Oscar Ruíz’s Aerial Photos of Mexico’s Rich And The Poor



In an effort to draw attention to community development program in low-income areas, Mexican bank Banamex launched an advertising campaign titled Erase the Difference, where the bank hired photographer Oscar Ruíz and asked him to shoot the stark divide between the poor and the affluent that exist in Mexico City. It took the photographer, who is also a helicopter pilot, two trips over the city, and the images he return with were unmistakable.

The campaign features four images that show opulent apartments and villas sitting right next to modest, to sometimes very dilapidated houses belonging to the poorer section. On one side stand white residential houses with tiled roof, and manicured green lawns, and on the other, a set of sad, grey and old buildings. Sometimes, only a high, thin wall separated the two. The images look Photoshopped, as if two separate images were stuck together to create the drama, but they were not. Indeed, the tagline says “This image has not been modified. It is time to change that.”


“Nearly 46% of Mexico's population lives in poverty, and the country has one of the highest income inequality rates in the world,” writes FastCoExist. In Mexico City, the poorest of the megacity's 20 million people don't have plumbing, and their homes are subject to flooding with raw sewage.

Although intended to serve as advertisement for the bank’s development program, the campaign now serve more as a public service announcement.




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  1. “This image has not been modified. It is time to change that.” A nice class warfare statement. Any ideas on how to change it? I'm afraid anything done in the name of the poor would make both sides of the picture look like the less-affluent side of the pictures, not the other way around. Except, of course, for the leaders of the poor.

  2. Agreed, why doesn't Banamex give "the poor" all their money, that should solve the problem for a year or two.
    I wonder what Banamex's interest rates are, I sure see credit card advertising up front and center on their homepage, I wonder how many of the "poor" are carrying multiple credit cards that are maxed out.

  3. Quite frankly, I wouldn't want to live in any of those developments. They all look dreadful!

    If one wants to be uber-trite, the takeaway from this is that the poor need to paint their homes white and find a way to put a tile roof on their houses. Not drying laundry outside or storing stuff outside makes a difference too. (No, I'm not seriously advocating this, but, really, these are the primary differences between the two housing types!).

    1. This guy clearly doesn't understand the point of the photographs. Bonehead.

  4. Looks like the poorer sides have lower carbon footprints, though.

  5. whare are street names of these images please


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