Some 22 million people have risen to poverty, according to data from the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Forbes magazine on Tuesday unveiled its 2021 World Billionaire List, which includes 2,755 people. In this annual ranking, a dozen Latin Americans continued to increase their wealth, while inequality and poverty in the region grew abysmally in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
1.- Carlos Slim: This Mexican businessman, who owns the Carso Group and Mobile America, the largest telecommunications company in Latin America, appears at number 16 on the list, with $ 62.8 billion, well over $ 52.1 billion of dollars he had in 2020.
2.- Germán Larrea Mota Velasco: Executive Director of Grupo México, the largest mining company in its country and the fifth largest copper producer in the world. It is ranked 61st on the list, with $ 25.9 billion, when a year ago it recorded $ 11 million.
3.- Iris Fontbona: This Chilean is in 74th place on the list, with $ 23.3 billion, more than double the fortune recorded in 2020, which was $ 10.8 billion. This businesswoman controls, next to her children, Antofagasta Plc, that owns copper mines in Chile.
4.- Ricardo Salines Plec: Another Mexican, who runs TV Azteca and the Elektra chain of stores, is at number 166 on the list, and his fortune rose from $ 11.7 billion in 2020 to $ 12.9 billion in 2021.
5.- Marcel Herrmann Telles: This Brazilian, with a stake in Anheuser-Busch InBev, the largest brewer in the world, is in 191st place in the ranking. His fortune is $ 11.5 billion, when a year ago it was valued at $ 6.5 billion.
6.- Jorge Moll Filho: Also Brazilian, founder of the network of private hospitals Xarxa d’Or, with 11.3 billion dollars – well above the 7.3 billion dollars of 2020 – ranks 194th on the list.
7.- Luis Carlos Sarmiento: From Colombia, he increased his fortune by $ 2 billion to rack up a total of $ 11 billion, ranking 200th on the Forbes list. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Holding Group Aval Actions and Values and owner of the newspaper El Temps.
8.- Alberto Baillères González: It is in 255th place on the list, with $ 9.2 billion, a significant growth in the last year, as in 2020 it recorded $ 6.4 billion. He is the president of Grup Bal, a conglomerate that includes businesses in the sectors of trade, mining, metallurgy, insurance and finance. He is also the director of Peñoles Industries, the second largest mining company in Mexico.
9.- The Safra: The widow and children of victim banker Joseph Safra inherited a fortune of about $ 7.1 billion, so they recently appear on the Forbes list, at number 355 on the list.
10.- Juan Francisco Beckmann Vidal: Another Mexican, president of the José Cuervo Group, which produces tequila. It owns $ 7 billion — well above the $ 4.3 billion by 2020 — and ranks 369th on the list.
Increasing poverty in the region
These millionaires greatly increased their fortunes during the critical year of the coronavirus pandemic, a health situation that is not yet over and represents a severe setback for the global economy.
Mexican millionaires, for example, according to Forbes itself, had an average increase of more than 20% in their fortunes.
On the other hand, according to the Latin America Social Panorama 2020 report, presented last March by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), it is estimated that in the region the extreme poverty rate stood at 12.5% i the poverty rate reached 33.7% of the population.
Specifically, the report notes, the total number of poor people amounted to 209 million at the end of 2020, 22 million more than the previous year.
Of this total, 78 million people were in extreme poverty, 8 million more than in 2019.
Top on the Forbes list
The Forbes list is topped by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, with assets valued at $ 177 billion; while in second place is the creator of Tesla and SpaceX, Elon Musk, with $ 151 billion.
These are followed by Bernard Arnault, owner of several luxury clothing and cosmetics brands; Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft; and Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, with an estimated fortune of $ 150,000, $ 124,000 and $ 97 billion, respectively.
According to Forbes, it was a record year for the richest people in the world, With an increase in wealth of $ 5 trillion.