Mexico’s welfare programs encourage the poor not to take formal jobs, the Central Bank chief Guillermo Ortiz said last week, while calling for an overhaul of the country’s labor laws. Speaking at a World Bank conference on Mexico’s informal economy, Ortiz also blamed outdated labor laws for the high levels of unemployment and informal labor. In other news, Amnesty International said Aug.1 that Mexico, which considers itself a champion of human rights internationally, has failed to keep its promise to uphold justice and protect its poorest citizens at home. (Reuters)

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