BUENOS AIRES – An Argentine judge on Tuesday gave the Economy Ministry five days to respond to an opposition demand to have the country’s poverty index updated, given that the latest publicly available figures date back to the first half of 2013.
Federal Judge Maria Jose Sarmiento ordered the executive branch to report how it measures poverty since the change in methodology implemented by the National Statistics and Census Institute, or Indec, two years ago.
In her ruling, Sarmiento notes that the Constitution sets forth the right to “access to the public information of the Executive Branch.”
However, she refused to force the government to undertake the “immediate publication of the poverty and indigence indices” because she said she does not consider credible the argument that there is danger in delaying release of the data.
Indec stopped releasing its semi-annual measurements of poverty in 2013, when it reported that 3.7 percent of the homes and 4.7 percent of the population were below the poverty line, while 1.5 percent of the homes and 1.4 percent of the public were destitute.
Poverty figures released by private organizations are far better than those of the government and recently have fluctuated between 25 percent and 30 percent of the population.