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UN agency to stop calculating Chile poverty stats

Associated Press Published: October 2, 2012

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A prestigious U.N. agency will no longer help Chile calculate its poverty numbers after the government was accused of manipulating the data.

Alicia Barcena directs the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, which has double-checked the math on Chile's economic surveys for 25 years, providing a stamp of approval that has reassured investors.

Now Barcena says the commission will treat Chile just like every other country, and will no longer correct mistakes in the data.

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera celebrated numbers in July suggesting a drop from 15.1 percent to 14.4 percent of Chileans living in poverty, but months passed before he released an error margin that cast doubt on the gains, and meanwhile the UN agency said it wouldn't use the government's criteria.


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