Barack Obama may have the highest monthly income of any head of state in the Americas -- $27,867 dollars (in 2005 constant dollars and adjusted to Purchasing Power Parity)– yet his income is only 28.6 times the minimum wage of the US.
You may be thinking that saying "his income is only 28.6 times the minimum wage" is outrageous, but not really once we compare his income with the rest of the Latin American presidents.
See Also: The US and Mexico's Growing Interdependence
Here the most dramatic examples of salary disparities compared to each country's minimum wage: Enrique Peña Nieto earns 149.3 times Mexico's minimum wage, Danilo Medina earns 70.3 times the Dominican Republic's minimum wage, Otto Perez Molina earns 58.3 times Guatemala's minimum wage, Sebastián Piñera earns 42.5 times Chile's minimum wage and Dilma Rousseff earns 39.6 times Brazil's minimum wage.
The inequality in these countries and the mismanagement of the public resources, particularly in Mexico, is startling. Moreover, and to better explain the inequality in Mexico, while the minimum wage is $136.7 a month, the GDP per capita (both in 2005 constant dollars and adjusted to PPP), in 2011 was $12,813.8 dollars.
In the other extreme we find: Cristina Kirchner, who only earns 10.8 times Argentina's minimum wage; Hugo Chavez, who earned 11.9 times Venezuela's minimum wage; Porfirio Lobo, who earns 14.9 times Honduras's minimum wage; and Evo Morales, who earns 15.1 times Bolivia's minimum wage.
What about Congress?
The Chilean senators have the highest monthly salary in Latin America of $ 19,274 dollars (which should not be surprising if we look back at the end of Pinochet's dictatorship), while the Mexican representatives have the highest monthly salary of $16,727 dollars – we are only taking into account the base salary and in 2005 constant dollars adjusted for PPP).
Among those with the lowest (base) monthly salaries are the Colombians, Bolivians, Venezuelans and Guatemalans.
In terms of minimum wage by country, the results are quite similar to those discussed above.
The countries with the biggest disparities in salary are Mexico, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Chile.
Mexican senators earn 126.5 times and representatives 122.4 times the minimum wage. Brazilian senators and representatives earn 39.6 times the minimum wage. Chilean senators earn 40.5 times and representatives 29.3 times the minimum wage. Last, but not least, Dominican senators earn 19.5 times and representatives 27.3 times the minimum wage.
When it comes to the US, its senators and representatives have a monthly base income that is 12.5 times the country's minimum wage. Furthermore, on the other side of the spectrum are the senators and representatives of Colombia whose monthly base salary is only 8.6 times the minimum wage. While the above holds true, it is very important to emphasize that if we were looking at net monthly salaries (taking into account benefits), Colombia's situation would be quite different.
Finally, the Honduran and Costa Rican congressmen earn 10 times their country's minimum wage.
Click on this Dropbox URL to see data of minimum wage and executive/legislative salaries by country, as well as the sources used to obtain the information.