The clear divide between rich and poor in Mexico City

Erase the difference, écart entre riches et pauvres à Mexico, par Oscar Ruiz

The striking contrast of Mexico City by Oscar Ruíz

To draw attention to its community development program in low-income areas, Mexican bank Banamex launched an advertising campaign entitled Erase the Difference, for which it hired photographer Oscar Ruíz and asked him to capture the stark and striking gap between rich and poor that exists in Mexico City. It took the photographer, who is also a helicopter pilot, two trips over the city, and the images he took are unmistakable.

The campaign, which features four images, highlights opulent apartments and villas located right next to modest and sometimes very dilapidated houses belonging to the poorest fringe of gigantic Mexico City. On one side are white residential houses with tiled roofs and immaculate green lawns, and on the other a collection of sad, grey, old buildings. Sometimes, only a thin, high wall separates the two « worlds ». Yet life is very different on each side.

The photos look photoshopped, as if two separate images had been pasted together for dramatic effect, but this is not the case. In fact, the tagline reads, « This image has not been altered. It’s time to change that. »

« Nearly 46% of Mexico’s population lives in poverty, and the country has one of the highest rates of income inequality in the world, » writes FastCoExist. In Mexico City, the poorest people in the megalopolis of 20 million have no plumbing, and their homes are prone to sewage flooding. Although intended as advertising for a bank development program, the campaign serves more as bad publicity for the utility.

Erase the difference, écart entre riches et pauvres à Mexico, par Oscar Ruiz Erase the difference, écart entre riches et pauvres à Mexico, par Oscar Ruiz Erase the difference, écart entre riches et pauvres à Mexico, par Oscar Ruiz Erase the difference, écart entre riches et pauvres à Mexico, par Oscar Ruiz

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