Over 70% of indigenous people in Mexico live in poverty

At least 8.3 million indigenous people in Mexico live in poverty, according to CONEVAL
Over 70% of indigenous people in Mexico live in poverty
“The indigenous population, no matter what ethnic group they may belong to, have shown important deficiencies with regard to other segments of the Mexican people," CONEVAL - Photo: Juan José Estrada Sera
09/08/2018
19:42
Mariluz Roldán
Mexico City
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In Mexico, 71.9% of the indigenous population, which encompasses 8.3 million people, lived in poverty in 2016, according to a census conducted by the National Council for Evaluation of Social Development Policy (CONEVAL). The council added that this sector showed some important deficiencies.

On the occasion of the Indigenous Peoples Day, the government institution indicated that three out of ten indigenous people (3.2 million in total) presented three or more social deprivations and did not show an economic capacity to acquire the basic food basket, which put them in a situation of extreme poverty.

In 2015, six states in the country accounted for 64.8% of the overall indigenous population: Oaxaca, Chiapas, Veracruz, the State of Mexico, Puebla, and Yucatán.

Poverty levels in five of said states exceed the average national poverty rate (43.6%), more so in the states of Oaxaca and Chiapas, with 70.4% and 77.1% poverty rates each.
 

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“The indigenous population, no matter what ethnic group they may belong to, have shown important deficiencies with regard to other segments of the Mexican people. Marginalization and precariousness become aggravated when, in addition to being indigenous, the person at hand is a woman or an elder, according to the 2018 Report on the Evaluation of Social Development Policy (IEPDS),” CONEVAL indicated.

The institution added that certain obstacles for the development of indigenous people persist, since in 2016, 71.3% of the indigenous people reported earning the minimum wage or less.

Education is another important problem that the marginalized group is yet to overcome. In 2016, 19.8% of the indigenous population between the ages of 30 and 64 did not know how to read or write, while only 4.3% of the non-indigenous population showed the same problem.

Education levels among indigenous people are also considerably low, with 31.6% of people showing educational lagging and little more than 50.3% that went no further than primary school.

CONEVAL indicated that in 2016, over 30% of indigenous people showed deficiencies in food access, almost 8 out of 10 people didn’t have access to social welfare, and 56.3% didn’t have basic shelter services.

For said reasons, CONEVAL “suggests to adopt a fully inclusive approach in which every person in the country can have the same development opportunities.”

The institution expressed that it was necessary to “implement public policy initiatives focused on the indigenous populations, contributing to the improvement of their capacities so that they may become competitive within the labor market; thus, in addition to promoting quality employment among the indigenous people, these initiatives could grant them access to social welfare.”

The government branch suggested that said initiatives should respect the cultural patterns and traditions of the indigenous populations, promoting their cultural value and identity.
 

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