortiz Mendoza said, "I ask them to turn around and look at us and to give us hope to continue here, cuz we do have faith in you, we believe in a future and that we can make things better here."

Moving words from this outspoken teenager. The leaders we spoke to explained that Mexico’s government programs provide assistance, but do not address the root causes of poverty.  Parents can’t afford to educate their children, because they don't get paid enough. 

Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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