News that doesn't receive the necessary attention.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

In Mexico, high walls are often used as barriers between rich and poor. Those with money seek to protect themselves with high gates. 47% Mexican population lives on less than $4 a day-Houston Chronicle, Nov. 19, 2006

Vicente Fox's 6 years rewarded the rich and punished the poor. "In Mexico, 47 percent of the population lives on less than $4 a day." In Mexico, high walls are used to keep the rich safe: "Physical separation is a hallmark of wealth in Mexico, where high walls often form a barrier between rich and poor....Those with money seek to protect themselves with high gates....With the passage of NAFTA, the availability of luxury goods has soared in Mexico."...

Nov. 19, 2006, "Mexico's wealth gap shows few signs of closing," Houston Chronicle, Jeremy Schwartz, Cox News

"Ranks of the rich grow in Mexico. Wealth gap shows few signs of closing despite leader's promises."

"While poor migrants grab most of the headlines from Mexico, the ranks of the country's rich are growing at a rapid and largely unnoticed pace.

According to the British market research firm Datamonitor, the number of Mexicans with more than $384,000 in liquid assets will jump 50 percent between 2004 and 2009, from 50,000 to 75,000 in this country of 107 million....

The disparities between rich and poor haven't closed, despite the promises of outgoing President Vicente Fox's administration. Statistics show the inequalities are still among the highest in Latin America. In Mexico, 47 percent of the population lives on less than $4 a day.

Mexico's wealthiest residents inhabit a parallel universe of fortified mansions, posh shopping malls and separate movie theaters. They go to the United States not to work illegally, but to shop or attend Ivy League universities. 

They live in surreal mini-cities of gleaming, geometric towers. And most are breathing a big sigh of relief that next week conservative Felipe Calderon will be sworn in as president and not his bitter rival, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who vowed to end the privileges of Mexico's elite.

Experts say the expanding wealth comes mainly from the growth of manufacturing and exports under the North American Free Trade Agreement and the burgeoning telecommunications and banking industries....

Physical separation is a hallmark of wealth in Mexico, where high walls often form a barrier between rich and poor

On the outskirts of Mexico City, billionaire Carlos Peralta is building Latin America's largest upscale housing development, called Bosque Real. Its slogan is "Welcome to the First World," and it is built around a golf club where memberships cost $120,000. Bosque Real's theme is simple: Live here and you may never have to leave. Peralta is planning schools, supermarkets and even a power plant behind the high walls. Security includes a private police force, infrared cameras and a strict visitation policy requiring all visitors to be registered in advance.

Kidnappings and carjackings are common in Mexico City, and those with money seek to protect themselves with high gates, bodyguards and chauffer-driven cars.

"There won't be a safer place in Mexico, not even Los Pinos," Alvaro Matute, Bosque Real's spokesman, said of the Mexican White House.
But as hard as Bosque Real's designers have sought to insulate their wealthy residents, they won't be able to escape completely. The makeshift homes of the poverty-stricken town of Naucalpan creep up to the very edge of Bosque Real's guarded walls. 

According to the United Nations, wealth in Mexico continues to be concentrated in the hands of a few. The country's richest 10 percent control 35 percent of the nation's wealth, while the poorest 10 percent have 1.6 percent. That means wealth is more concentrated than in the United States, where the top 10 percent holds 30.5 percent of the wealth.

The result in Mexico is two competing worldviews, known as naco and fresa.

In a nutshell, fresas are usually preppy rich kids, more interested in American culture than Mexican. The naco sterotype is of a less-educated and darker-skinned person who likes Mexican wrestling and street tacos.

That division, more than economics or politics, may better describe the spiritual separation that emerged over the summer between followers of Calderon and Lopez Obrador.

A popular online cartoon, Fresa y Naco, has become a hit on the YouTube site. It bitingly exposes the differences between the two Mexicos....

There weren't many self-described nacos on the roof of the Camino Real hotel last month at Fashion Week Mexico, a showcase for designers.

As club music thumped, Mexico's beautiful people stalked the roof, smoking cigarettes, talking on their Nextels and sipping flavored waters....

And more Mexicans are actually able to afford the glittering garments parading down the runways at Fashion Week. With the passage of NAFTA, the availability of luxury goods has soared in Mexico

Just off of Avenue Presidente Masaryk, the Rodeo Drive of Mexico, sits the Mulsanne luxury car dealership. Inside is the crown jewel, a bright yellow Lamborghini Murcielago that sells for $300,000.

The manager, Jeronimo Irurita, says the luxury car business is tied tightly to the whims of the daily news: a rash of kidnappings will send sales plummeting (although his fleet of bulletproof cars do better in those times).

But worse, he says, is the threat of a left-wing government. "If the left had won, many of my clients would have moved to Miami," he said. "This business would have disappeared, or it would have changed to cheaper cars."

With Calderon's victory, business picked up nicely, and the yellow Lamborghini sold quickly to a Mexico City businessman, he said."


Added: On May 19, 2010, lavish state honors were inexplicably bestowed on Calderon by struggling US taxpayers:

5/19/2010, "President Obama gestures at the decorative butterflies hanging from the top of the tent during the entertainment portion of the state dinner for Mexico. Charles Dharapak / AP," via Washington Post

First two images above via: 5/20/2010, "Eva and Michelle step out in matching off-the-shoulder outfits as the Obamas hold lavish state dinner for Mexico's President" Mailonline, by Jessica Satherley and Donna Mcconnell for MailOnline


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