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While extreme poverty in Latin America reached its highest level in the last two decades with an increase of 12.5%, the number of billionaires in the region has gone up by 40% since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The wealthiest people in Latin America have managed to further increase their wealth thanks to the reevaluation of the stock markets during the pandemic.
The latest data from Forbes magazine indicate the statement above. The information reveals that in Latin America and the Caribbean, the number of billionaires has shot up 40% since the pandemic began.
At the beginning of 2020, when the virus had just broken out, and no one could yet imagine what was to come, 76 Latin Americans had US$1 billion (820 million euros) or more in assets, with a combined wealth of US$284 billion. In the 2021 list, published in March, they totaled 105, with accumulated assets of $448 billion. And in the latest update in mid-May, there were already 107 with combined assets of 480 billion.
In recent years, the list is headed by Mexico's Carlos Slim (owner of América Móvil), who, together with his family, has a fortune of 70 billion dollars. Second is also Mexican Germán Larrea (Grupo México), who accumulates a net worth of 26 billion, and Brazilian Jorge Paulo Lemann (Anheuser-Busch InBev) is in third place with more than 20 billion.
Wealth inequality has not only plagued America and the world for decades.
The top 1% in Latin America receive a greater share of national income than any other region in the world.
According to data analysis carried out by experts of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), three-quarters of Latin American billionaires are Brazilian or Mexican nationals, the most populous countries in the region.
UNDP economists warn about the consequences of the concentration of resources in the hands of a few. "When the concentration of resources translates into a concentration of political power, as is often the case, it can lead to a vicious circle that perpetuates these results and distorts both policies and the allocation of resources," they warn.
#COVID19 | As the #pandemic rages across the world & nations of the global South continue to face several hurdles, billionaires add to their wealth & military spending increases.
On the other hand, another study carried out by international organizations and the United Nations, published on May 24, indicated that extreme poverty in Latin America reached its highest level in the last two decades, increasing 12.5%.
According to the report, the number of people unable to cover their basic food needs has increased in Honduras (26.1 %), Mexico (18.3 %), and Ecuador (12.8 %), figures that increased significantly in 2020 due to the impacts of the pandemic.