Special Rapporteur Miloon Kothari conducted a mission to Mexico from March 4 to 15, 2002, after the government issued a standing invitation to all UN “Special Procedures”.

The Rapporteur emphasized that his mandate should be interpreted broadly as to also include access to potable water, electricity and sanitation. The mission focused on the situation of the poor and of the indigenous populations and analyzed the impact of globalization and free trade agreements, such as NAFTA, on the right to housing.

He visited Mexico City, Tuxtla Gutierrez and San Cristobal de las Casas in the region of Chiapas, and Mexicali and Tijuana in Baja California. In all cities, he could see excellent coordination and support by civil society groups.

The government had established housing as a national priority in 2001 and appointed a national secretary to coordinate efforts with local governments aiming at the improvement of housing across the country.

At that time, Mexico had a deficit of 750,000 new houses per year. Mortgage options focused only on the employed middle class, excluding the poor and informal workers who make up about 40% of the population.

The Rapporteur stated that Mexico needed a more inclusive national housing programme, recommended additional attention to the poor, suggested more support for house construction, and better provision of public services such as water and sanitation.

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