Five families out of 10 in Durango, a state in north central Mexico, live without adequate nutrition. Of the 203,000 families who do not have sufficient means to purchase basic necessities, partly because of the severe drought, 148,000 live in urban areas and 55,000 in rural areas.
According to sources in the Catholic Church, the increase in food poverty is due to the 2012 drought, rather than a misapplication of social programs. According to Mexico's National Commission of Evaluation of Social Development Policy (Coneval), in 2008 352,000 people, or 22% of the population of Durango, lived in food poverty. In 2010, the figure dropped to 20.1%, or 328 000 inhabitants.
In 2012, food poverty in Durango reached 48% of families, about 800 000 inhabitants. 220 000 inhabitants in rural communities have daily food problems. The increase in food prices has aggravated the situation. In addition, due to the lack of rain, 100 000 hectares of land have dried up. Durango is considered by Mexican authorities as poorer than the northern tier of Mexico.
Spero News editor Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. He is also a freelance translator.