Photo: People of Chiapas, Mexico
The Mexican government launched Monday a national program to combat hunger, initially focused on serving the 7.4 million people living in extreme poverty and without enough food.
“One out of every four Mexicans faces some degree of food deficiency,” President Enrique Peña Nieto said in Las Margaritas, a town in the impoverished southern state of Chiapas.
The program was one that Peña Nieto promised when he took office on Dec. 1, and in its first stage will focus on the 400 municipalities with high levels of extreme poverty and lack of food.
“Food is a universally acknowledged human right and is established in Article 4 of our constitution. However, it is a right not fully within reach of all Mexicans,” the president said.
To launch the program, Peña Nieto chose a municipality in Chiapas that was a stronghold of the Zapatistas who took up arms in 1994 but have now become a leftist political group.
At the event were members of the government and governors of various states as well as thousands of people, many of them of Indian origin, representing the peasant communities that dominate the Chiapas region.
“It is unacceptable that, having an abundance of woodlands and water, one out of every three Chiapans suffers extreme poverty,” Peña Nieto said.