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Mexico widens small pension program to all country’s elderly

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has expanded nationwide a program that provides small pensions to Mexicans over age 68, an extension of an effort that he began in Mexico City while mayor of the capital in 2000.

Lopez Obrador said Sunday that the elderly will receive 2,550 pesos — about $133 — every two months to help cover basic needs. The starting age will be 65 for people in indigenous communities, which tend to have more poverty.

The payments are nearly twice the amount that elderly residents in Mexico City received in 2018. Lopez Obrador said his government has set aside just over $5 billion to cover the payments to 8.5 million seniors this year, part of a widening safety net that also includes payments to poor students.