NGOs in Latin America

NGO success story: soft drinks in Mexico

One interesting example of the positive role that NGOs can play, and the way they can interact with other political institutions, was given by the introduction of a tax on high sugar-content soft drinks in Mexico, which came into force in the country in January 2014. The tax on what are called sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) was set at one peso per litre, or around 10% of the price per bottle. Those who supported the introduction of the tax argued that it was necessary and appropriate to counteract the alarming increase in obesity and the prevalence of diabetes in the Mexican population. Subsequent studies have shown that the tax was indeed successful, increasing revenue for Mexico’s finance ministry (Secretaría de Finanzas y Crédito Público – SHCP), and reducing overall SSB consumption by between 6% and 10%.

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