Wealth of 16 richest Mexicans quintuples in two decades

According to a study published by Oxfam, their fortune was equal to 25.6 billion dollars in 1996 compared to 142.9 billion dollars in 2014.
Ivette Saldaña
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In the last two decades the wealth of the 16 richest Mexicans quintupled: in 1996 their fortune was equal to 25.6 billion dollars compared to 142.9 billion dollars in 2014, Oxfam revealed. 

According to the study "Extreme inequality in Mexico, concentration of economic and political power" authored by Gerardo Esquivel Hernández, the wealth of the four richest Mexicans represented 2% of Mexico's GDP in 2002, compared to 9% in 2014. This is a third of the total income of almost 20 million Mexicans.

The wealth of Carlos Slim, telecommunications tycoon and owner of Grupo Carso, equals to 6% of Mexico's GDP, while the combined wealth of mining entrepreneurs Germán Larrea and Alberto Bailleres and Ricardo Salinas Pliego (TV Azteca, Iusacell) equals to 3% of the country's GDP. 

In contrast, 53.3 million Mexicans live in poverty. According to Oxfam, around 23 million Mexicans can not afford their basic food needs with their income. 

The 2014 Global Wealth Report stated that the richest 10% in Mexico concentrates 64.4% of the country's total wealth, while authors such as Campos, Esquivel and Chávez calculate that the wealthiest 1% in Mexico get 21% of the country's total income. 

From 2007 to 2012, the number of millionaires in Mexico grew 32%, while in the rest of the world it decreased 0.3%, Esquivel said quoting data from Wealth Insight. 

For this reason the author proposes raising taxes on capital gains, dividends and interest to levels equivalent to the income tax (ISR), restoring the car ownership tax and imposing a tax on inheritance and global wealth starting from a threshold high enough to exclude most of the population. 

He also recommended fighting corruption, focusing government spending on education, health and access to basic services and strengthening the purchasing power of the minimum wage.


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