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The scandal of inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

12-year-old Jacqueline Gonzalez Vicente from Guatemala

12-year-old Jacqueline Gonzalez Vicente from Guatemala

October 2012

Christian Aid recently launched a report called 'The Scandal of Inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean' which seeks to identify both the progress that has been made in the region, but also to expose the areas that remain and, in some cases, are becoming even more unequal.

The report presents an overview of regional trends in relation to poverty and inequality, and looks closely at tax policies.

It highlights the region’s particular Achilles heel – the extent of income concentration in the top 10% of the population that is the highest in the world – and the particularly regressive and weak tax systems which do little to address this.

The report also gives special attention to the situation of indigenous and afro-descendant groups, given they are disproportionately affected by poverty and social exclusion, as well as highlighting gender inequalities.

Peru is also singled out for attention, given its striking macroeconomic achievements but extremely poor progress in tackling inequality in all its facets.

The report urges governments to deliver:

• High-quality, publicly funded education systems, which ensure that poor families can access all stages of education.
• Urgent measures to address the unacceptably high levels of chronic malnutrition among children from ethnic groups in countries like Guatemala.

The report implores governments to use their tax systems to achieve these goals.

Download the full report

The scandal of inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean (PDF, 1.7mb)

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